Skip to main content


A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Summer at the Ice Cream Cafe by Jo Thomas #PaperbackLaunch #REPOST #Book Review

Today is a blogger event day to celebrate the Paperback Publication of Jo Thomas' Summer at the Ice Cream Cafe. To join in, I am reposting my review from its release.

The digital version was published on April 27th and the paperback on June 8th. 

A dream home

Beca Valentino is ready to escape the city. When she sees the perfect house for sale in her hometown, it seems like fate. Is this her chance to build the foster family she dreams of, on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast?

A big mistake?

Returning home isn't as easy as she thought, however. Her family's beloved ice cream café is gone - turned into a soulless wine bar by her hateful ex-boyfriend. Reconnecting with her oldest friend, fisherman Griff, isn't straightforward either. And when, instead of the children she expected to take in, two wary teenage boys appear on her doorstep, Beca fears she's made a terrible mistake.

A recipe for change

But an old family recipe book is just the inspiration she needs. Soon, with a little help from friends old and new, Beca is selling mouth-watering homemade gelato from a pop-up café on the beach.

Then disaster strikes. Will the Valentino family legacy be lost forever? Or can Beca create a new recipe for happiness?

 My Thoughts

This must be the ideal Summer read. Set in Pembrokeshire, you can almost hear the sea as you read it and taste that salty sea air. It has a nostalgic feel for anyone who remembers beach holidays in Wales when they were younger as I do. Beca has returned to her childhood village with a plan to create her own home and give something back to society. Surprised to find herself feeling like a visitor rather than a local she looks for all the elements which made it home. As the story develops you see her working out how to integrate back into the place she loves. You also feel for the loss she feels when she remembers her family.

    There are some heartwarming and emotional moments in the story but also some genuinely funny episodes, mainly because of the boys she fosters. With a slow burn romance always in the background, this made for a story I loved reading and I was genuinely sorry when I came to the last page. Full of heart, with sone lively characters and humour, it makes you want to go off in search of that delicious gelato. 

In short: sunny days and ice cream delights 

About the Author

JO THOMAS worked for many years as a reporter and producer, including time at Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. Jo's debut novel,The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller and won both the RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the Festival of Romance Best eBook Award. Her recent book Escape to the French Farmhouse was a #1 bestselling eBook and in every one of her novels Jo loves to explore new countries and discover the food produced there, both of which she thoroughly enjoys researching.  

Jo lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and three children, where cooking and gathering around the kitchen table are a hugely important and fun part of their family life.

You can read my review of Jo's The Honey Farm on the Hill here 
Coming Home to Winter Island here  Escape to the French Farmhouse here and Finding Love at the Christmas Market here, Celebrations at the Chateau  here Retreat to the Spanish Sun  here
You can follow Jo here:  Twitter   |  Website   |  Facebook

Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Jo Thomas, Transworld and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the event. 




Popular Posts