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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

The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall #Review #PortugueseParadiseBook3


Welcome to The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall. It was published by Ruby Fiction on June 28th. 

Layla is calm, in control and is definitely not about to lose her serenity for the man next door!

Surely it can’t be hard to stay peaceful at one of the oldest yoga and mindfulness retreats in the Algarve, surrounded by sea, sun and serenity? Mostly, owner Layla Garcia manages it – with the help of meditation and plenty of camomile tea, of course.

But keeping her grandparents’ legacy alive is stressful, and Layla has become so shackled to the work that, for her, The House on the Hill is fast becoming ‘The Fortress on the Hill’.

Then writer Luke Mackie moves to the villa next door, bringing with him a healthy dose of chaos to disrupt Layla’s plans, plus a painful reminder of a time when she was less-than-serene. But could his influence be just what Layla needs to ‘dance like no-one’s watching’ and have the fun she’s been missing?

 My Thoughts

Layla is an interesting character who has her own vulnerabilities and insecurities. Her relationship with her family since she was a young girl has affected how she lives her life quite profoundly and you are aware that her search for some calm in her life is a work in progress. The House on the Hill where she lives and works has become a fortress against the outside world and she has resisted change.

    When Luke moves next door, issues from the past are dredged up whether Layla wants them to be or not. He has his own issues to work through. Both Layla and Luke are likeable characters who you can feel sympathy for. The gorgeous setting in Portugal makes this a delightful summer read. Friendship and having the confidence to move forward and make changes are major themes in the story and the people you meet who are drawn to the yoga retreat add interest  as well.

In short: new possibilities in the sun

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. Both are available in paperback, e-book and audio and are part of the Portuguese Paradise series. Finding Summer Happiness, which is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales is available in e-book, audio and paperback, and The House on the Hill - A Summer in the Algarve, the third novel in the Portuguese Paradise series, is published in e-book on 28th June 2022.

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. and Finding Summer Happiness here

You can follow Chris here:  Website  |  Twitter Facebook

Book links: Amazon UK 

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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