Summer at the Cosy Cottage Cafe by Rachel Griffiths #amreading @authorRG

About this book…

Allie Jones loves her cosy cottage café in the picturesque village of Heatherlea. She has her independence, two grown-up children and two cute cats. Life is settled and she thinks she’s happy.

Author Chris Monroe has it all. Critical success, a luxurious London apartment, and the kind of jet-set lifestyle most people dream of. But something’s missing.

When a family bereavement throws these two old friends together, they begin to question the true meaning of happiness.

Love is in the air, but do Allie and Chris have room in their hands-on lives for more than a summer fling?
This is the first of four short stories in The Cosy Cottage Café series.

Coming soon:

Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café
Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café
Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

My review…

I must start by saying that this book has totally ruined my diet! I had been doing so well but the mention of all the delicious cakes and pastries throughout this storyline had me heading straight for the kitchen to make (and eat!!) my favourite carrot cake. But Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe is such a wonderfully warm and enticing book that I can forgive author Rachel Griffiths just about anything as I loved this book so much! EVERYTHING in it worked like a dream for me, the second chance storyline, the well drawn and instantly recognisable characters and that perfect setting. I mean who wouldn’t want to live and work in a stunning thatched cottage, surrounded by tea and cakes and the best friends a girl could have. I say girl, but one of the main reasons I adored this book so much was Allie, who was a mature and relatable woman in her 40s and I’m really loving the move towards celebrating older women in romantic fiction at the moment! 

Enticed into this novella by the most gorgeously designed cover, I found myself totally engrossed in Allies life very quickly indeed. Her marriage to Roger ended with his death 6 years ago and since then she has thrown herself into the business that she started after selling the family home. We get hints that all was possibly not well in their relationship but it’s not until the arrival of old friend Chris that we begin to find out more. Now I practically melted into my memory foam mattress when Chris arrived in the village, a gorgeous man in his 40s…….who was also an author!!! Cue lots of old fashioned swooning from me and another case of “fictional character crush”. You don’t get men like this in my local Costa! There were some awkward moments for the two of them once they meet again after so many years of not being in each other’s lives but also plenty of humour too. The scene in the pub with the reading glasses was hilarious and it was so easy to imagine it actually happening in real life as well.

Aside from Allies friends, the other characters that I fell madly in love with were her parents! What a wonderful relationship they had, both with each other and with their daughter. I want my marriage to be just like theirs when my husband and I get to their age (this is obviously dependant on me not looking for gorgeous man in their 40s in my local Costa as mentioned above!)

Rachel Griffiths has now shot onto my favourite author list and I am desperate to read Autumn at the Cosy Cottage Cafe, the next novella in the series. If it’s up to the same standard as this book I will be a very happy incurable romantic indeed. If you want a feel good story that will leave you with a silly smile (and plenty of crumbs!) on your face for the rest of the day, then this is the series for you. Highly recommended by me!

Many thanks to the author for my review copy of Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe: A feel good second-chance romance which is available to purchase now.

Summer with the Country Village Vet by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse

About this book…

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

My review…

I absolutely loved everything about this book-from that gorgeously summery cover to the sexy vet with “the eyes” and the village that made me want to pack up my bags and head up to M6 in search of this country paradise! I would even put up with the goose and I hate anything with wings!!

I have enjoyed The Tippermere series by Zara Stoneley in the past but I’m having so much more fun in Langtry Meadows. There is a well known quote at the front of this book “Never work with children or animals” but here the author has used both to great advantage in this sweetly seductive tale of Lucy the primary school teacher and Charlie the village vet. The scenes featuring the pupils at village school were some of the highlights for me, funny and perfectly observed. And Zara had obviously done her research when it came to the veterinary medicine so you could really feel her passion for a career I know she longed to follow herself.

This book feels like a warm summer breeze, gently warming your heart with its endearing characters whom you are desperate to see living their dreams and finding their happy ever after. But it’s not all fluffy lambs and sweetness as there is a hidden depth to the relationships formed here that triggered off an emotional response when I least expected it. At one point Charlie gives Lucy a gift with a difference and it transported me back to when I was a child, reminding me of lazy Summer days spent with my Nana and my senses went into overdrive! It takes some very clever descriptive prose to convince me that I can actually smell something that isn’t even there!

So be prepared for love, laughter and escapism in the sizzling summer sunshine but be warned, once you enter heavenly Langtry Meadows you may never want to leave! Highly recommended by me.

Many thanks to the publisher Harper Impulse for my review copy of Summer with the Country Village Vet (Love in Langtry Meadows, Book 1) which will be published on 26th May 2017

Meet the author…

Zara Stoneley

Zara Stoneley was born in a small village in Staffordshire and wanted to be James Herriot when she grew up. After completing an IT degree, working as a consultant, running a dog grooming business, teaching, and working at a veterinary practice she decided she had more than enough material to write several books even if she would never qualify as a vet!

She lives in Cheshire with her family and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Barcelona.

Zara is currently writing a new series, the first book ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, published by HarperCollins is available now – discover a hot vet and the most gorgeous country village ever!

Where you can find her-

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley