Novella Review: Autumn at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

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Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: As autumn starts to draw in and the nights are getting darker, the fire is lit at the Star and Sixpence and Nessie and Sam start to turn their thoughts to the annual bonfire night. The village comes together every year to celebrate the turning of the season and this year is going to be extra-special.

The Review:

I may as well get started by presenting the reviews so far to get you up to speed (I would say these can be read as standalones but they’re too nice so you may as well go back!):

Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence

Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence

Summer at the Star and Sixpence

or you could preorder A Year At The Star and Sixpence which is out 29th December 2016 and read them all as one lovely book (I am quite jealous you can do this;)

Now I have to admit, I always knew the Autumn edition of this gorgeous series would be for me. I adore Autumn. We live in the country and I’m one of those annoying people who tells their kids to savour the splendour of the autumnnal colours when they grace the trees lining the roadway approaching our abode (I don’t say it in this way, it’s more like ‘LOOK’-in the manner of a school teacher- ‘now how lucky are you to live on a road that has such amazing colours on it, look at the reds, the golds, the oranges, isn’t t so beautiful, aren’t we lucky, well AREN’T WE?’ Yes I suck a bit of life out of it, but now they have started looking they do appreciate it!) , and who takes pictures of said trees before they lose it all. And so, when I approached this book, I knew I would bask in the whole gloriousness of the imagery, and bask I did. I can tell you now that this book matched ‘Snowdrops’ for me, which had been my favourite book of the Star and Sixpence so far, and perhaps surpasses it.

The romance was ramped up, with a possible love triangle, that didn’t seem to be an equal triangle, but was there all the same. Owen and Nessie made me smile and say ‘aw’ out loud (it was fine, there was nobody around!) and in general I actually began to wonder if this was the final installment (it wasn’t, the Christmas edition, available here , is the ending and I think this will be my Christmas sit down and chill out book for this year!).

As always, the goings on of the pub put me right there, as well as the locals’ involvement in the book, this time with Ruby taking my breath away. There was the added drama of Patrick, Nessie’s soon to be ex-husband, turning up, worryingly with an interest in The Star and Sixpence. Sam, as always, was on fire, and made me smile regularly, and nod along. Nessie, being Nessie, was still a bit negative for me, but it didn’t impact too much to be honest. As for the ending, a boulder formed in the bottom of my stomach that made me want to go trawling the streets for someone who had read it, asking ‘Can you believe that just happened? Can you?’ (This was where I flew to Amazon worrying that we had just been left, but we hadn’t. Phew!)

This was one of my standouts for 2016, with drama, smile out loud moments, heartache and all round gorgeousness that put Holly Hepburn as a force to be reckoned with on the romantic comedy scene.

Rating: 5/5 (if I could unread it so that I could let it all wash over me again I would!)

 

 

Novella review: Summer at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

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Length: 80 pages

Note: The image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The perfect summer novella for all fans of Cathy Bramley and Scarlett Bailey.

When sisters Sam and Nessie left the city lights to take over The Star and Sixpence pub in Little Monkham, little did they realise they’d be taking on the villagers too… 
 
Thrown in at the deep end with a wedding to organise at the same time as launching their new hotel rooms, the last thing they need is Sam’s past catching up with them.
 
As the scandal strikes, the only question is will the villagers stick their necks out for two relative newcomers? Or will Franny, the terrifying postmistress, see them gone for good… 

The Review: I have to start by apologising for posting a Summer book so late in the year, I know it bugs a lot of people to see for example Christmas reviews in Summer, and said people are possibly shaking their head at the sheer gall of me posting a Summer review when the nights have turned cold, the clock is gone back, and the leaves on the trees, are not only donning their Autumn finery, but also starting to lose it, so sorry, but anyhoo, here we go.

You know when you see an ad for a sequel and you hear ‘Theyyy’rre back!’ and there’s much clapping and excitement? Well this is how I felt when I got back to Sam and Nessie, smack bang in the middle of renovations at the Star and Sixpence (read my reviews of Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence here and Valentine’s Day at the star and sixpence here). As usual there’s a race against time to get their charming establishment ready for an occasion, this time a wedding, with everyone doing their best of pull together to get the job done. What I love about these books is that we were invited in as if we were a resident of Little Monkham with the level of detail of both people and events making me feel like I was right there. I suppose this naturally leads to the characters, who I always feel are nicely varied, and I warmed to them all over again, in particular Franny, who surprised everyone with some unexpected opinions and a lovely speech. A ‘baddy’ presented themselves also, brilliantly done, which gave us THE insight into Sam we’ve been waiting for. I’ve always loved Sam, and this helped me understand her even more, however it did shine more of a light on Nessie also, by contrasting Sam’s vibrancy with her negativity, which was a little too much sometimes, although not enough to take away from the beautiful romance that raised its head once again.

I really enjoyed this book. I settled into it so quickly, reading on with interest to watch the glorious romance, drama and fun unfold. I’d love to tell you I can’t wait for the Autumn installment, but actually I’ve read it so I’ll be bringing you that installment on Wednesday (hint: I can’t wait to write this review!!)

Rating: 4/5