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The Vintage Village Bake Off by Judy Leigh #Review

  Here we are with another amusing romcom by Judy Leigh . The Vintage Village Bake Off was published by Boldwood Books on December 4th. Now in his seventies, Robert Parkin is stunned to find himself the unlikely sex symbol of the village gardening club. Living in happy solitude with his cat Isaac Mewton in the Devon village of Millbrook, entertained by his mischievous chickens and goats, Robert has never figured out the rules of romance. But as the local ladies vie for his company, it soon becomes clear that Robert's Victoria Sponge cake is the lure, and as his baking prowess grows, so does his confidence. Cheesecakes, meringues, puddings, Robert can do it all, but his real masterpieces are his scones - ginger, rosemary, coconut, fruit, his recipes are inspired and soon come to the attention of the local media. Which county does the best cream tea - Devon or Cornwall? It's time for an age-old debate to be settled with a competition. Robert's sisters Bunty and Ha

Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas #Review #Giveaway

I am delighted to be part of the celebrations for Jo Thomas' latest novel, Coming Home to Winter Island. The ebook format was published on 31st October 2019 and it is out in paperback on December 12th. You can pre-order it here. 

I also have the chance for you to win a print copy of the novel. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

Wrap up warm and prepare to explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets. 

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas. 

Do you need to find out where you've come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby's singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It's time to go and see the grandfather she's never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won't be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought. 

There's an unexpected guest in the house and he's not planning on going anywhere any time soon ...

My Thoughts

This is a captivating read which invites you in and holds you there with some wonderful characterisation and a beautiful setting. From the moment Ruby arrived on her remote Scottish island, I was hooked. I loved the way the search for the unknown gin ingredients became a journey around the island and captured the essence of the community.  

    As Ruby discovers more about her family history, you feel the emotion which Jo has created. Ruby's growing relationship with Hector is so touching and Ruby sees her past through fresh eyes. Within the story there are some interesting themes. Living for the present and creating memories as you go, and the ability of music as a conduit to unlock those memories and emotions are striking threads which are illustrated through the narrative. Ruby has to come to terms with where her home is and what constitutes the feeling of family and belonging. 

In short: An endearing and comforting Winter story. Fabulous!

About the Author

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children. 

You can read my review of Jo's The Honey Farm on the Hill here

You can follow Jo here:  Twitter   |  Website   |  Facebook

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Jo Thomas, Headline Review and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out these great bloggers! 

Giveaway (UK only)

 To win a print copy of Coming Home to Winter Island, Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings

The giveaway starts on 13th November 2019. Closing Date 17th November 2019 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions –UK  entries only.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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