A Patchwork Family: Moving On” by Cathy Bramley

A Patchwork Family: Moving On by Cathy Bramley

 

51gxvtvvgrlPublisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 1st August 2019

Series: A Patchwork Family #1

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 88

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle )

 

Synopsis:

This is part one in an uplifting four-part serial from bestseller Cathy Bramley.

Gina Moss is proud of herself: she’s just had the most amicable divorce ever. No arguments, no fuss, no drama. It means she has plenty of time and energy for her thriving childminding business too.

Welcome Cottage is both home and workplace for Gina. It sits just on the edge of The Evergreens – a grand if slightly run-down Victorian residence to three octogenarians who have far too much fun for their age: Violet, Delphine and Bing.

But a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction – and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. It might be her first fight, but it’s one that Gina is determined not to lose…

A Patchwork Family is a heart-warming novel told in four parts, following the challenges and triumphs faced by Gina Moss as she swaps an easy life for a happy one. This is the first part.

Rating: four-stars

 

“Moving On” is the first part in the new serialisation by Cathy Bramley, and it is absolutely brilliant introduction to something that – I am deadly sure – is going to be a wonderful, warm story full of ups and downs for the characters. Well, the downs have started already, as we are left on a cliff-hanger in the last chapter!

This short novella is like a tribute to Cathy Bramley. It is full of her hallmark chatty, warm and welcoming banter between the characters, wonderful setting, fun, humour and a little sadness. Our main heroine Gina Moss has just divorced and can now focus on her career – she works as a child – minder at her cottage with a wonderful name Welcome Cottage. There is such a lovely, beautiful bond between Gina and her charges, you can feel that she adores them and that she really cares about them. Gina is surrounded by a bunch of great, vivid characters that I thought are going to pop out of the pages at any moment, they are all so realistic and had their own, huge personalities, even when they had a little too much to drink – they are incredibly funny then.

It was a great and very promising beginning, introducing as – quickly and efficiently – to all the most important players and giving us an idea what can happen in the next parts. Cathy Bramley has again created a world that, even with all the troubles and problems, is inviting and colourful and you want to be a part of it and help the characters. Gina was so easy to like, and I’ve immediately warmed to her, her dry sense of humour and probably because she, just like moi, works with children. I really can’t wait for the next parts to see the light of the day, I am sure we’re for a real treat and that many, many adventures are waiting for us to discover. Recommended!

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A Match Made in Devon by Cathy Bramley

A Match Made in Devon by Cathy Bramley

 

36562552Publisher: Corgi

Publishing Date: 26th July 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 480

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes you have to play a part to realise who you really are…

Nina has always dreamed of being a star. Unfortunately her agent thinks she’s more girl-next-door than leading lady and her acting career isn’t going quite as planned. Then, after a series of very public blunders and to escape a gathering storm of paparazzi, Nina is forced to flee from London.

Her plan is to lay low with a friend in Devon, in beautiful Brightside Cove. But soon Nina learns that more drama can be found in a small village than on a hectic television set.

And when a gorgeous man (and his adorable dog) catch her eye, it’s not long before London and showbiz start to lose their appeal. Will Nina choose to return to the bright lights or has she met her match in Brightside Cove?

Rating: five-stars

Nina has always wanted to be a film star – now she’s featuring in a TV war series as the popular Nurse Elsie. Everything should be right then but, as it usually happens, it isn’t! Some things just doesn’t go quite to the plan and Nina is forced to run away and hide. And where is a better place to hide than in Devon? She’s hoping to lay low a little and see how things develop in London but well, life has other plans for our lovely Nina and she finds herself in the middle of holiday cottages restoration and also evolved in the personal drama of her guest, Theo, whose wife has left him after a tragic event in their lives and gone on a single journey to South America.
Nina does her best to help Theo and puts all her talents to good use in Driftwood Lodge and she’s doing great, but of course there are many bumps on the way, tons of misunderstandings, a man with a dog and hen parties. Moreover, she’s drawn into village life and well, can it be that London isn’t so interesting anymore? But her job, that she loves so much, is i n London… Soon she must face some important decisions…

This book was previously published in four – parts series and so it’s divided into four parts, and each of them brings new characters, hilarious situations and more poignant moments. It’s mostly about Nina and her skills to put herself into embarrassing situations, and the best thing here was probably the fact that I could never be sure what the outcome is going to look like. Her road to her happy end is bumpy and full of troubles and really, you can never be sure what kind of decision she’s going to make and if life is going to play nice for her.

The setting was simply gorgeous – Brightside Cove in Devon is a place that I’d love to spend not only my holidays but probably my whole life. It sounded so idyllic! I’d probably love to hear more about the village and its residents but I also accepted that it’s mostly about Theo and Kate’s holiday retreat, which was an adventure already. On the other hand, we get to know a handful of the residents, and if they’re all were like Eliza, Jethro and co then it was really not a boring place. Eliza was hilarious and who could thing that Mermaid school can be a thing? The scenes about the photo – shootings including mermaids were absolutely hilarious, as well as only one mermaid – oh guys, just read the book, it is so worth reading! you’re going to love it, take my word for it! And I also could very well relate to Theo and his cat allergy – same here, same here.

But this book is not only shining sun and beds of roses. Cathy Bramley touches upon some heavier issues that brought tears to my eyes, and she does it with gentleness and subtlety and her special way with words. There was nothing I didn’t like in this novel – I simply adored it, again, like any other Cathy Bramley’s book. I don’t know how this author does it but all her books deliver, they are full of wonderful, likeable and relatable characters that often make mistakes, each and every new one is set in even more gorgeous setting and the writing style goes from strength to strength. “A Match Made in Devon” was simply a fabulously lovely story with this so heavy to capture feel – good factor and it made my heart sing with joy and happiness. Highly recommended!

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The Lemon Tree Cafe by Cathy Bramley / #BlogTour

Hi guys, and happy Wednesday, hope you are all enjoying your summer!

I am so thrilled today to ba again a part of Cathy Bramley’s blog tour – I love this author and her uplifting novels! No matter what, her books will for sure make you feel better and you won’t want them to end. There is everything I am looking for in a great read – joy, romance, immediately likeable characters and enough twists and turns to keep you on your tenterhooks. Yes, I probably could read Ms Bramley’s novels on daily basis 🙂

 

The Lemon Tree Cafe by Cathy Bramley

51dddl5xnvl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Publisher: Corgi

Publishing Date: 24th August 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 464

Genre:  General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Lemon Tree Cafe was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

When Rosie Featherstone finds herself unexpectedly jobless, the offer to help her beloved Italian grandmother out at the Lemon Tree Cafe – a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire – feels like the perfect way to keep busy.

Surrounded by the rich scent of espresso, delicious biscotti and juicy village gossip, Rosie soon finds herself falling for her new way of life. But she is haunted by a terrible secret, one that even the appearance of a handsome new face can’t quite help her move on from.

Then disaster looms and the cafe’s fortunes are threatened . . . and Rosie discovers that her nonna has been hiding a dark past of her own. With surprises, betrayal and more than one secret brewing, can she find a way to save the Lemon Tree Cafe and help both herself and Nonna achieve the happy endings they deserve?

Rating: five-stars

Guys, “The Lemon Tree Cafe” is Cathy Bramley at her best! Which delights me terribly as I had some issues with her last novel and to be absolutely honest I was afraid how I’m going to like this book. But no worries guys, no worries, reading “The Lemon Tree Cafe” was really a great joy. Of course initially this book was published as a four – part – series but I am incredibly happy to have waited for the whole story being published as one gorgeous novel. I just can’t have enough of Cathy Bramley’s writing, her storytelling, quirky characters and beautiful settings, and with this book she has fulfilled all of my expectations. You know, it is really hard to explain why I love Cathy Bramley’s books so much without repeating over and over again that they are full of warmth, honesty, genuine characters and this so hard to capture feel – good factor – and “The Lemon Tree Cafe” had it all!

I absolutely adored the fact that some of the characters were already introduced to us earlier in “The Plumberry School of Comfort Food”. It felt like coming back home, to some friends of yours. I warmed to the book and the characters right at the beginning – even to the all – knowing nonna (you know I have huge problems with wiser than wise older aunts, grandmas, cousins in the stories. However, Cathy Bramley has managed to write Maria in the best possible way, without her being patronizing but also showing her weakest points, showing that she is a real woman, with dark past). Rosie was my hero from the start – the way she stood for her beliefs was absolutely inspiring. She was not afraid to gave up her job only to prove her point – that was SO right, btw! To not go too crazy without a job she offers to work for a month in her nonna’s cafe, and perhaps bring it back to its glory days, even though Maria doesn’t think it’s necessary, make it a little bit better – but does the nonna need Rosie’s help? Or perhaps does she keep some secrets that she doesn’t want to see the daylight?
Now Gabe. I know I’ve said once that Gabe is not my favourite character – because Gabe was already introduced to us in “The Plumberry School of Comfort Food” and well… OK, yes, I started to warm to him but it took me some time. You know, in the previous book he had a moment that he tried to persuade Verity they should be together, even though he didn’t love her, and in “The Lemon Tree Cafe” he entered the scenes, took a look at Rosie and tried to convince her they should be together – again. And I just couldn’t stop thinking, Gabe, really, get a grip. Are you so desperate? But yes, I admit – he turned out to be a really nice guy and showed where his priorities are, and yes, there were moments that I pitied him so much when he wanted to explain to Rosie some things and she didn’t let him, jumping to conclusions – just like real life, no? However, the romance element in this book was rather absent, and it felt forced on us. I mean, I want my hero to appear on the pages more than Gabe appeared, so the end felt so pushed and rushed and I wondered, when did they really have time to fell in love? This relationship was more off than on, and it’s a shame because Cathy Bramley can write brilliant romance! (This was my one and only problem with this book. No more whining, promise. And really, even with this I adored this story.)

The book was full of twists, turns and surprises. There were some secrets kept and while I guessed the one kept by Maria, this of Rosie’s broke me. It explained a lot, why she was so cautious about relationships and why she wanted to focus on her career, and it really was breaking my heart because she deserved so much more after what she has experienced.
And of course, as this book is about an Italian cafe, there are plenty of deliciously sounding descriptions of food, as well as some great recipes at the end of the story.

It was so warmly written that I didn’t want to put it away, even for a moment, and cursed life getting in the way. The story only got better and better, guys, there are no flat moments in it, the pacing is just right and I loved how well balanced were the humorous and poignant moments. There is also this lovely, brilliantly captured community spirit when the people support each other, and the cafe was in the heart of all things happening. This story is full of fun and of little dramas that can be life – changing for some of the characters, and I think this is one of the factors that make this novel so lovely to read, so relatable and just so down to earth. The characters hit rock bottom, just like it happens with us, they sometimes lose all their hopes but they never lose their spirits, and this is why I admire and adore them so much. They always come up with a plan, they support each other and this is always so lovely to see.

Cathy Bramley smuggles so many important issues and messages into her books. It is the same with “The Lemon Tree Cafe” – it is a story of finding yourself, finding what brings you happiness, it’s about daily struggles of new mothers, about learning to appreciate yourself again, about family, secrets and letting the old demons go, about being proud of who you are and your roots – this all in this lovely, heart – warming, light – hearted and gorgeously delicious story. I can only salute the author for writing another unforgettable story. This book was for me like a huge mug of hot chocolate with marshmallow topping, so welcoming, comforting and tasty. Highly recommended!

 

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White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

HI guys, and happy Tuesday –  very unexpectedly FREE Tuesday for me. We have a black ice, it’s impossible to move without ice skates, and let’s forget about driving a car. I love my car, and I love driving but today it’s no fun at all, the schools are closed and my boss called me to tell me to stay at home. I like such surprises 🙂 And to make the day even more better, I am absolutely, super dooper excited to welcome you to Cathy Bramley’s blog tour today! I love Cathy incredibly and I couldn’t wait for my stop to share my review of “White Lies and Wishes” with you!

White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

 

51lyldrcjrl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Publisher: Corgi

Publishing Date: 26th January 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

What happens when what you wish for is only half the story…?

Flirtatious, straight-talking Jo Gold says she’s got no time for love; she’s determined to save her family’s failing footwear business.

New mother Sarah Hudson has cut short her maternity leave to return to work. She says she’ll do whatever it takes to make partner at the accountancy firm.

Bored, over-eating housewife Carrie Radley says she just wants to shift the pounds – she’d love to finally wear a bikini in public.

The unlikely trio meet by chance one winter’s day, and in a moment of ‘Carpe Diem’ madness, embark on a mission to make their wishes come true by September.

Easy. At least it would be, if they hadn’t been just the teensiest bit stingy with the truth…

With hidden issues, hidden talents, and hidden demons to overcome, new friends Jo, Carrie and Sarah must admit to what they really, really want, if they are ever to get their happy endings.

Rating: 4/5

Reading a Cathy Bramley book is like settling down after a stressful, demanding day, like doing something you love to do – her stories are like an unicorn mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and glitter on top – warm, inviting, making you feel welcome. So it is probably not a surprise for you to hear that I was waiting impatiently for the author’s new release – “White Lies and Wishes”, no? I thought so. I’ve read all Cathy’s books, fell in love with her writing and she’s at the top of my favourite authors list, and I am sure she’s going to stay there for ever and ever. I can’t get enough of her stories and I always repeat: Cathy, please do keep them coming!

This story was a bit different to all the other storylines in Cathy Bramley’s books because it follows not one main female character, but three – three women who unexpectedly meet and become friends. There were moments that I had a feeling I’m reading a book by Lucy Diamond, as she is the champion of writing stories about surprising friendships, and Cathy Bramley has also managed it brilliantly. The women meet at the funeral of their mutual friend’s husband and funeral here or there, but there was one scene that had me in stitches – actually the one when all three met for the first time. There is Jo Gold, who’s running a failing family shoe business but she’s determined to save it. Then there is Sarah Hudson – a new mother who’s juggling coming back to work, baby and staying at home husband. Sarah is a woman with ambitions and the thing she wants most right now is to become a partner in the firm she’s working for. And there is Carrie Radley, married, not working and over – eating her problems. All three of them quickly bond and decide to put together a wish list of things they want to achieve till September – Jo wants to overcome her fear of heights, Sarah wants to be a partner in her firm and Carrie wants to wear a bikini in public. But – are they really truthful? Will they manage? Are those really they real wishes? Will they stay friends?

Now. The characters. I’ve never before had problems to love Cathy Bramley’s immediately and stay like this for the whole duration of reading the book. However, this time, I had some problems to warm to them, to fell for them and to get them. If they bonded so well that they decided to be BFFs, then why hide their real wishes? Also at the beginning they were mostly a bunch of unhappy, moaning women and only after getting to know them better, seeing how they tick and what inspires and drives them, I started to feel more comfortable in their company – however, I still had a niggling and troubling feeling that they are really not honest, with themselves, with each other and with us. Carrie was like enigma, and the dynamics between her and her husband were really weird, and I couldn’t see where they were coming from. Sarah seemed to know what she wants but I all the time had the feeling that she really doesn’t. I think that Jo was the most believable one of them, with her ideas and determination and eventually showing her weakness. And the relationship between them was not as open and friendly as you would expect. I guess it just takes time to trust each other and maybe they just expected too much from their friendship at the beginning?
But my issues apart, the characters were – as always – brilliantly written. Cathy Bramley has made it her hallmark to write the most believable, relatable characters. She can easily get into their heads and tell three different stories in an engaging, light – hearted way. Jo, Sarah and Carrie could be – in fact – any of us, and when reading you can easily nod your head, sigh and tell them you know what they’re feeling because you’ve been there as well. In the end the girls overcame their reservations and it was great to see how much support there is in the air, how they support each other.

The book was very uplifting in tone. I found it great that the girls decided to go for they dreams and weren’t afraid to dream big, even though they hide their true dreams at the beginning. The story also wonderfully describes family and friend’s relationships, shows how hard it is sometimes to cope and basically, tells us how it really is – that life is not only a bed of roses, that you must be prepared to fight for yourself, even if it’s not so easy.

It wasn’t my favourite Cathy Bramley’s book of all time, sadly, but nevertheless it was a gorgeous story about new beginnings and friendship and it for sure will give you a fix of the author’s warm and inviting writing and her gift to write feel – good stories. Altogether, “White Lies and Wishes” was an easy to read book, uplifting story about trials, tribulations and finding courage. It is full of mishaps and misunderstandings, with a romance element to it (of course! And I found it great and captivating, as well as despairing because you’ve seen those two belong together, only they haven’t seen it! Aaaargh! I’m telling you…! But you can trust Cathy Bramley to create a great atmosphere and sparkles). Even though I find Cathy’s previous books better, I still enjoyed this one and I am sure that the readers won’t be disappointed with this lovely story about gaining confidence. Highly recommended!

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Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley

Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley

 

31279548Publisher: Transworld Digital

Publishing Date: 13th October 2016

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 120

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Curl up with this feel-good short story, full of romance, surprises and a sprinkling of Christmas magic…!
It’s been a busy year for Verity Bloom at the Plumberry School of Comfort Food, but Christmas Eve is finally here. With delicious treats all wrapped up and the ingredients packed away, Verity is looking forward to a relaxing few days with her new boyfriend.

Good food, family and friends – it’s a simple recipe for true comfort and joy, and all Verity’s friends in the village are full of excitement about the holidays too.

But the weather has other plans in store… Relentless rain leads to a power cut that spells disaster for many of Plumberry’s residents. It’s starting to look like this year’s celebrations could be a total washout.

With dreams of a perfect Christmas dashed, will the last of the festive cheer be swept away in the downpour? Or can the cookery school create a Christmas miracle for everyone Verity holds dear?

Rating: 5/5

“Comfort and Joy” was such a great surprise from Cathy Bramley! It was incredibly great to be back in Plumberry and all the characters from School of Comfort Food and I felt as if I haven’t left the place and all those lovely people for so long. Plumberry seems to be a place very prone to accident, to be honest, if there is something to happen you can be sure that it will happen in Plumberry, but heck, we have School, Verity & Co, right? The loveliest bunch of people that you could think of, and if I were to be in troubles, I’d love it to happen somewhere around this place, pretty please. There is always food, no matter what, and what kind of food! And there is also always electricity (which is very significant for this short story, let me add).

This lovely short novella – really short, it took me around an hour to read it, and it took me a second only to feel at home with the characters and to feel totally immersed in their lives again – takes place around and on Christmas, but you would never say it, judging on the weather – it’s raining cats and dogs and because of it a series of very unhappy and unwished – for accidents happen. Also in the characters’ lives. And this time, which was also great, and I really, really liked it, the story concentrated not only on Verity and Tom but on the many brilliant characters that surrounded them in the “The Plumberry School of Comfort Food”. I’ve no idea how Cathy Bramley managed to squeeze so many stories in this one, short novella, but all of the characters could feel as the stars of the scenes they entered. It was truly great to get some closure, to see how life goes on for some of them and how life starts for some of them.

You’ve no idea how much I could relate to Verity and her feelings of longing. As it happens I am also far, far away from my family, and it is really, really hard to spend Christmas without them, even after all those years. You can have your own family, your husband and a daughter, but well, mum is a mum, that’s true. So all the feelings and emotions in Verity, all the things she has said about missing her mum just stroke a chord and my heart double went to her.

As always, the story perfectly blends poignant and funny moments, and there were some that had me on a verge of tears and there were some that made me laugh out loud, especially those involving a very large turkey and Harriet. Cathy Bramley always accomplishes to add a lesson or two to her stories, but they are lovely lessons, and it was the same this time. Actually, to be honest, I think I am going to re – read this novella right now, as it really made me feel cheerful and better the first time, and right now I am in a need of cheering up – and I can guarantee that you’re going to feel absolutely uplifted after reading it. No matter if you are new to Cathy Bramley – which personally I can’t believe – or a devoted fan, just like me, go and treat yourself to “Comfort & Joy”!

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley

The second blog tour today belongs to Cathy Bramley and her brand new novel „The Plumberry School of Comfort Food„. I think I don’t have to introduce Cathy to you – she is one of my all time favourite authors and I love all her books, and the latest release is not  exception – it has all I am looking for in books, and more, much more, and I only hope that Cathy Bramley will keep them coming. Books, I mean.

So, to celebrate the publication of „The Plumberry School of Comfort Food” the publisher (Corgi) has organized a very special Blog Tour – one of the fellow bloggers Zarina of Page to Stage Reviews has run a brilliant interview with Cathy and Cathy is answering the questions every day on different blog – so be sure to check all the stops to read the whole lovely conversation between those two gorgeous ladies! Here is my question:

In one sentence, why should readers pick up your new novel, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food?

While I was mulling this question over, I received a message from a reader, so if you don’t mind I’ll let her tell you:

Dearest Cathy, I have just finished The Plumberry School of Comfort Food, wow, absolutely stunning, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and for me it’s your best book yet, thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book.

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food

by Cathy Bramley

 

Publisher: Corgi

Publishing Date: 30th June 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher,  thank you!

Number of pages: 480

Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she’s home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?

A heartwarming and romantic story certain to make you smile – perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde.

Rating: 5/5

 

Oh wow, I haven’t even realised how much I’ve missed Cathy Bramley’s writing! I could probably read her books on daily basis, so dear Cathy, please never stop writing novels! I don’t know how the author does it but each time I start a new book or new series by Ms Bramley I immediately feel at home and I feel as if I had known the characters for a long, long time already – the warmth of the writing just envelopes you and really, the stories are like an evening out with best friends – brilliant, funny, comforting and relaxing.

I’ve really read many books about food but in „The Plumberry School of Comfort Food” believe me, there is a lot of food, glorious food indeed, so well described that I actually felt my mouth watering, even though I am relatively resistant to such things, but the author has really excelled herself in describing these lovely, gorgeous canapés and some other food. Glorious food. Yes, I am aware I used the word „glorious” already. But it is glorious.

This time, as usual with Cathy Bramley’s heroines, Verity Bloom is at crossroads with her life. We are introduced to her not in her best moment to be honest, and let’s only say it involves unfaithful boyfriend, her job and she’s still grieving after the very unexpected death of her best friend Mimi. The story of Verity is so natural and realistic, sounds so believable and she’s another fantastic character from Cathy Bramley (and ditto for the whole cast of characters in the book – I immediately connected with all of them and am felt like a part of their gang), and I loved seeing her coming back to life she enjoyed before, blossoming and starting to laugh again. What she needed was one phone call from Mimi’s mother Gloria, owner of a new cooking school – even though Verity wasn’t sure about cooking, as she connected cooking and food with great memories of Mimi. But nevertheless, she knew that marketing the school is something she can do really well, so there was nothing keeping her at home and she took the chance. I really enjoyed the way our Verity was changing and coming back to life and the whole process of it. It was not easy for her and the author has brilliantly captured all the emotions and feeling accompanying Verity. I loved to see how her passion to life was growing back, how she was finding cooking relaxing and bringing joy again and I also loved how she dealt (or not) with the romance element in her life. I absolutely, totally adored watching how Verity and Tom were coming together, how awkward it was occasionally, and how genuine, and you’ve no idea how much I wanted those two to stay together, which was not so obvious, as – of course! Of course! – the author has pulled the rug from under their feet more than once!

I also loved to see how the school is coming to life. I adored the classes that the school offered and I’d myself love to try one or two of them, even if I were supposed to respond „Yes, Chef” to Tom. I could respond however he wished, to be honest, as Tom, you lovely folks, Tom is again one of the best male characters ever. I’ve no idea how Cathy Bramley manages to create such characters, as every book of hers brings us a new cookie. But better back to school, oh dear, I kinda went too far with my thoughts about Tom… The descriptions of the cookery school, inside and outside, and of the village were, as always, full of lovely details, vivid and springing to life.

The group of characters is just the best. Tom, Gloria, Mags, Rosie, Pixie – they were all fantastic, larger than life, funny and sad, just like the real people. However, I couldn’t warm to Mimi’s husband Gabe. I don’t know why, there was something in him that made me feeling like this. And of course they all stick together! They support each other, they can count on each other, they bicker and then mend the fences and this all felt so genuine! It was really palpable that they all felt so good in their own company but also that any new person was heartily welcome, and this made me feel like a part of their world.

As usual, Cathy Bramley adds some more serious issues to her story, and it’s the same with this novel, and this subplot is mention en passant every once in a while. I must admit, I relatively quickly guessed what it could be, that was so controversial and made Verity fell out with her parents, especially with her mother, but nevertheless it was an interesting look at this issue and I really appreciate the fact that Cathy has found a place for this in this light – hearted story. She also complicates the lives of the characters, adding a catastrophe here or there and she sees the timing brilliantly – she knows when to add a funny scene to brake the ice and when to add some drama to pump up the pace and feelings. There are twists and turns along the way but always treated with a dose of humour and wit.

Reading the book was a real joy, from start to finish. It is so well written, it has a lovely storyline and it’s full to the brim with events of all sorts. It is a great journey that makes you laugh, cry, cheer and boo the characters, a great rollercoaster of emotions and full of beautiful descriptions and lovely setting. It belongs to these kind of books that you want to read as quickly as possible to see what’s going to happen but you also don’t want to end. However, after reading „The End”, I felt so satisfied and so happy – Cathy Bramley has again delivered a brilliant, light – hearted, warm and uplifting read that I’ll be coming back to for comfort. You really don’t need comfort food when you have the book to hand. There were characters that you can relate to, it was down – to – earth and – again! – the cover is so incredibly gorgeous and inviting! Loved it and can’t wait for more! Highly recommended!

 

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The Plumberry School of Comfort Food: Food, Glorious Food by Cathy Bramley

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food – Part One: Food, Glorious Food

by Cathy Bramley

 

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Publishing Date: 3rd March 2016

Series: The Plumberry School of Comfort Food #1

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 107

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 Synopsis:

This is Part One in a brand-new serial from bestselling author Cathy Bramley.

Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend is about to land her right back in the heart of the kitchen! The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and has rather gone off the boil. It needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up . . .

But as Verity tries to balance stirring up publicity, keeping their top chef sweet and soothing her aching heart, will her move to Plumberry prove to be a sheer delight . . . or a recipe for disaster?

Rating: 5/5

 

Oh wow, I haven’t even realised how much I am missing Cathy’s writing! I could probably read her books on daily basis, so dear Cathy, please never stop writing novels! I don’t know how the author does it but each time I start a new book or new series by Ms Bramley I immediately feel at home and I feel as if I had known the characters for a long, long time already – the warmth of the writing just envelopes you and really, the stories are like an evening out with best friends – brilliant, funny, comforting and relaxing.

In „Food, Glorious Food” (and believe me, there is a lot of food, glorious food in this first part, so well described that I actually felt my mouth watering, even though I am relatively resistant to such things, but the author has really excelled herself in describing these lovely, gorgeous canapés and some other food. Glorious food. Yes, I am aware I used the word „glorious” already. But it is glorious) we are introduced to the main character, Verity Bloom, not in her best moment to be honest, and let’s only say it involves unfaithful boyfriend, her job and she’s still grieving after the very unexpected death of her best friend Mimi. The story of Verity is so natural and realistic, sounds so believable and she’s another fantastic character from Cathy Bramley (and ditto for the whole cast of characters in „Food, Glorious Food” – I immediately connected with all of them and am already feeling like a part of their gang), and I loved seeing her coming back to life she enjoyed before, to blossoming and starting to laugh again.

The story has me hooked from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. Of course, as usual, it ended with a cliff – hanger, but there is also more, as it introduces us to two potential love interests for Verity, even though she doesn’t think about love, but come on, we know she’s going to fell in love some time, right? The descriptions of the cookery school, inside and outside, and of the village were, as always, full of lovely details, vivid and springing to life. There were characters that you can relate to, it was down – to – earth and – again! – the cover is so incredibly gorgeous and inviting! Loved it and can’t wait for more!