A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

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Please note: The Cover Image leads to a universal Amazon Link for the book

What they say: There’s no place like home…

Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister…

Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?

Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!

An uplifting romantic comedy about sisters, friendship and the love of good food.

The Review: You’ll remember last year I reviewed Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh. I spoke of how she was one of my favourite bloggers (see her blog here )  and someone who was amazingly helpful when I started on the books scene, both as an author and blogger. It was a relief that someone so nice could put out such beautiful, descriptive writing (horrible when you have to give a bad review to someone you think is so amazing) and I have to say firstly not much has changed, with Ms Pugh’s blog still being one of my first to go to. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, more relief came with A Home In Sunset Bay. This was a beautiful, beautiful book. The descriptions of scenery, locations and people popped, inspiring both the blogger and the writer in me:

“Mia could see a smattering of white blobs, sailboats she realised, which looked as if an artist had smudged them into the distance with her fingertip.”

And so it was back to the wonderful homeliness that Ms Pugh previously delivered in Return to Bluebell Hill with the vivid descriptions that made you feel like you were gazing at a painting instead of reading a book. We meet Mia Chapman and are introduced to Sunset Bay, a picturesque seaside town, where Mia runs Dolly’s Diner, passed down to her by her beloved Grandma Dolly. The establishment is a lively, vibrant diner that jumped out of the pages of the book and contrasted nicely with the next premises we met, the fantastic Honeysuckle cottage (I am a sucker for cottages that as gorgeous as this!). I also have to mention the snippets of Grandma Dolly’s life and love that were given to us, which were so touching.

I liked Mia straight away, paying close attention to the fact that she perhaps was not as satisfied with her life as she made out. Another person not in the ‘satisfied,’ camp, by a long shot, was Laurie, who had decided it was time to get out of London. The chain of events that lead to her escape was excellently done, and I loved her arrival at Sunset Bay, but I’m afraid I hit two glitches here. Firstly the mystery surrounding their ‘feud,’ when resolved, was disappointing, I suspect I wanted more of a bang in the reason as to why they were fighting. The other was that the ‘baddie’ of the book was overdone, and in the same way I started to find the way we were constantly told how amazing Mia was a little bit jarring. That being said I flew through the book so quickly, reading over two nights and not wanting to put it down. The romance was gorgeous, the pacing and the time span the book took place over perfect, and I really enjoyed it all, including the ending, which was a nice surprise. Told in third person, from the viewpoint of both main characters, it was an easygoing read which I really enjoyed and have to admit, I’ll be heading back to read more of Ms Pugh’s work in Down On Daffodil Lane .

Rating: 4/5

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The wedding date by Jennifer Joyce

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What they say: Will you…date me?

Delilah James, singleton and smoothie-addict, has six months to find a date for her oldest friend’s wedding. Oh, and to prove to her ex, best man Ben, that she has totally moved on since he dumped her out-of-the-blue nine months, eight days and seventeen hours ago…

So, with her two BFFs playing Cupid, Delilah launches herself into the high-tech, fast-paced and frankly terrifying world of dating. Luckily there’s the hot new guy at work, Adam Sinclair, to practice her flirting on – even if, as a colleague, he’s strictly off-limits!

Yet time’s running out and date after disastrous date forces Delilah to tell a little white lie – and invent a fake boyfriend! But will her secret crush on Adam ruin everything? Does she even care about Ben anymore? And is it too late to untangle her web of lies and take a real date to the wedding…?

NOTE: As always the cover image leads you to a universal Amazon buy link for the book.

The Review: I don’t think I need to remind you how much I loved A beginners guide to salad (see gush here) and so I was very excited to read this. Although it didn’t make quite the impact A Beginners Guide did, I really enjoyed it. We meet Delilah James, aged twenty four, who, as you see above, has six months to find a date for her friend’s wedding. Fairly early on in the book I remembered Ms. Joyce’s easy, warm style of writing and smile out loud comedy and I was happy out.
In fact, some of the comedy was beyond genius, her and her friend’s non existent use of the gym, the comparisons between her place of work:Brinkleys biscuit factory, and McVities, and just the general tone of the book which was so satisfying.
The dates were mixed, mostly I enjoyed them, but in places I was reminded how much younger Delilah is than me and I found it all a bit more difficult. Age shouldn’t really be an issue with books, but at thirty five, and as an avid reader of chick lit, a genre which pretty much needs you to connect in some way with the protagonist, I’m finding a bit more of a divide and when there is I can’t relate to the characters as much. The only other issue I had was with the text messages that were shown at the beginning of each chapter. Although some of these were genius, and some hilarious, there was the odd one that could be confusing.
I loved that there were so many things going on in the book, plans to be implemented for work, and other love stories all running alongside Delilah’s attempts to find an acceptable date.
There are many nods to various shows that I watched in my teens, such as That 70s show and Dawson’s Creek, which give the book a comfy familiar feeling. The characters were great, very vivid and real, and I really enjoyed it. All in all I’d definitely recommend. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5