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Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeples #Review

  I am delighted to be on the tour to celebrate a return to Primrose Hall. Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeple was published by Boldwood Books on April 15th.   Primrose Hall is more than Jackson Moody and his fiancée Pia’s home – it’s the heart of the community. The Sunday craft fairs in the renovated stables are a popular draw for the locals and tourists alike, enticed by the beautiful surroundings of Primrose Woods as well as the irresistible goodies on display. But for Sophie Wright they’re a chance to forge a new life and a new business. After leaving behind a turbulent relationship, Sophie is starting again – and romance is the last thing on her mind. Drop dead gorgeous Tom Moody, Lord of the Manor Jackson’s newly-discovered older brother, is loving being a member of the Primrose Hall community. Content to muck in where he can be helpful, he’s just happy to be part of the family. But when tragedy strikes, Pia needs Tom more than he ever expected. And when Tom ne

A Second Hand Husband by Claire Calman #Review


Having enjoyed Growing Up for Beginners I am delighted to be joining in the celebrations for Claire Calman's latest novel, A Second Hand Husband, which was published by Boldwood Books on 16th June. 

Natalie and Carl are newlyweds, but the honeymoon period is over already.

Carl has just announced he has bought their first home at auction without telling Natalie where it is, never mind showing her a picture of it.

Natalie is horrified to discover that the dream home is in Little Wyford, mere minutes away from Carl’s ex-wife Antonia. And to make matters worse, Antonia’s palatial country mansion has a fully-functioning roof (and a heated swimming pool!), unlike the ramshackle cottage Carl has bought for them…

Antonia is Little Wyford’s Queen Bee, mistress of the book club, organiser of the Christmas Fair and leader of the ladies-who-lunch. No matter how hard she tries, Natalie just doesn’t fit in, and when Antonia insists on referring to Carl as ‘Our Husband’, Natalie’s dreams of happily-ever-after take another nose dive.

Second-hand furniture has much to recommend it, especially when doing up a country cottage, second-hand clothes can be ever-so chic, but second-hand husbands are proving to be a very bad idea indeed… Can Natalie ever escape the label of Wife Number Two or is she destined to share her husband forever?

Hilariously funny, wickedly witty, but with a heart of gold and a warmth and wisdom that are all its own, A Second-Hand Husband is Claire Calman’s tour de force.

 My Thoughts

One of the things I enjoyed about this novel was the fact that I was never completely sure what I thought about some of the characters until quite far into the story. In particular, Carl and his first wife, Antonia, were a little hard to read and the result of this was that I was also a bit wary about Natalie herself. Natalie turned out to have some issues from her childhood which went some way to explaining her suggestion that they move near to Carl's family. 

    The village Natalie moves to sounds idyllic on the surface but there are all sorts of local politics to be negotiated. It is a great source of humour and there are some genuinely funny moments as Natalie has to face spiders, missing roof tiles and a gate which is impossible to open. That is before she gets to meet the locals and runs the gauntlet of the main shopping street, hoping to avoid Antonia. With lively dialogue, vividly drawn characters and secrets from the past, this is a highly recommended read.

In short: Can a new marriage survive the family?

About the Author

Claire Calman is a writer and broadcaster known for her novels that combine wit and pathos, including the bestseller Love is a Four-Letter Word. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends. Her first book for Boldwood was published in June 2020.

You can follow Claire here:  Newsletter sign up  |  Twitter
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Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Claire Calman, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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