Book Review: Holiday In The Hamptons.

hamptonsIf Holiday In The Hamptons was a big family-sized bar of chocolate I would have gobbled the entire thing on my own in one sitting, with not even a tiny bit of remorse.

Luckily, it’s a book and not chocolate – which means all of the enjoyment and none of the calories. Win win.

At the end of each of Sarah Morgan’s novels I always rush to her website to try and find out when the next one will be available as I’m always desperate to read it.

Holiday in the Hamptons, teased in New York, Actually (five stars from me) was no exception.

This time we follow the story of Fliss and Seth, who have unfinished business.

Here’s the blurb:

The perfect summer escape…?

Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in 10 years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in The Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the perfect way to escape her past…

Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…

By the way Fliss reacts to even the thought of seeing Seth again, we know there is more to the story than meets the eye, and the gradual unraveling of exactly what happened makes for compelling reading.

It’s an emotive tale and loyal, brave, troubled Fliss is such an interesting character, it was lovely to see her gradually open up.

She’s not the only one though, Seth is the perfect hero and Fliss’s grandmother and her friends provide some genuinely laugh out load moments.

This story is number five in the From Manhattan With Love series but works as a standalone too.

While I didn’t feel quite as invested in these two as I have other characters in the series, it was still a great read – absolutely perfect for the beach, I would say.

Now I’m off to the website to find out when I can read the story of Fliss’s twin, Harriet (I hope it’s soon).

Format: Kindle.

Price: £4.99.

My rating: Four and a half stars.

Thank you to HQ (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Book Review: Stuck With You.

stuckWhile the idea of being trapped in a lift fills me with terror (hello, claustrophobia), in her new book Carla Burgess has some how managed to make it seem a little less frightening – possibly even ever so slightly appealing.

Stuck With You sees Elena come face to face with her unrequited teenage love, Daniel, for the first time in years, in just this situation.

After getting over the initial shock and embarrassment, they spend the time waiting to be rescued getting reacquainted – and it’s clear she still has feelings for him (and it’s not all one sided).

Carla has hit the nostalgia jackpot with this book, which had me laughing out loud – and slightly cringing – at times because it sailed so close to some of my own experiences of unrequited young lust.

It is oh-so-romantic in places and makes me believe in second chances and true love.

Here’s the blurb:

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen!

Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck.

And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered…

While I might not have saved any chewed pen lids or written poetry about my teenage crush (I did walk by his house several (million) times), I totally remember moping about just the way she describes because he failed to acknowledge my existence.

When you read a story like this, it’s hard not to think ‘what if?’ and that made me smile long after the book was finished.

I so wanted it to work out for Elena and Daniel even though, like Elena’s best friend Rachel, I did wonder whether he was too good to be true.

I think this one is even better than Carla’s first book, Marry Me Tomorrow, which I also loved (and I was delighted to see Sam and Emily make a brief appearance in her second novel).

Carla has such a warm, easy to read style that I didn’t really want this book to end while at the same time I was desperate to know if it all worked out.

On those occasions when I can’t avoid a lift, I’m going to think about this story and hope it takes my mind off things.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Five stars.

My thanks to HQ Digital for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.

Book Review: The Cornish Escape.

lilygrahamMy anguished howl of “nooooo” as I finished The Cornish Escape, by Lily Graham, was so loud I had to go and check I hadn’t woken Freya who was sleeping in the next room.

I simply couldn’t help it – it wasn’t that I didn’t like the ending so much as I wanted the book to carry on and on and on.

The description on the front cover “A beautiful summer romance to warm your heart” really doesn’t do it justice because it’s so much more than that.

For a start it’s two romances, albeit set in different eras, as well as a detective story with a hint of the paranormal all rolled into one.

I’ll tell you what else it is; a cleverly written, wonderfully romantic, compelling read, featuring love lost and found, set against a beautiful Cornish backdrop, which really comes to life on the page.

Here’s the blurb:

Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary.

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?

I was caught from the very first, beautifully written, paragraph of this book and it just carried on getting better. My heart swelled as the love stories developed and then ached when both romances faltered. I was definitely invested – so much so that by the end I was ready to sell up and move to Cornwall.

The characters, past and present, felt like old friends quite soon into the story. Looking back now I can appreciate the plot is incredibly well-planned and probably took a lot of work but while reading it flowed so well, I was carried along as if floating on a summer sea breeze.

There were enough clues to maybe guess how it would end but it still came as a bit of a shock – hence my reaction. I realise now it was the perfect way to finish (no spoilers, promise) but I would have been quite happy with another chapter at the time.

Lily Graham’s first two books have definitely won a place in my TBR pile for the summer.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Four and a half stars.

Thank you to Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.