Every Breath – Nicholas Sparks

Every Breath - Nicholas SparksThere are times when destiny and love collide. This story is one of them.

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. After six years with her boyfriend, she is no longer sure what she wants, and when her father becomes ill she heads to her family’s cottage at Sunset Beach in North Carolina to make some difficult decisions.

Tru Walls has been summoned across an ocean from where he was born and raised in Zimbabwe by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. In journeying to Sunset Beach, Tru hopes to unravel the mystery surrounding his mother’s life, but the letter will lead him in an unexpected direction

When these two strangers’ paths cross, their chance encounter sets in motion a heart-breaking story – one that will transcend decades, continents and the workings of fate.

Illuminating life’s heart-breaking regrets and enduring hope, Every Breath explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties-and asks the question: How long can a dream survive?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Every Breath is a book to treasure, poignant, magical, storytelling, with its message about seizing the opportunities in life and love. One of the things that we love about the writing of Nicholas Sparks is the cinematic way that he describes the locations in his story. In describing Sunset Beach in North Carolina where the Kindred Spirits Mail Box is located, you are transported to that beach, and the story immediately has a realism that underpins the beautiful love story. We loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Songs of Us – Emma Cooper

The Songs of Us - Emma CooperSynopsis: If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In The Songs of Us, Emma Cooper has created such a special book.Thoughtful, funny, bittersweet, moving, poignant, there are not enough adjectives to describe the content, just be prepared to experience every emotion.

Impossible to put down, the memory will stay with you long after you have finished the book, it will make you cherish those you love and appreciate the air that you breathe and the life that you live.

One of our top 10 reads this year! Highly Recommended!


The Drowned Village – Kathleen McGurl

The Drowned Village - Kathleen McGurlSynopsis: A village destroyed. An uncovered secret.

It’s the summer of 1935 and eleven-year-old Stella Walker is preparing to leave her home forever. Forced to evacuate to make way for a new reservoir, the village of Brackendale Green will soon be lost. But before the water has even reached them, a dreadful event threatens to tear Stella’s family apart.

Present day, and a fierce summer has dried up the lake and revealed the remnants of the deserted village. Now an old woman, Stella begs her granddaughter Laura to make the journey she can’t. She’s sure the village still holds answers for her but, with only days until the floodwaters start to rise again, Laura is in a race against time to solve the mysteries of Stella’s almost forgotten past.

Haunting and evocative, The Drowned Village reaches across the decades in an unforgettable tale of love, loss and family.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Inspired by a real life incident Kathleen McGurl has created an intriguing and evocative story with a mystery at the centre. The events are shared through the voices of different family members in different time periods. With beautiful descriptions of the scenery in The Lake District and a gentle romance, The Drowned Village is a delightful weekend read!


Summer of Secrets – Nikola Scott

Summer of Secrets - Nikola ScottSynopsis:

August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war. Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor. Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion. When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Nikola Scott is such a talented writer, her writing is so evocative and she has this wonderful ability to create powerful storylines steeped in poignancy and emotion, that make her books impossible to put down.

Summer of Secrets is another wonderful example, utterly compelling, brilliant writing. Highly Recommended!


A Girl’s Best Friend – Jules Wake

A Girl’s Best Friend - Jules WakeSynopsis: Welcome to your new cottage in the country – complete with grumpy vet, village gossip and a very muddy dog . . .

City girl Ella wants to take refuge in the country, lick her wounds and work out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. She certainly doesn’t want to have a four-legged house guest or anything to do with village life. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Wilsgrave have other ideas.

Settling in to her godmother’s house for a few months of R&R, Ella finds herself the reluctant babysitter of a badly behaved Labrador – and her plans of staying mainly indoors scuppered. But as she’s forced into wellies and into the village’s way of doing things, Ella meets people who make her think again about what she really wants out of life and love, starting with her new furry best friend . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In A Girl’s Best Friend, Jules Wake has created an utterly believable village, full of wonderful characters, coupled with an amusing account of village life. Add in a delightful dog and the potential of a happy ever after romance and you have an absolutely charming and delightful weekend read!


One Thousand Stars and You – Isabelle Broom

One Thousand Stars and You - Isabelle BroomSynopsis: Alice is settling down. It might not be the adventurous life she once imagined, but more than anything she wants to make everyone happy – her steady boyfriend, her over-protective mother – even if it means a little part of her will always feel stifled.

Max is shaking things up. After a devastating injury, he is determined to prove himself. To find the man beyond the disability, to escape his smothering family and go on an adventure.

A trip to Sri Lanka is Alice’s last hurrah – her chance to throw herself into the heat, chaos and colour of a place thousands of miles from home.

It’s also the moment she meets Max.

Alice doesn’t know it yet, but her whole life is about to change.

Max doesn’t know it yet, but he’s the one who’s going to change it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Isabelle Broom is a sublime writer, we have loved every one of her books and One Thousand Stars and You is another brilliantly written and researched novel. Set in Sri Lanka, her descriptions are so evocative that you feel utterly transported to the sights and sounds of the country. Woven within the narrative is an achingly beautiful romance.An absolutely stunning read, we loved it! Highly Recommended!


Summer on the Little Cornish Isles – The Starfish Studio – Phillipa Ashley

Summer on the Little Cornish Isles - The Starfish Studio - Phillipa AshleySynopsis: One summer can change everything

Poppy has always loved Cornwall. So when her boyfriend Dan suggests they leave their office jobs and take over the Starfish Studio on the Isles of Scilly, Poppy doesn’t need asking twice.

But things don’t go to plan when Dan dumps her, weeks before they’re due to move. Determined not to give up, Poppy accepts the help of local photographer Jake, her landlord’s grandson. But Jake is distracted by a loss from his past.

Can they turn the crumbling gallery into a success in time for tourist season? And will a summer on the little Cornish Isles mend just the studio or Poppy’s heart too?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Phillippa has created such a gorgeous story set in a beautiful location, that you can imagine getting off the boat and seeing The Starfish Studio waiting for you. This is such a delightful summer read. We loved it, utterly charming!


One Summer in Italy – Sue Moorcroft

One Summer in Italy - Sue MoorcroftSynopsis: When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved One Summer in Italy, set in a gorgeous location, brilliant storyline, great pace, absolutely wonderful feel good summer read.


Anyone for Seconds – Laurie Graham

Synopsis:  Life has been going downhill for ex-TV chef Lizzie Partridge ever since she spectacularly ended her television career by throwing a chocolate mousse at the host of Midlands This Morning. Her partner Tom has left her, Nigella and Jamie have got the cookery world sewn up, and now her cookery column – her last bit of work – has been axed. Surely the only way is up from here?

In a desperate bid for sympathy and attention she runs away, from the gas bill and the mouse under the sink, and in wet and wintry Aberystwyth she experiences a brush with her past and a glimmer of new prospects. And when her nephew’s girlfriend – a TV producer – has the bright idea to reunite her with her former nemesis and target of the mousse attack in a new show, it seems like things could be going Lizzie’s way again after all!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Anyone for Seconds, Laurie Graham’s characters are well drawn and set in a very current environment. Her book is funny, full of one liners, but yet there are also very poignant moments. A perfect summer read.


The Adults – Caroline Hulse

Synopsis: Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug.

Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit.

Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

But what happened? They said they’d all be adults about this..

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Like a ship with a motley crew The Adults is set for disaster with icebergs all the way. However with a mixture of moments of excruciating awfulness, humour and goodwill it finally reaches a safe harbour. A very funny debut novel.


Sunset over the Cherry Orchard – Jo Thomas

Sunset over the Cherry Orchard - Jo ThomasSynopsis: Jo Thomas’s new novel invites you to a special cherry orchard in Spain, where sunshine, romance and family secrets are the order of the day.

It’s time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat.

After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?

But it’s not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalucian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over.

As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sunset-over-Cherry-Orchard-Thomas/dp/1472245970/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533757893&sr=1-1&keywords=Sunset+over+the+Cherry+Orchard+-+Jo+Thomas

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love this book! Full of energy, atmosphere and passion. Like the flamenco dance the pace scorches through the book, making you want to get up and go there! it would make a wonderful movie. It’s such a great read you don’t want it to end!


Secret Legacy – Sara Alexander

Secret Legacy - Sara AlexanderSynopsis: Santina is spending her final days at her home, Villa San Vito, in the beautiful Italian town of Positano. As she decides the fate of the magnificent eighteenth century palazzo she must confront the choices that led her here.

In 1949, hoping to escape poverty, young Santina becomes housekeeper to a distinguished British major and his creative, impulsive wife, Adeline.

When they move to Positano, Santina joins them, raising their daughter as Adeline’s mental health declines. With each passing year, Santina becomes more deeply entwined with the family, trying to navigate her complicated feelings for a man who is much more than an employer while hiding secrets that could shatter the only home she knows . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Secret Legacy is one of those books that you want to read and almost want to read again, certainly the beginning as it links so seamlessly to the end. Poignant and full of hidden depths this is an absolutely stunning book, one of our must read books of the summer!


Wilde About The Girl – Louise Pentland

Wilde About The Girl - Louise PentlandSynopsis: After the year from hell, she’s pulled herself up and out of The Emptiness, her love life is ticking along nicely, single motherhood is actually quite fun and she is ready for whatever life throws at her. When a thrilling opportunity at work arises, Robin is more than excited to step up and show everyone, including herself, what she’s made of.

But her best friend Lacey is increasingly broken-hearted about struggling to conceive, and her daughter Lyla is starting to come out with some horrible attitudes she’s learning from someone at school. Is Auntie Kath hiding loneliness under her bubbly, loving veneer? And can Robin definitely trust the people she must depend on in her fab new role?

But Robin has her girls. And her girls have got her. Together they can handle any crisis. Can’t they?

Life is about to throw quite the curve ball at Robin Wilde, and she’ll need to make some pretty brave choices if she’s going to stop everything she cares about falling apart . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Wilde About The Girl, Louise Pentland has written a great story with humour, poignancy, warmth and honesty. This book has great pace, once started you just want to keep reading. A fabulous summer read!


The Secrets of Primrose Square – Claudia Carroll

The Secrets of Primrose Square - Claudia CarrollSynopsis: There are so many stories hidden behind closed doors . . .
It’s late at night and the rain is pouring down on the Dublin city streets. A mother is grieving for her dead child. She stands silently outside the home of the teenage boy she believes responsible. She watches . . .

In a kitchen on the same square, a girl waits anxiously for her mum to come home. She knows exactly where she is, but she knows she cannot reach her.

A few doors down, and a widow sits alone in her room. She has just delivered a bombshell to her family during dinner and her life is about to change forever.

And an aspiring theatre director has just moved in to a flat across the street. Her landlord is absent, but there are already things about him that don’t quite add up . . .

Welcome to Primrose Square

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In The Secrets of Primrose Square Claudia Carroll deals very sensitively with a number of issues for the four main characters. Claudia has written beautifully about the lives of the women and cleverly linked their lives together in a way that has created an uplifting story of warmth and friendship.

For more information about the inspiration behind The Secrets of Primrose Square head over to http://mycreativenotebook.co.uk for an interview with Claudia Carroll


An Italian Summer – Fanny Blake

Synopsis: An Italian Summer is a novel about friendship, family secrets and second chances, set against the backdrop of southern Italy.
Sandy is in her fifties, and at a crossroads in her life: she’s a teacher and respected by her pupils, but she feels she is being sidelined in favour of younger colleagues. So when her mother dies, leaving her a sealed envelope addressed to an unknown woman living in Naples, Sandy decides to head to Italy to resolve the mystery by delivering the letter herself. She books herself on to a small sightseeing trip from Rome to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, hoping to meet some like-minded people along the way. Who is the mysterious woman she is searching for? And will Sandy find friendship, or even love, along the way…?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a deeply satisfying book, set against a beautiful Italian backdrop, this novel has real depth. Fanny Blake’s characters are really well drawn, and the mystery letter creates a very intriguing storyline. An Italian Summer is an absolutely perfect summer read, be prepared to become completely absorbed!


A Match Made in Devon – Cathy Bramley

A Match Made in Devon - Cathy BramleySynopsis: Sometimes you have to play a part to realise who you really are…
Nina has always dreamed of being a star. Unfortunately her agent thinks she’s more girl-next-door than leading lady and her acting career isn’t going quite as planned. Then, after a series of very public blunders and to escape a gathering storm of paparazzi, Nina is forced to flee from London.

Her plan is to lay low with a friend in Devon, in beautiful Brightside Cove. But soon Nina learns that more drama can be found in a small village than on a hectic television set.

And when a gorgeous man (and his adorable dog) catch her eye, it’s not long before London and showbiz start to lose their appeal. Will Nina choose to return to the bright lights or has she met her match in Brightside Cove?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
A Match Made in Devon is full of humour and very current in its content. Originally in four parts and now complete in one edition Cathy has created a delightful village to escape to for a perfect summer read!


My Mamma Mia Summer – Annie Robertson

My Mamma Mia Summer - Annie RobertsonSynopsis:
One summer… One dream…
One chance to make it happen.

Laurel hasn’t taken a risk her whole life. Now as summer dawns, she’s going to do something that nobody expects of her. Laurel turns to her ABBA albums and her favourite film, Mamma Mia! She grabs her passport, dons her dungarees, and jets off to Skopelos for her own Meryl-inspired adventure…

Laurel books into the faded but charming Villa Athena and befriends its eccentric owner. As she explores the island’s famous sights, Laurel finds herself feeling strangely at home. So should she return to her life in London, or could this be where she truly belongs?

Buy now from www.amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We loved this book! Gorgeous location, brilliant storyline, great pace, absolutely wonderful feel good summer read,

Head over to http://mycreativenotebook.co.uk for an interview with Annie Robertson about her inspiration behind My Mamma Mia Summer and more.

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When the Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher

When the Curtain Falls - Carrie Hope FletcherSypnosis: In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . . 

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

Theatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint but it’s when the curtain falls that the real drama begins . . . 

Buy now from www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In When the Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher takes us behind the scenes to create a truly spellbinding novel, beautifully written, it will make you hold your breath as the story unfolds. A perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!


The Perfectly Imperfect Woman – Milly Johnson

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman - Milly JohnsonSynopsis: Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from the queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

Buy now from www.amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson is an intriguing book full of twists and turns and stories within stories within the plot, it’s impossible to predict where it may all end. An absolute delight, beautifully written, a perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!


Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay – Bella Osborne

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay - Bella OsborneSynopsis: Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Buy now from Amazon www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a delightful read, originally a four part serial now available in one book, we love the way Bella Osborne structures her books into a perfectly complete story. A heart-warming summer read! Highly Recommended!


Somewhere Beyond the Sea – Miranda Dickinson

Somewhere Beyond the Sea - Miranda DickinsonCan you fall in love with someone before you’ve even met?

Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes.


Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope.

Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it.

Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

Miranda Dickinson’s Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a sparkling tale of love, life and finding magic where you least expect it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/
 
Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Somewhere Beyond the Sea is such a beautiful and special book, it captures your imagination from the very first moment when Seren finds the half-finished seaglass star. Set in the most amazing location, which Miranda describes with such evocative detail that you can see the stars, feel the sand, breathe the air. We love the way that Miranda has structured the story from the two perspectives, and the poignant and sensitive way she portrays their emotions. This is a magical summer read. We loved it! Highly Recommended!
You can read our interview with Miranda in our sister magazine

How To Keep A Secret – Sarah Morgan

How To Keep A Secret - Sarah MorganSynopsis: This summer one family will discover that together, they can do anything.

Three generations of Stewart women, all with secrets to keep

Matriarch Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother but how can she ever tell her daughters the reason why? Lauren and Jenna are as close as two sisters can be and they made a pact years ago to keep a devastating secret from their mother but is it time to come clean? Lauren’s teenage daughter Mackenzie masks her own pain by keeping her mother at a distance. Her mother, aunt and grandmother keep trying to reach her but will it take a stranger to show her the true meaning of family?

When life changes in an instant, the Stewart women are thrown together for a summer and suddenly they must relearn how to be a family. And whilst unravelling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, it could also be their finest moment . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
You don’t just read a Sarah Morgan book you absolutely feel it; her descriptions in How to Keep a Secret of both the emotions of her characters and her locations, particularly Martha’s Vineyard are so realistic, that you feel the sand beneath your toes and you are utterly transported. We loved the multi-generational perspective, and this is such a rich novel, you won’t be able to put it down. A wonderful summer read! We loved it! Highly Recommended!

Ali McNamara –  Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van

Ali McNamara -  Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper VanSynopsis: Welcome to the gorgeous Cornish coastal town of St Felix – where a little bit of magical sparkle will bring a camper van back to life and ignite a romance.

When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall – some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.

But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it’s a sign: she’ll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.

 Buy now from Amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We always look forward to the latest book from Ali McNamara. We were particularly pleased to return to St. Felix,  the setting of one of our other favourites, The Little Flower Shop by the Sea, Ali’s descriptions of her locations are always so evocative, you are immediately transported to another place. We loved the intrigue of the storyline of the postcards and the interplay between the various characters old and new. Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van is a delightful magical read. We loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Hideaway – Sheila O’Flanagan

The Hideaway - Sheila O’FlanaganSynopsis: What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?

When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan’s world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves – and with no way of getting the answers she so desperately needs.

A distraught Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and bountiful orange groves – along with Pep, the winemaker’s handsome son – begin to soothe her broken heart, but only Juno herself can mend it.

Just when she begins to feel whole again another bombshell falls. Can Juno put the past behind her? And will she ever learn to trust herself again?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Sheila O’Flanagan always writes such satisfying novels. Every book is scripted with such care and authenticity that the reader is transported from their own world into the world created by her. The Hideaway is an absolute delight, beautifully written, a joy to read, you won’t want it to end. We absolutely loved it, a perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!

A Family Recipe – Veronica Henry

A Family Recipe - Veronica HenrySynopsis: What’s the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.
But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Veronica Henry is one of our favourite authors, and one of her many talents is the way that she creates the most satisfying conclusions to her books. In A Family Recipe this is particularly relevant as the story revolves around two periods of time and the lives of two women. Beautifully written, this exquisite book is totally absorbing and is a wonderful summer read. Highly Recommended!

Head over to http://mycreativenotebook.co.uk for an interview with Veronica Henry about her inspiration behind A Family Recipe and more.


Nineteen Letters – Jodi Perry

Nineteen Letters - Jodi Perry - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

Buy now at https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved Nineteen Letters, Jodi Perry has created an intriguing concept, beautifully written, will the letters work? Poignant and emotional, this beautiful book is something you need to keep reading until the very end. A perfect weekend read!


Pieces of Happiness – Anne Ostby

Pieces of Happiness - Anne Ostby - Hot Brands Cool PlacesA Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate

Synopsis: I’ve planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset . Why don’t you join me? Leave behind everything that didn’t work out!
When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women’s House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason.

Each of the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Pieces of Happiness is a beautiful book about five women in the later stages of their lives who end up living together in Fiji. The descriptions of the landscape is so evocative, it completely transports you to another place, where you feel the heat and the ocean breezes. This uplifting book is sensitively written and so totally absorbing about the five friends and the people that they meet in the local community that you feel part of their daily lives and challenges. A wonderful weekend read! Highly Recommended!


The Memory Shop – Ella Griffin

The Memory Shop - Ella GriffinSynopsis: Nora’s world has been turned upside-down. Escaping heart-break in London, she returns to her childhood home in Dublin where her grandmother’s beloved house is being sold. Nora has been left with an inheritance of treasured belongings, but no home of her own in which to keep them.

Unable to bear auctioning them off, Nora resolves to stay in Dublin and open The Memory Shop, a very special business which matches each gorgeous object with a perfect new owner. It’s not long before these objects begin to transform the lives of those they touch, creating new stories and new chances at happiness.

As Nora lets go of a lifetime of treasures, she unlocks tantalising clues to her grandmother’s mysterious past. But can she finally let go of her own…?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Memory Shop is a delightful absorbing read. The descriptions of the shop window are particularly imaginative, and realistic and we love the way the individual stories of the key characters are interwoven. This is a perfect book for the long Bank Holiday weekend.


The Pets at Primrose Cottage – Sheila Norton

The Pets at Primrose Cottage - Sheila NortonSynopsis: Emma Nightingale needs a place to hide away.

Fresh from the heartbreak of a failed relationship, she takes refuge In quiet Crickleford. And not before long – and quite accidentally too – Emma finds herself the town’s favourite pet-sitter, a role she isn’t certain of at first, but soon her heart is warmed by the animals; they expect nothing more of her than she is able to give.

The last thing Emma wants is for people to discover the real reason she is lying low, but then the handsome reporter from the local paper takes an interest in her story. Can Emma keep her secret and follow her heart’s desire…?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pets-at-Primrose-Cottage/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In The Pets at Primrose Cottage Sheila Norton has created a heart-warming tale of village life, written with humour, plenty of twists and turns and with a wonderful feel-good ending. Perfect for weekend reading.


Million Love Songs – Carole Matthews

Million Love Songs - Carole Matthews

 

Sunday Times best selling author  – another must read book!

Synopsis: After splitting up with her cheating ex, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She’s single again for the first time in years and she’s going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she’s looking for is a serious relationship.

Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he’s charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun, and yet Ruby can’t help feel that something is missing. Joe on the other hand is kind and attentive, but he comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

And though Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, is it what she needs to be truly happy? It’s about to get emotional in …Million Love Songs.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
One of our favourite authors, Carole Matthews always delivers a delicious read, and Million Love Songs is another delightful read. Full of humour and emotional dilemmas, this latest book is perfect to curl up with on the sofa in this unpredictable weather. Highly Recommended!


One Cornish Summer – Liz Fenwick

One Cornish Summer - Liz FenwickSynopsis: Against the beauty of Cornwall, a story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget…
When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful – Cornwall, and the house her family spent so many summers in. 
Lucy is having her own crisis, and seizes the chance to follow her aunt to Cornwall. Curious about what has driven Hebe there after so many years, she also has to battle with the secret she has kept since her family’s last summer there more than ten years ago. 

Both women will learn that memories live in our hearts and that sharing secrets can set you free… But can they find their way back to the things that are truly important to them? 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love all Liz Fenwick’s previous books, and One Cornish Summer is one of her best.  The descriptions of Cornwall are atmospheric and beautiful, and the story written so sensitively against this backdrop is compelling and poignant.

One Cornish Summer is a wonderful book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness – Laura Kemp

Surprising Acts of Kindness - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights – long enough to scatter her mother’s ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.
But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love.But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village – a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers…?

Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This book is an absolute delight, funny, uplifting and brilliantly written, a wonderful feel-good read which will warm your heart even on the coldest day. We loved it! Highly Recommended!


A Country Escape – Katie Fforde

A Country Escape – Katie FfordeSynopsis: Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. And now it looks as if her childhood dream is about to come true.

She has just moved in to a beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds, currently owned by an old aunt who has told Fran that if she manages to turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers.

But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows.

She’s going to need a lot of help from her best friend Issi, and also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour – who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive.

Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Katie Fforde is one of our favourite authors and we love the way Katie always invites the reader into the location and the lives of the characters. A Country Escape is another delightful opportunity to settle back and enjoy a wonderful escapist read. Highly Recommended!

Head over to http://mycreativenotebook.co.uk for an interview with Katie Fforde about her inspiration behind A Country Escape and the first steps when you create a novel.


The Year That Changed Everything – Cathy Kelly

The Year That Changed Everything - Cathy KellySynopsis: Three women celebrate their birthdays… 30. 40. 50. But this milestone birthday marks the start of a year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In this clever book Cathy Kelly has skillfully taken the major life events of three women and woven them into an utterly compelling read. Emotional, but ultimately heart-warming, this is a perfect weekend escape! Highly Recommended!


The Garden of Small Beginnings – Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings - Abbi WaxmanSynopsis: One moment Lili is arguing with Dan, her husband, the next he is killed in a terrible car accident right outside their family home.

Three years later and Lili has managed to resume her day-to-day life as a mother of two girls and a successful textbook illustrator. But despite her outward appearance, she feels an aching loss. However, when she is commissioned to illustrate a series of horticultural books, Lili is forced to take gardening class and the wilted roots of her life finally start to blossom. The class provides Lili with a new network of friends – friends with their own heartaches and problems – and, maybe, another chance at love . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Garden-Small-Beginnings-gloriously-heart-warming/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Despite the tragic circumstances at the start of this book, The Garden of Small Beginnings is a funny and uplifting novel, we loved the innovative way that gardening tips are woven into the story. As a debut novel this is a very talented and delightful Spring read. Highly Recommended!


The Paris Wedding – Charlotte Nash

The Paris Wedding - Charlotte NashSynopsis:The invitation sat innocently on the side, where she’d dropped it like a rattlesnake after seeing the gold, raised lettering.

Ten years ago, Rachael gave up the love of her life. Now she’s being offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris – the city she’s always dreamed of living in: to watch to him marry someone else.

The sparkling city of love, hope and longing has all kinds of surprises in store – especially for a country girl more used to horseback than haute couture – but there’s one question above all that she’ll need to find the answer to . . .

When is it right to follow your heart?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Paris Wedding is a delightfully romantic book full of emotion and hope, but what is equally delightful is the evocative way that Charlotte Nash describes both the plains of rural Australia and the streets of Paris, reading it you really feel transported to the very places that she describes. A perfect weekend read!


Ivy & Abe – Elizabeth Enfield

Ivy & Abe – Elizabeth EnfieldSynopsis: Two people. One love story. A million possibilities. Is there actually a right person, or just a right time?
A stunning novel about the different paths our lives might follow, and the different people we might become along the way.

Childhood friends in the Sixties. Ivy and Abe were inseparable until a chance event tore them apart. Now in their early seventies, fate once again brings them together – both grey-haired, Ivy hand in hand with her grandson – to fill in the gaps of one another’s lives. Each has experienced great passions as well as heart-breaking tragedies, but the time is finally right for them.

Their love story seems, in the end, meant to be. But what if….

….. in a parallel universe, chance had intervened and they had met sooner?

….. they’d met in their forties, both married to other people and had begun an affair?

….. they’d met before then and married, but the daunting question mark over Ivy’s health had suffocated Abe’s love for her?

….. as lovestruck teenagers, one small moment had sealed their fate?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is such a clever book, impossible to put down, moving and poignant, just when you think you may be able to predict the ending another twist emerges. In Ivy & Abe, Elizabeth Enfield has created a beautiful, intriguing and thought-provoking love story. One of our favourites for 2018 – Highly Recommended!


Coming Home to Island House – Erica James

Coming Home to Island House - Erica JamesSynopsis: From Erica James, bestselling author of Summer at the Lake, comes an enchanting tale of one family coming together and finding their way.
It’s the summer of 1939, and after touring an unsettled Europe to promote her latest book, Romily Temple returns home to Island House and the love of her life, the charismatic Jack Devereux.

But when Jack falls ill, his estranged family are called home and given seven days to find a way to bury their resentments and come together.
With war now declared, each member of the family is reluctantly forced to accept their new stepmother and confront their own shortcomings. But can the habits of a lifetime be changed in one week? And can Romily, a woman who thrives on adventure, cope with the life that has been so unexpectedly thrust upon her?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In Coming Home to Island House, Erica James has created a deeply satisfying book, the sort of book that you will lose yourself in for hours, from the first page until the very end you will be totally absorbed with this beautifully crafted novel. With complex characters and enough twists and turns to keep you completely hooked this is a gorgeous weekend read. So curl up on the sofa and enjoy! Highly Recommended!


The Endless Beach – Jenny Colgan

The Endless Beach – Jenny ColganSynopsis: On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It’s a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content – unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend.

While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he’s about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him.

As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places
We loved our first visit to the island of Mure in The Summer Seaside Kitchen, and in The Endless Beach, Jenny Colgan has taken the story further with another charming delightful escape, both poignant and heart-warming. The village and its characters have such a sense of realism you feel that you have actually visited the island. Coupled with the delicious recipes makes this a wonderful weekend read. We loved it. Highly Recommended!


Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Little Women - Louisa May AlcottV&A Collector’s Edition
Synopsis: Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then there’s tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally there’s Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Together they are the March sisters. Even though money is short, times are tough and their father is away at war, their infectious sense of fun sweeps everyone up in their adventures – including Laurie, the boy next door. And through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This new hardback edition is one of five special Puffin Classic editions created in partnership with the world-famous V & A Museum, with exquisite cover designs from their William Morris collection. The five titles in the collection are:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The stories have been specially selected from the National Art Library at the V&A making this beautiful collection the perfect combination of timeless design and classic children’s literature.

We love these absolutely beautiful editions, a very special gift for any lover of literature. Highly Recommended!


The Place We Met – Isabelle Broom

The Place We Met - Isabelle Broom Review on Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: Lake Como, Italy, New Year’s Eve. The perfect place to fall in love? Or the perfect place for everything to fall apart?

Lucy may have suffered her fair share of bad men, but now she has Pete. Finally, a man worth sharing her favourite place with, Lake Como. That’s if she can put mysterious phone calls and glamorous ex-girlfriends out of her mind.

Taggie is rushed off her feet, but distraction is exactly what she needs to forget why she fled England and the sadness she left behind. She certainly doesn’t have time for infuriating stranger Marco. A man is the last thing she needs right now.

Lucy and Taggie might not know it, but their lives are about to collide. The New Year might begin with fireworks – but how will it end?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We have loved all of Isabelle Broom’s previous books, she always sets them in the most stunningly beautiful places, which means as well as delivering deliciously romantic storylines, she always transports you to the most wonderful locations. The Place We Met is another magical read, full of emotion, set against the backdrop of Lake Como, a perfect read for a cosy night in, so curl up and lose yourself in this utterly gorgeous book.
Highly Recommended!


Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights – Carole Matthews

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe NightsSynopsis: Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. As she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing!

Then Fay gets a call, one that sends her back to her friends and back to the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny, she knows, but surely their relationship is strong enough to survive…?

Fay soon falls back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she is back on dry land! – and starts to wonder if she should have ever left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny – and is it possible for her to have everything she ever wanted?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Carole Matthews is one of those magical authors who always deliver a book that can be savoured and enjoyed like a delicious meal. Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is another gorgeous example, we loved returning to The Cake Shop in the Garden, one of our favourite books written by Carole. Full of delightful characters and with an captivating storyline, Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is a beautifully written and charming read, perfect for Christmas. Highly Recommended!


Moonlight Over Manhattan – Sarah Morgan

Moonlight Over Manhattan – Sarah MorganSynopsis: She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…
Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list dealing with Madi’s temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over, and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We loved Holiday in the Hamptons and it was a joy to find Sarah Morgan revisiting some of the characters in the delightful Moonlight Over Manhattan. This is a wonderful heart-warming romance, perfect for weekend reading. We loved it! Highly Recommended!


Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery – Jenny Colgan

Christmas at Little Beach St Bakery PBSynopsis: It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…

When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love this series of books from Jenny Colgan, having created the Little Beach Street Bakery in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, as you open the pages it’s like returning to a favourite place with well known characters and locations. Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is a captivating story, beautifully written, and a wonderful weekend read. We loved it, Highly Recommended!

(Review first published with hardcover version)


The Big Little Festival – Kellie Hailes

The Big Little Festival - Kellie HailesSynopsis: Love happens when you least expect it…
Jodi is panicking. It’s only weeks until her little village in Devon holds its first ever festival and everything is falling apart.

Desperate to avoid disaster, she brings in notorious party planner Christian to save the day. Although she wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous he would be!

Men are off the cards for Jody and surely Christian is the last man she would ever date? But with tensions rising along with the bunting and homemade scones she’s about to find out.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Return to the summer with The Big Little Festival. Kellie Hailes has created an easy to read tale of village life, written with humour and with a wonderful feel-good ending.


My Mother’s Shadow – Nikola Scott

My Mother's ShadowSynopsis: A perfect summer. A young woman in love. And a shocking secret kept for decades.

Addie thinks she knows everything about her mother. But when a stranger appears claiming to be her sister, she realises that her life so far has been a lie. But why?

Hartland House has always been a faithful keeper of secrets…

1958. Sent to beautiful Hartland to be sheltered from her mother’s illness, Liz spends the summer with the wealthy Shaw family. They treat Liz as one of their own, but their influence could be dangerous…

Now. Addie believes she knows everything about her mother Elizabeth and their difficult relationship until her recent death. When a stranger appears claiming to be Addie’s sister, she is stunned. Is everything she’s been told about her early life a lie?

How can you find the truth about the past if the one person who could tell you is gone? Addie must go back to that golden summer her mother never spoke of…and the one night that changed a young girl’s life for ever.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
For a debut novel this is a very accomplished piece of writing. In My Mother’s Shadow Nikola Scott has woven together a compelling and intriguing story of the lives of different generations of women and their families that is impossible to put down! Highly Recommended!


The Escape to Willow Cottage – Bella Osborne

The Escape to Willow Cottage - Bella OsborneSynopsis: Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose

Escape to Willow Cottage was originally digitally published as a four-part serial under the title Willow Cottage. This is the complete story.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In The Escape to Willow Cottage, Bella Osborne sensitively describes some of the more difficult issues in relationships, but also highlights the friendship and support that women offer to each other. She also describes some of the realities of moving to the country with humour and warmth.

This is a delightful read, particularly as the four part serial is available in one book, the reader can follow the storylines through to their conclusion. Curl up on the sofa and enjoy!


The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea – Jennifer Joyce

The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea - Jennifer JoyceSynopsis: One summer can change everything…
Mae has no time for men in her life! Local vet Alfie might be totally gorgeous but she’s far too busy looking after her young daughter and running her little bed & breakfast by the sea.

Willow is in the middle of building her dream home with her husband, Ethan, when disaster strikes.  And with every month that passes she secretly worries that her happy ever after will never come true.

Melody only intended to stay in the bustling seaside town for a few days. But when she meets Hugo the charming man in the ice cream van she decides to stay a little longer.

It seems the little bed & breakfast is full of surprises!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
If you are missing your summer holidays, The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is a delightful book to extend your summer reading.  Easy to read with a wonderful feel-good ending,  a perfect escapist read – it might even encourage you to book an Autumn break!


THE SUMMER OF SERENDIPITY – Ali McNamara

THE SUMMER OF SERENDIPITY - Ali McNamaraSynopsis: One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.

While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focused on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.

But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Ali McNamara is one of our favourite authors, and The Summer of Serendipity is another delightful example of her brilliant story-telling.

Wonderfully escapist, combining a beautiful location with an intriguing and romantic storyline, all the ingredients for a magical holiday read! We loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Little Teashop of Lost and Found – Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found - Trisha AshleySynopsis: Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.

So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.

Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Teashop-Lost-Found/

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In The Little Teashop of Lost and Found Trisha Ashley has created an intriguing tale which will keep you reading until the very end. Part fairy tale, part novel, a story of love, families and happy ever after, plus delicious recipes, it’s a delightful summer read!