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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

Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar #Review


Today we are returning to Devon, to the fictitious village of Clove Lore which is loosely based on Clovelly. This is the second in the Borrow a Bookshop series by Kiley Dunbar.  Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop was published on September 1st by Hera. You can read my review of The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday here.

 'Tis the season for finding love… and the perfect book

With just two weeks until Christmas, everything in Clove Lore should be perfect. But the latest holidaymaker to the Borrow a Bookshop is feeling far from festive…

Icelandic ex-bookseller Magnús Sturluson might be surrounded by love stories in the Bookshop, but he’s nursing a sadness that not even fiction can fix.

When Alexandra Robinson finds herself stranded in Clove Lore, she finds a safe place to hide from heartbreak. After all, all that’s waiting for her at home is a cheater boyfriend and the memories of her parents. As Alex finds herself embraced by the quirky village community, she finds her tough exterior thawing – and as she grows closer to Magnús, she finds an equally soft heart under his gruff shell.

It seems that Clove Lore is working its magic once again – until a great flood on Christmas Eve brings devastation in its wake. It’s up to Magnús and Alex to batten down the hatches and help bring the village back together again, while also introducing the locals to the Icelandic tradition of the jólabókaflóð – Yule book flood – where families and friends gather on Christmas Eve to exchange books and read together.

But can Magnús and Alex truly rescue the ruins of the village, and salvage their Christmas spirit? Or is there another complication lurking even closer than they thought?

 My Thoughts

Anyone who loves books will love the idea of spending two weeks in a bookshop in an idyllic village in Devon. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this series so when I saw that Christmas going to be added to the mix, I was delighted. I wasn't disappointed. Magnus is the latest inhabitant of the shop and when he arrives you know that he must have a sad story in his back story. Will the bookshop weave its magic? Magic certainly seems to be in the air when Ale is swept ashore like a mermaid washed up from the sea. Both of these sad people have their own story and both are looking for some hope.

    All the inhabitants we met in the first story are here to be reacquainted with. Some are eccentric and quirky but they are all welcoming and warm. As the festive season gets nearer, anticipation in the village grows. However, there are storm clouds on the horizon and Winter is setting in. This is a warm and uplifting read, just right to snuggle down with. May you find it in your Christmas stocking!

In short: beautiful Devon and beautiful books 

About the Author

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter's Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.


Kiley's five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter's Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer's Night (2019).

Social Media Links –

'Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page' on Facebook

website and newsletter: 

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 Book links:  Amazon UK   |  Kobo     |  Apple  |  Hive 

Thanks to Kiley Dunbar, Hera and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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