Title: Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier

Author: Helen Rolfe

Pages: 83 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Spring is coming to The Café at the End of the Pier… A feel good novella and the start of a brilliant new series…

Jo has settled into running her grandparents’ little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven. She’s given it a spring-clean and a spruce-up and she’s getting to know the locals and starting to enjoy life by the sea.

But when her Harry, her ex-boyfriend, turns out to be her new accountant, feelings from the past start to flood back. He’s here to help sort out the café’s finances, which Jo’s grandparents left in a mess, but Harry seems to have a hidden agenda and Jo isn’t entirely sure spending time with him is a good idea.

Jo throws herself into her new plans for the café – turning it into a real café of love by arranging blind dates for some of the regulars. Her own love life might be non-existent, but it doesn’t mean she can’t bring a little bit of magic to the locals who have made her so welcome. This time she chooses single-dad Ben and doctor Jess. Will they find love at The Café at the End of the Pier?

And will Jo manage to put aside her feelings for Harry in order to give the café the future she dreams of for it…?

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Part Two of the Café at the end of the Pier series was just as eventful and intriguing as the first. We welcome back Jo who seems much more settled and confident than she did in the first book. She is still intent on putting her own spin on the café that she has taken over from her grandparents and she is determined to make it a success…even if she may be having financial problems already.

What is especially great about Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier is that we learn a little more of Jo’s back story. We learn more about her mother and her siblings and also more about what drove her to move to Scotland all those years ago. Furthermore, familiar faces are popping up and appear to be trying to rock the comfy boat that the café has been for Jo.

I am really enjoying this series and I have already pre-ordered the third because I have to know what happens. Helen Rolfe, I am realising, is a master of slowly dripping tantalising information into the story to keep you hooked. Very clever.

If you want to make a clever decision today then that should be to download the first two books in the series and binge on them. They are perfect stories for those who love the comfort found in between the pages.

Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) please visit www.helenjrolfe.com.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

4 Stars

 

Title: First Date: Love and Regrets

Author: Vanessa Wester

Pages: 131 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

In FIRST DATE, when Alice gets invited to a ball on Christmas Day she is bowled over. No-one had ever asked her out on a date before, let alone invited her to a ball. However, the bubble bursts too soon. It turns out she is filling in for an ex-girlfriend. Even so, she puts on a brave face and heads for the ball. She can have a good time even if it does not lead to love. A ball is still a ball after…

The Review

First Date is a simple story that is kind of like Ronseal. It does what it says on the tin. It is about a first date. Alice, our protagonist, has never had a date before. She is I higher education and gets invited to the Christmas ball by one of the handsomest lads in her school. Furthermore, he is in a band. Double score. Except it doesn’t go according to plan.

Now, I should have liked this short story more than I did. It had all the makings of a really cute, romantic tale. However, Alice was a whiny protagonist. Her insecurities became insufferable and her transference of these insecurities onto her friends just made her seem like hard work. If she was an actual friend of mine she would be placed in the “High Maintenance” category.

Also, random threads of the story seemed to be thrown in for justification without being fully developed. Over all, it just wasn’t great story telling.

First Date by Vanessa Wester is available now.

For more information regarding Vanessa Wester (@vanessa_wester) please visit www.vanessawesterwriter.blogspot.co.uk.

2 Stars

Title: Weightless

Author: Michele Gorman

Pages: 64 Pages

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

The Blurb

Sometimes looks can be deceiving

Annabel’s not surprised when nobody recognises her at her 10 year reunion. The spotty fat teen nicknamed AnnaBall by the school bullies is long gone. But standing on the edge of the popular crowd, she still feels like that girl. That is, until Jack, her teen crush, starts flirting with her. Much to her amusement, he has mistaken her for Christy Blake, Annabel’s chief tormenter before she moved to France in their last year.

It’s just a bit of fun at first, letting Jack believe she’s Christy. After all, he was nuts about her before she said au revoir to England. And when he asks Annabel out, the fun becomes something even more interesting. The more they date the deeper they fall for each other. So what if Annabel has to fib a little to keep up the façade?

As the lies start compounding, and she realises that they’re falling in love, she has to tell him who she really is. But she’ll lose the love of her life if she does.

The Review

Weightless is a classic story of mistaken identity. Think a modern day Shakespearean tale.

At her 10 year high school reunion Annabel is shocked to find herself on the receiving end of her high school crush’s attentions. There is only one problem with this and that is he thinks she is someone else. Namely, Annabel’s old high school bully, Christy.

As Annabel’s web of lies gets bigger and bigger she finds herself falling more and more in love. Can she save the relationship or is she destined to lose the man she loves.

Weightless is a fun short story. It resonates with us all who dread going to the reunions with our high school classmates because we all want to impress. I think the lesson I have learned from Weightless is just to avoid reunions at all costs!

Weightless by Michele Gorman is available now.

For more information regarding Michele Gorman (@MicheleGormanUK) please visit www.michelegorman.co.uk.

For more information regarding Notting Hill Press (@NottingHillPR) please visit www.nottinghillpress.co.uk/NHP/HOME.html.

3 Stars

Title: Beach Combing

Author: Emma Lee-Potter

Pages: 63 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Impoverished art history student Lara Rawlinson thinks she has the perfect summer all mapped out.

She is spending the holidays in Cornwall, working for the dazzling film star Jago Dunlop. As Jago swans around film-sets and throws lavish parties, Lara is left entertaining his young son Alfie.

Then one day, sunbathing on the beach, Lara is distracted by a brilliant surfer showing off in the waves.

Inspired, she decides to take a surfing lesson and catches the eye of instructors Ed and Ollie.

But which surfer will capture her heart – smooth-talking Ollie or kind-hearted Ed?

And why are the pair at loggerheads one minute and the best of friends the next?

Lara is about to find out.

Beach Combing is a sparkling romantic novella that mixes sun, surfing and an entrancing Cornish seaside setting to create a summer read that is sweet, funny and heart-warming.

It is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green and Jilly Cooper – and for anyone who has ever admired a surf instructor from their deckchair.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Oh I do love reading a good beach story…in the middle of winter/early spring that still feels like winter….from the comfort of my warm bed…with a cup of tea. That is exactly what happened when I read Beach Combing by Emma Lee-Potter.

The story focuses on part-time au-pair Lara who is spending her summer away from university looking after a movie stars child. She is spending the summer in Cornwall and is enjoying the sights. Not just the cultural ones but the physical ones as well – mainly the hot surfers on the beach.

But like all good rom-coms there has to be some drama and boy does Lara get it. Her real life starts to resemble a movie and it is a fun frolicking romp!

Beach Combing was such a pleasant read. It was fun, frivolous and easy to read and enjoy. Top notch, Emma Lee-Potter!

Beach Combing by Emma Lee-Potter is available now.

For more information regarding Emma Lee-Potter (@EmmaLeePotter) please visit www.emmaleepotter.com.

3 Stars

Title: My Boyfriend’s Back

Author: Chrissy Olinger

Pages: 67 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

“I bring you tidings of… DAMMIT!”

With those few words, Jack Lynch’s world would change forever. The nerdy guy from Hammond High has returned for his twentieth reunion. He’s rich, successful, and ready to re-claim the girl who got away: Rori McLeary.

There’s just one small problem… Jack is also dead. But with the help of an angel in training, his mom, and the rockin’ body of his former arch-nemesis, Jack is still going to get the girl.

He has three days to convince Rori to love him. He’s got the body he never had, the brains he always had, and Norman the geek angel on his side.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Review

Ok, so let’s start off by saying that I found this story a bit silly. Normally, I like the silliness but this was silly in a way that I think was a bit beyond my silliness quota.

At first I found the characters (mainly John Lydon) to be insipid and the general feel of the book meant that redemption was going to go towards the bad guy. That we were going to start championing him. That is something I couldn’t really get on board with.

My Boyfriend’s Back did get better as the story developed. Chrissy Olinger managed to pull it back but I think with my initial dislike it wasn’t enough to make me love this short story.

My Boyfriend’s Back by Chrissy Olinger is available now.