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Second Chance Summer by Phillipa Ashley #Review

  I an delighted to be part of the celebrations for Phillipa Ashley's Summer novel, Second Chance Summer which was published by Penguin on June 6th. From the moment Lily Harper arrives at a remote retreat on the breath-taking Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation - and her thriving business. Slowing Down simply isn't in her vocabulary, and so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous but dour Sam who runs the retreat. Just as Lily is about to give up and leave, disaster strikes, and she is involved in an incident that changes her perspective on everything. Lily is no longer sure she wants to return to the life she thought she loved. But will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance? Praise for the Author ‘Full of genuine warmth and quirky characters’   Woman’s Own ‘Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!’ Jill Mansell ‘Utterly glorious … one of the freshest voices to emerge in women's fiction today’   Cl

Finding Summer Happiness by Chris Penhall #Review


Today we are featuring Chris Penhall's Finding Summer Happiness which was published on 18th May by Ruby Fiction. 

You won’t find happiness without breaking a few eggs ...

Miriam Ryan was the MD of a successful events and catering company, but these days even the thought of chopping an onion sends her stress levels sky rocketing. A retreat to the Welsh village of her childhood holidays seems to offer the escape she’s craving – just peace, quiet, no people, a generous supply of ready meals ... did she mention no people?

Enter a cheery pub landlord, a lovesick letting agent, a grumpy astronomer with a fridge raiding habit – not to mention a surprise supper club that requires the chopping of many onions – and Miriam realises her escape has turned into exactly what she was trying to get away from, but could that be just the thing she needs to allow a little bit of summer happiness into her life?

 My Thoughts

 In this story, you get to follow Miriam as she tries to work through her emotional issues following the death of her mother but also issues around the sale of her business. Her mental health is a work in progress as she travels to Pembrokeshire, looking for a respite from other people and the demands of daily life. Cutting herself off from other people turns out to be harder said than done. 

    There are some quirky characters who come and go into Miriam's new life and who are a source of gentle humour. You realise that Miriam is basically wanting to not let people down, despite her wishes to not get involved. There are hints of her childhood and you wonder just what links her past has with this area. This is a gentle read which draws you in and you soon find that you are rooting for Miriam and sympathetic to her vulnerabilities and concerns.

In short: Can Miriam rediscover her zest for life?

About the Author

Chris Penhall won the 2019 Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, for her debut novel, The House That Alice Built. The sequel, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun was published in August 2020. Her short story, Lily McKee's Seven Days of Christmas appears in Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction's Cosy Christmas Treats anthology.


Her new novel, Finding Summer Happiness, which is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales was published in May 2021.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio.

She also has her own podcast - The Talking to My Friends About Book Podcast in which she chats to her friends about books. Good title!

Born in Neath in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it!

A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

You can read my review of The House that Alice built here.

You can follow Chris here:  Website  |  Twitter Facebook

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  

Thanks to Chris Penhall, Ruby Fiction and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

                                                   Catch up with the rest of the tour



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