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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

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge #Review


Welcome to the Publication Day celebrations for Samantha Tonge's latest novel, Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage.

A new start can come from the most unexpected places...

It's been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren't.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it's time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were... starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she's never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

My Thoughts

The central character of Lizzie Lockhart is a quirky, individual who certainly takes you with her through the story, as she unravels the mystery at the heart of Streamside Cottage. The outcome is a surprise but I enjoyed testing out a few theories along the way. Lizzie's childhood set her apart from many her own age and her parents' protective instincts seem to have gone into over-drive. Lizzie comes to understand some of their feelings. In fact. family is at the heart of the novel.

    The cottage itself seems to be a character in its own right but Lizzie feels a link to it from the start. As she begins to rescue it from its neglect, she realises that there is a profound mystery hidden within its walls. Lizzie is such a warm character, who has forged for herself her own path, apart from others' expectations. I certainly found out quite a lot about the art of tattooing from the novel, which is an intrinsic part of Lizzie's life. There are some entertaining characters who you meet along the way, especially the rather furtive villagers who brave the cottage in search of her talent. With a gentle romance and a hopeful, starting over plot, this is an entertaining read, as expected from this talented writer.

In short: Secrets from the past have surprising results.

About the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.

She has sold many dozens of short stories to women's magazines.

In 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.

In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

In 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.

In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

You can follow Samantha here: Twitter   |  Facebook   |  Website
  |  Instagram

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US   |  Kobo

Thanks to Samantha Tonge, Aria and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the event.


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