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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

Christmas Eve at Cranberry Cross by Kate Forster #Review


How delightful to escape to Cranberry Cross with Kate Forster for her latest frstive romance, Christmas Eve at Cranberry Cross which was published by Aria on 29th September. 

An absolutely charming and uplifting love story perfect for fans of Jo Thomas, Trisha Ashley and Jessica Redland.

No one loves Christmas more than editorialassistant Eve Pilkins.But when her boss hits her with a huge deadline on Christmas Day, it looks like Eve's favourite time of the year might be cancelled. Armed with as much enthusiasm as she can muster, she travels to the coldest part of England, taskedwith ensuring brooding author Edward Priest finishes his latest novel on time.

The festive spirit at Cranberry Cross is as dark as the house itself; without a fairy light in sight, it looks like only a Christmas miracle can save this one. Will Eve be up to the task?

Don't miss out on this lovely story of hope, forgiveness, and the true meaning of Christmas. From the bestselling author of Starting Over at Acorn Cottage.

Readers love Christmas Eve at Cranberry Cross!


Wow! This book totally surprised me and blew me away. I became so enthralled I couldn't stop reading... The twists and turns in this book really hooked me and the story slowly unfolding and shaping was lovely to read.' NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐

'What a smashing story, very Christmassy and festive. Made me think of mince pies and cake. This story just carried me along quickly. A sweet read.' NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'A lovely Christmas story with lovely characters. A mish-mash family and an editor living in the same home whilst working. Great read.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Beautiful book and it is so amazing, the story is so lovely and very enjoyable to read. I loved everything about this book.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Who doesn't love a Christmas story? Lots of family fun along with the expected problems. The one highlight was a horrible boss getting their comeuppance. Would thoroughly recommend a read.' NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


 My Thoughts

Well on the surface, this is a lovely, festive, uplifting read. There are lots of festive touches as Christmas approaches and some heart-warming family scenes. However, delve a little deeper and you will find some dark themes as poor parenting, depression, addiction all have their effect on the story. There are lots of layers in this story, as Eve tries to cajole Edward past his writer's block and then sets about editing his work. She has her own dreams for the future and has been at the mercy of a bullying boss for too long. I also appreciated the gothic references which chimed perfectly with a writer living in the isolated Hall.

    You are also shown two contrasting pictures of family life. Eve's family may not be well off financially but they are close knit and affectionate to each other. Her father has always supported his wife and being a father is very important to him. In contrast, you have the dysfunctional family of Edward Priest. Although he too loves his children and wants to be a good father, he has also been wrapped up in his own career and in some ways ignored their needs. With an absent mother who inflicted damage on the family, it takes Eve's clear-sighted take on listening to a child's needs to bring the family together. This is such an enjoyable read with plenty to make you think and enough romance to make you smile.

In short: can love conquer all?

About the Author

Kate Forster is a best-selling author of Starting Over at Acorn Cottage, The Perfect Retreat, Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace and many more books that she would want to read herself, so she wrote them. When not writing, Kate loves hanging out with family, friends, and her dogs. A dedicated houseplant lover, Kate also enjoys outdoorgardening and is the founder and moderator of one of largest online women's writing support groups on Facebook.

 You can read my review of Starting Over at Acorn Cottage here and Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace here


You can follow  Kate here: Twitter  |  Website  |  Facebook |   Instagram 
Book links: Amazon UK  |  Waterstones

Aria Books: Website  |  Twitter  |   Facebook  |  Instagram

 Thanks to Kate Forster, Amy Watson, Head of Zeus and Aria for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.            

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