Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli by Portia MacIntosh
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publishing Date: 18th May 2018
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
Lily Holmes is ready for a fresh start. And there’s no better place to begin again than the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.
All Lily wants to do is focus on making her new deli a success and ensuring her son’s happiness. Not the postcard creeping out of her handbag, and definitely not finding a new man in her life!
But this isn’t going to be as easy as she first thought. The town is in uproar about the city girl who’s dared to join them and she’s fighting a battle at every turn.
Perhaps with a little help from the gorgeous cider farmer next door, she may be able to win them over, but her past secrets threaten to ruin everything…
The brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Jo Watson and Tilly Tennant.
In “Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli” we meet Lily, leaving behind her life in London and moving herself and her 8 – year – old son Frankie to Marram Bay in Yorkshire to start a new job and a new chapter in her life. She has high hopes for this move and she’s determined to make the opening of the new deli, which is a part of a chain of YumYum delis that she’s been working for, a success, as well as her private life. She hopes that she can make Apple Blossom, the cottage she’s moving into, as well as Marram Bay, her new home. However, the residents of Marram Bay have other ideas… But fortunately, not all of them…
Portia paints a great cast of supporting characters, they’re colourful and different, we have the really good ones and the not so good ones, those that knows everything and those that only wait for their chance. They were authentic, quirky and amusing. They were a real delight to get to know, and next to Lily we have also two significant male characters, and the difference between them was brilliant. Ex – boyfriend Nathan was a hippie who wanted to save the world trying to convince everyone to start eating vegan and who only watched reality shows on Lily’s coach, and then we have Alfie, the charming, handsome and much more normal neighbour.
I loved how determined Lily was and she was not the one to be beaten, oh no. She was a really likeable character and it was easy to fell for her from the very beginning. She has to juggle single motherhood and her career, moving to a new town with unhappy locals, then an unexpected visit from her ex and a delicious Alfie from the farm in the neighbourhood, and she does it daintily and with humour, and it is so normal that she has ups and down on this journey. She was strong and she didn’t let other people to belittle her. And well, her life was a little challenging, right, what with also an eccentric mother who pretended to be her daughter’s sister and the arrival of an ex and a potential romance as well.
My heart went also to Frankie, Lily’s son, when the hostility of the locals turned out to be directed not only to Lily, but extended to Frankie as well. It was so, so sad to see how he’s treated at school, how nobody wants to be his friends because of his mum and her plan to take the jobs from the local by opening the new deli. It’s no wonder that he felt so isolated and that he spent so much time on his own. I fell for him completely and empathised with him.
Yes, it was a tad predictable read, to be honest, but well, you could expect it from this kind of a book, and it was written in such a lovely way that it didn’t bothered me for a single moment that I know what’s going to happen. Yes, the author has tried to stir the things a little by adding a very unexpected visit, and she has managed to create a little havoc, and it was brilliant. But there are also some twists and turns that keep the pace and make the reading truly gripping.
Altogether, it was a funny, delightful and uplifting novel, perfect for the summery days. It was full of tricky situations, unexpected events, tender moments and humour. Altogether, it was all I have expected from Portia MacIntosh’s book, full of friendship, challenges, happiness, romance and family. She also touched upon some heavier issues, such as bullying for example, and she’s written about it with great compassion and gentleness, and she brilliantly captured mentality of a small town and what makes the people tick. Recommended!