THE SUMMER SEASIDE KITCHEN - Jenny ColganSynopsis: A deliciously warm and funny slice of life from Jenny Colgan, Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery and The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After.

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.

When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies…

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love this very contemporary novel from Jenny Colgan, beautifully set on a quiet Scottish island, with all the ingredients that we have come to love from Jenny’s novels, atmospheric descriptions, believable characters, intriguing storyline, a magical ending topped with delicious recipes, everything you need to escape from the winter!

A Summer at Sea – Katie Fforde

A Summer at Sea – Katie FfordeSynopsis: Emily is happy with her life just as it is.

She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she’s also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.

So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.

But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.

Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.

And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.

Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Katie Fforde is one of our favourite authors and A Summer at Sea is an utterly charming and delightful book. Set on ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, it’s an atmospheric and beautiful read, perfect for escapist reading over the weekend! We loved it!

New York Actually – Sarah Morgan

New York Actually – Sarah MorganSynopsis: Meet Molly -New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel – A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning

Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships until they meet each other that is

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
New York Actually has all the elements of a perfect read, intriguing storyline, believable characters, romance and humour set against the backdrop of New York. An utterly charming and delightful story, curl up on the sofa and enjoy!

White Lies and Wishes – Cathy Bramley

White Lies and Wishes - Cathy BramleySynopsis: Flirtatious, straight-talking Jo Gold says she’s got no time for love; she’s determined to save her family’s failing footwear business.  New mother Sarah Hudson has cut short her maternity leave to return to work. She says she’ll do whatever it takes to make partner at the accountancy firm. Bored, housewife Carrie Radley says she just wants to shift the pounds – she’d love to finally wear a bikini in public.

The unlikely trio meet by chance one winter’s day, and in a moment of ‘Carpe Diem’ madness, embark on a mission to make their wishes come true by September.

Easy. At least it would be, if they hadn’t been just the teensiest bit stingy with the truth…
With hidden issues, hidden talents, and hidden demons to overcome, new friends Jo, Carrie and Sarah must admit to what they really, really want, if they are ever to get their happy endings

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love the complexity of White Lies & Wishes, with the three central characters Cathy Bramley has created separate storylines that she develops throughout the book, sharing the challenges, but also the friendship and support that the women offer to each other. Uplifting and inspiring, a brilliant book to start 2017!

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

My Sweet Revenge by Jane FallonSynopsis: I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it?

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
My Sweet Revenge is an absolute roller-coaster of a book. From the very first page until the last,  Jane Fallon has built in so many twists and turns it will leave you breathless! An intriguing page-turning perfect weekend read!

A Year and a Day – Isabelle Broom

A Year and a Day – Isabelle BroomSynopsis: A heartwarming and heartbreaking story about love and life in one of Europe’s most romantic cities, Prague.

Welcome to a city where time stands still.

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she’s determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie in, she risks losing everything – and she won’t let that happen again . . .

For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she’s struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it’s all her fault . . .

For Sophie, Prague has always been a magical place. She met her fiancé, Robin, there. Now she is counting down the moments until Robin joins her once again. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .

Three different women.

Three intertwining love stories.

One unforgettable, timeless city.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
A Year and a Day is one of those rare books that is so atmospherically beautiful, that reading it is like watching a movie. Isabelle’s descriptions of Prague are breathtaking, and the three stories will completely absorb you, and at times surprise you and take your breath away. A perfect weekend read, beautifully written by a very talented author! Highly Recommended!

Between Sisters – Cathy Kelly

Between SistersSynopsis: The sparkling new novel from Number One bestselling author Cathy Kelly told with her unique blend of Irish warmth and humour.

Sisters Cassie and Coco have been there for each other ever since their mother disappeared when they were children.

Responsible Cassie spends every moment trying to be perfect wife and mum, but can’t help feeling she’s getting it all wrong.

Commitment-phobic Coco adores running her vintage dress shop – but since a disastrous break-up, her love life’s become an antique.

Their lives are full to the brim – so why do they both feel that something is missing? As the sisters try to find their way to lasting happiness, fate has a few surprises in store as the past makes a sudden appearance in the present . . .

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Between Sisters is utterly compelling,  brilliantly written, impossible to put down, it will keep you reading until the very end. Perfect for the weekend! Highly Recommended!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Double Down – Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Double Down - Jeff KinneySynopsis: Book 11 in the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is out now!

The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his ‘creative side’.

As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle.

When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie . . . and will he become rich and famous in the process? Or will doubling down on this plan just double Greg’s troubles?

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are incredibly popular with our Junior Reviewers, their faces absolutely light up when a new one arrives. This one is another hit with them, particularly with one of our reviewers who was a reluctant reader, and now always wants to be the first to read it. The combination of humour, illustrations and ease of reading makes it an absolute joy for her as she proudly shares it with her friends at school. A great weekend read for children and their parents!

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery – Jenny Colgan

Front cover of Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny ColganSynopsis: The Sunday Times bestselling author of Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery brings readers the eagerly-awaited new story from Mount Polbearne, and a cosy Cornish Christmas to get wrapped up in.

Polly Waterford adores her job running the Little Beach Street Bakery in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, and never more so than at Christmastime. Creating new festive bakes for the village residents, and keeping warm with boyfriend Huckle, Polly is determined that Christmas this year will be the best yet…

However, things don’t go according to plan, when Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together. Meanwhile, a face from Polly’s past reappears to make things ever more complicated. Even baking might not be enough to bring Polly solace – can she get things back on track for a merry Christmas for all?

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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!

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

Hot Brands Cool Places Review of Two by Two by Nicholas SparkSynopsis: Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .

Russell Green has it all: a loving family, a successful career and a beautiful house. But underneath his seemingly perfect world, cracks are beginning to appear . . . and no one is more surprised than Russ when the life he took for granted is turned upside down.

Finding himself single-handedly caring for his young daughter, while trying to launch his own business, the only thing Russ knows is that he must shelter his little girl from the consequences of these changes.

As Russ embarks on this daunting and unexpected new chapter of his life, a chance encounter will challenge him to find a happiness beyond anything he could ever have imagined.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Once again Nicholas Sparks has worked his magic, Two by Two is a very special book, a beautifully written and moving story that will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to hold close those you love. Our Highly Recommended Book of the Month!


The Weekends of You and Me by Fiona Walker

The Weekends of You and Me by Fiona WalkerSynopsis: What happens when your final fling become your happy ever after?

When Jo Coulson finds herself single again in her late thirties, she finally resigns her membership to Last of the Hopeless Romantics, fully intending to tackle midlife and motherhood alone. First, she plans one legendary last fling…

In walks Harry Inchbold, and the connection is electric. Passionate, unpredictable and messily divorced, Harry is the perfect antidote to cosy coupledom.

Harry’s tumbledown holiday cottage in the wilds of South Shropshire is a beautiful place for a no-strings-attached weekend. But hidden away from the world, Harry reveals a very different side, melting Jo’s resolve. At the end of their weekend Harry and Jo promise to meet at the same time next year – but what will that year bring?

Harry and Jo return to the Shropshire hills for one weekend each year to rediscover passion and make peace. As career, family and home crises all threaten to bring them unstuck, the cottage is their glue. Here, different rules apply: the day to day world is not allowed to intrude. With Harry and Jo, however, it’s only a matter of time before rules get broken. As real life gets increasingly complicated, can they keep renewing their promise?

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This book is based on an intriguing concept: one decade, ten weekends, one love. It’s a rollercoaster of a read, you get completely drawn into an intense passionate relationship without knowing how it will end. A perfect weekend read!

Falling by Julie Cohen

Falling by Julie CohenSynopsis: Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?  Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.  Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.
Lydia’s could bring her love – or the loss of everything that matters to her.  Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.  Can they save each other from falling?

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In Falling Julie Cohen has written an immensely powerful book, poignantly capturing the lives of all three women. Absolutely compelling, impossible to put down, it will keep you reading until the very end. Highly Recommended!

The Inheritance by Katie Agnew

The Inheritance by Katie AgnewSynopsis: A priceless family heirloom holds the key to captivating secret stories, and brings three women together across the generations.

“I can still recall how cold the pearls felt on my bare neck as Mr Fitzroy secured the clasp, and how heavy they were. I also remember that they were far, far too long for me. But, oh how mesmerising I found those pearls…”

Sophia Beaumont-Brown was an IT girl. But now she’s in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Single, sofa-surfing and not speaking to her family, only her grandmother has any faith left in her. From her hospital bed, Tilly Beaumont sends Sophia letters about her life: dispatches about wartime England, about family secrets and finally, about the most beautiful thing she ever owned – a necklace of the most incredible pearls.

If Sophia’s prepared to listen, she’ll unlock the secret story of generations of incredible women, from the pearl divers of Japan, to high society in pre-war England, and find that the necklace has changed the lives of all who have worn it. The only problem? No one knows where it is.

Sophia must find out if she’s ready to take on the search for something so perfect it can change a life. Wouldn’t a girl do anything to hold that in her hands?

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
The Inheritance is a fascinating story, cleverly woven by Katie Agnew, it will intrigue and keep you turning the pages to find out how the story ends. A perfect holiday read!

Letters From Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara

Letters From Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamaraSynopsis: Sandybridge is the perfect English seaside town: home to gift shops, tea rooms and a fabulous fish and chip shop. And it’s home to Grace – although right now, she’s not too happy about it.

Grace grew up in Sandybridge, helping her parents sort junk from vintage treasures, but she always longed to escape to a bigger world. And she made it, travelling the world for her job, falling in love and starting a family. So why is she back in the tiny seaside town she’d long left behind, hanging out with Charlie, the boy who became her best friend when they were teenagers?

It turns out that travelling the world may not have been exactly what Grace needed to do. Perhaps everything she wanted has always been at home – after all, they do say that’s where the heart is…

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love Ali McNamara’s books, and Letters From Lighthouse Cottage is another fabulous example, perfectly timed for this time of year, it’s an intriguing storyline, brilliantly written and will transport you to the seaside town of Sandybridge. An utterly charming and delightful holiday read! Highly Recommended!


HOW TO FIND LOVE IN A BOOK SHOP BY VERONICA HENRYSynopsis: Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for booklovers.

But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous – but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers.
Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye?

Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems…
And there’s Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?

How to Find Love in a Book Shop is the delightful story of Emilia’s fight to keep her book shop alive, the customers whose lives she has touched – and the books they all love.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Whenever a Veronica Henry book arrives in our office we are always delighted, and How to Find Love in a Book Shop is an absolute joy. Published just before Independent Bookshop Week, it is a fabulous celebration of the very best of bookshops. Veronica has created such a realistic shop and village that we will all be tempted to drive to the Cotswolds to visit Nightingale Books. One of our favourite books to read this summer! We loved it! Highly Recommended!

Martini Henry by Sara Crowe

Martini Henry by Sara CroweSynopsis: In 1988, seventeen-year-old Sue Bowl has a diary, big dreams and £4.73. What she wants most of all is to make it as a writer, as well as stop her decadent aunt Coral spending money she doesn’t have.

Living in their crumbling ancestral home should provide plenty of inspiration, but between falling in love, hunting for missing heirlooms and internship applications, things keep getting in the way.

So when a young literary professor moves in and catches Sue’s eye, life begins to take an unexpected turn . . .

From the author of Campari for Breakfast, a witty and enchanting novel about what happens after you think you’ve grown up and fallen in love,

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Sara Crowe has written a very intelligent book that intrigues and captivates. Martini Henry is built around a mixture of historical and modern day musings that crosses continents and tells the poignant story of the lives woven into an ancestral home. It’s a book to be savored and enjoyed, a perfect weekend read!

One Summer In Venice by Nicky Pellegrino

One Summer by Nicky PellegrinoSynopsis: In the maze of Venice’s canals, bridges and piazzas, one woman sets herself a goal to find the ten things that could be the key to her happiness

‘This isn’t a mid-life crisis OK? For a start I’m not old enough yet to have one of those. I’m calling it a happiness project. I’ve stolen an entire summer from my life and by the time it’s over I plan to leave this place with a list in my hand. The ten things that make me happy, that’s all I want to know. How difficult can it be? They may be small things – a perfect cup of coffee, a day without rain – or bigger ones. It’s still the beginning so how can I know?’

Addolorata Martinelli knows she should be happy. She has everything she thought she wanted – her own business, a husband, a child. So why does she feel as if something is missing? Then when her restaurant, Little Italy, is slated by a reviewer, she realises that she’s lost the one thing she thought she could always count on, her love of food.

So Addolorata heads to Venice for a summer alone, aiming to find the ten things that make her happy. Once she’s found them, she’ll construct a new life around her ten things, but will they include her life in London?

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
One Summer In Venice is another intriguing and atmospheric book from Nicky Pellegrino, so easy to read, and descriptive of her life in Venice one summer, lose yourself in this beautiful city and create your own happiness list. A perfect holiday read.

The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding by Carole Matthews

Chocolate Lovers WeddingSynopsis: The ladies of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club should be gearing up for the wedding of the year but life keeps getting in the way . . .

Lucy is worried about her financial situation and it keeps distracting her. Should she accept an offer of help from an untrustworthy source?
Nadia may have a real chance at finding love but other areas of her life aren’t so rosy. Something needs to change – but what?
Autumn can’t wait to meet someone she hasn’t seen in a very long time. She’s full of hope for the future but then things don’t exactly go to plan . . .
Chantal has been through so much and she’s finally starting to feel settled. The last thing she needs is the kind of bad news that could change her life all over again.
And yet, despite all the ups and downs, the Chocolate Lovers’ ladies know they can get through it all as long as they have each other. They’re not going to let anything get in the way of their happy-ever-afters in . . . The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We have loved the previous books in The Chocolate Lovers’ Club series, and The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding is another wonderful example of Carole’s brilliant writing, taking us to the very heart of their friendships. Funny and yet also poignant, this book is one of her best. Highly Recommended!

Under Italian Skies by Nicky Pellegrino

Under Italian Skies by Nicky PellegrinoSynopsis: Imagine swapping your house for a stay in an Italian villa… and falling in love with the owner’s life…

Stella has life under control – and that’s the way she likes it. For twenty-five years, she’s been trusted assistant to a legendary fashion designer, but after her boss dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing to do apart from clear the studio.

It seems as though the life she wanted has vanished. She is lost – until one day she finds a house swap website and sees a beautiful old villa in a southern Italian village. Could she really exchange her poky London flat for that?

But what was intended as just a break becomes much more, as Stella finds herself trying on a stranger’s life. As the villa begins to get under her skin, she can’t help but imagine the owner from the clues around her. She meets his friends, cooks the local food he recommends and follows suggestions to go to his favourite places. But can an idea of someone ever match up to the reality?

As Stella wonders if she can let go of the safety of her past, perhaps there’s a chance for her to find a way into her future…

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We love this book, it is a perfect escapist read, believable characters, stunning location, delightful story of an unfolding romance. Absolutely delicious, like a warm hug on a sunny afternoon! Highly Recommended!

The Night that Changed Everything by Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice

The Night the Changed EverythingSynopsis: From the duo that bought you The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me…

Would you forgive, if you couldn’t forget?

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn’t cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back but Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They’re a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.
When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten. Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

The Night That Changed Everything is a funny, feel-good and bittersweet story, told in alternate chapters by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

This is the second book from Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice, we loved The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me... and The Night that Changed Everything, is equally stunning. We love the way the book is written by Laura and Jimmy, it’s a unique style of writing, which really works well in their books.

The Night that Changed Everything will have you completely engrossed, Laura and Jimmy have created a story so realistic and gripping that you feel you know the locations and are sitting there watching the drama unfold. Absolutely brilliant writing from a very talented duo, perfect for the weekend! Highly Recommended!

Song of the Skylark by Erica James

Song-of-the-SkylarkSynopsis: Lizzie has always had an unfortunate knack of attracting bad luck, but this time she’s hit the jackpot. Losing her heart to her boss leads to her losing her job, and with no money in the bank, Lizzie finds herself forced to move back home with her parents. When she reluctantly takes another job, she meets Mrs Dallimore, a seemingly ordinary elderly woman with an astonishing past . . .

Now in her nineties, Mrs Dallimore is also coming to terms with her situation. Old age is finally catching up with her. As she and Lizzie form the bond of unexpected friendship, Mrs Dallimore tells the story of a young girl who left America before the outbreak of World War Two and, in crossing an ocean, found herself embarking on a new life she couldn’t have imagined.

As Lizzie listens to Mrs Dallimore, she begins to realise that she’s not the only person to attract bad luck, and that sometimes life has a way of surprising you.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This is a stunning book, brilliantly written, poignantly capturing the lives of both women. The Song of the Skylark will totally captivate you and your emotions, impossible to put down! Highly Recommended!

Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley

 Wickham HallSynopsis Wickham Hall was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

As Holly falls in love with the busy world of Wickham Hall – from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos – she also finds a place in her heart for her friendly (if unusual) colleagues.

But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications…). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic happens…

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Wickham Hall is a very satisfying book, making you want to keep reading as the various characters develop and the story unfolds. Perfect for curling up and hiding away from the wintery weather outside!

House of Dreams by Fanny Blake

House of DreamsSynopsis: Only a weekend in Spain – what could possibly go wrong?

At their family hilltop villa, Lucy awaits the arrival of her brother and sister for their mother’s annual birthday party. Although this time, their mother won’t be there.

Struggling at Malaga airport with her fractious four year old, Jo has already lost her case and is dreading arriving without its precious contents.

For Tom, returning to Casa de Sueños stirs up all sorts of memories – then a beautiful face from his past appears . . .

Over one long, hot weekend, past secrets will spill out as three siblings discover more about their family and each other in this gorgeous, warm and witty new novel from Fanny Blake.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
House of Dreams by Fanny Blake is full of interesting characters and intriguing twists and turns, once started you will be completely absorbed in the story. A perfect weekend read! We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!

The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas by Carole Matthews

The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas

Synopsis: Can friendship overcome all in The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas? Find out in the fantastic new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller Carole Matthews.

Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . .
Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn’t spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiancé turns up and things become even more complicated.
Nadia hasn’t let herself get close to a man in a long time, yet she can’t help feeling drawn to Jacob. Will he be her last chance for a happy ending?
Chantal and her husband, Ted, are besotted with their baby daughter Lana – but she’s not sure that’s enough to base a marriage on.
Autumn is dealing with a tragedy that has hit too close to home. But when she doesn’t get the support she needs from her fiancé, will she look elsewhere for comfort?

Can friendship overcome all in . . . The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We have loved all the previous books in The Chocolate Lovers series, but for new readers Carole has the wonderful ability to engage you immediately by seamlessly introducing the key characters and their story into this latest delightful book. Her magical storytelling skills weave a story that is pure enchantment. The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas is a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend read, and a perfect way to extend Chocolate week! We loved it, highly recommended!

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea

Synopsis: The blossom is out in the little Cornish harbour town of St Felix but Poppy Carmichael’s spirits aren’t lifted by the pretty West Country spring. Inheriting her grandmother’s flower shop has forced her to return to Cornwall, a place that holds too many memories.

Poppy is determined to do her best for the sake of her adored grandmother, but she struggles with the responsibility of the more-shabby-than-chic shop. And with the added complication of Jake, the gruff but gorgeous local flower grower, Poppy is very tempted to run away…

The pretty little town has a few surprises in store for Poppy. With new friends to help her and romance blooming, it’s time for Poppy to open her heart to St Felix and to the special magic of a little flower shop by the sea!

Let Ali McNamara, author of the much-loved From Notting Hill with Love…Actually, bring some sparkling sunshine into your life

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

This delightful book is the absolute must-read book for your summer reading. We have loved all Ali’s previous books and this is one of her best. You will be completely captivated by this charming story, which has all the ingredients for perfect holiday reading. The fact that it is set in one of our favourite parts of the country only adds to its charm.
Absolutely gorgeous, we loved it. Highly Recommended!

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

We are all made of StarsSynopsis:
Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved… Wherever you look, I will be there.

Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.

During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.

Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We loved The Memory Book and yet again this brilliantly talented writer delivers a magical book, that will capture you and stay with you long after you finish reading it.We Are All Made of Stars is an achingly beautiful, heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting book that is so very special. Very Highly Recommended!

Shoes for Anthony by Emma Kennedy

Shoes for AnthonySynopsis: ‘They’re running wild. Feral! If I had a shilling for every time a Scott Street boy said he was doing something when he was doing something else entirely I’d be living in Cardiff in a house made of Lardy cake. What did I say? Bad things will happen!’

The idea of the war coming to their small, impoverished Welsh mining village always seemed remote, but with one explosive event and the arrival of the Americans preparing for the invasion of France, the people of Treherbert find their world turned upside down. 

But war brings distrust, lies and danger. And as the villagers find themselves hopelessly divided, Anthony, an 11-year-old who hasn’t had a pair of shoes in years, is going to have to choose between what is popular and what is right.

 Joyous, thrilling and nostalgic, Emma Kennedy’s Shoes For Anthony will have you wiping your eyes one moment and beaming from ear-to-ear the next.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Brilliantly written, Shoes for Anthony is thrillingly atmospheric. Gripping and with influences from Emma’s childhood bringing an authentic dialogue and realistic characters. It will draw you in and keep you completely absorbed until the very end. Highly Recommended!

The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Cake Shop in the Garden

Synopsis: Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn’t do all this, who will?
Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she’s ever made.
When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay’s entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn’t know which way to turn.

Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision – even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?

Life, love and family are about to collide in The Cake Shop in the Garden.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty-six novels, including the Top Ten bestsellers A Cottage by the Sea and Calling Mrs Christmas.
We have loved Carole’s books since her very first book, Let’s Meet on Platform 8 and The Cake Shop in the Garden is one of her best! Completely enchanting, it has all the elements of a perfect read, intriguing storyline, believable characters, romance and humour, which will invite you in and wrap you in a delicious cocoon of pure escapism!
Highly Recommended!

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery & Polly the Puffin by Jenny Colgan

Summer at Little Beach Street BakerySynopsis: Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there’s something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that’s floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend’s fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he’d left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coning: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

Containing original recipes from the bestselling author, Jenny’s delicious new novel would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift, or indulgent self-purchase!

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love Jenny Colgan’s books, but Little Beach Street Bakery was definitely one of our favourites. Utterly charming, atmospheric and brilliantly written. We loved it! So when Summer at the Little Street Bakery arrived we were absolutely delighted,itis a brilliant sequel. With a really helpful introduction to the key characters at the start, it is also possible to read this without having read the first book, but we recommend reading both!
Totally absorbing and full of drama, Jenny’s writing captures your imagination until you feel you are living in the tiny coastal town. It’s hard not to give away all the exciting challenges in this book, but we guarantee it will keep you reading until the very end and then bake! Highly Recommended!

Polly and the PuffinPolly and the Puffin
Synopsis: Little Beach Street Bakery spent 3 weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten, and sold 100,000 copies in 10 weeks – but it was Neil, the injured puffin rescued by Jenny’s protagonist Polly, who almost stole the show. Such was the interest in Neil that he became the first puffin ever to ‘fly’ on social media – find him Tweeting (or ‘eep-ing’) @neilthepuffin

Now Neil is the star of Jenny’s very first children’s book, which will be published alongside Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery. Written for ages 4+, Polly and the Puffin is packed with Jenny’s delicious recipes that children and adults can enjoy baking together, along with jokes and fun activities that will entertain the earliest readers. Polly and the Puffin is charmingly illustrated by Thomas Docherty, whose work has been shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal and the Booktrust Best Book Awards 2015.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Having read both Little Beach Street Bakery books, Polly and the Puffin is the perfect companion to read to your little ones. It is an absolute joy, beautifully written and charmingly illustrated, a delight for children and adults alike. With recipes, jokes and activities, and the adorable Neil, these will fly off the shelves! Highly Recommended!

A Place for Us by Harriet Evans

A Place for UsSynopsis: The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.  The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.  After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?  Welcome to Winterfold.  Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Our first new read for 2015 is a clever novel by Harriet Evans, originally published in four parts, it has now been published as a whole book and it works by completely absorbing you and making you want to keep reading as the various characters develop and the story unfolds. Beautifully written, perfect for curling up and hiding away from the wintery weather outside! Highly Recommended!

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane

It's Not Me It's YouSynopsis: Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We loved Mhari’s previous novels and this one is another wonderful example of her magical writing. If you are looking for a perfect read, look no further, once you open the first page you will just want to keep reading. Absolutely brilliant! Highly Recommended!


The Christmas SurpriseSynopsis: There will be more than one surprise in store for sweetshop owner Rosie Hopkins this Christmas, in the brand new novel by Sunday Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Includes mouth-watering recipes

Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it’s going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together

After all, don’t they say it takes a village to raise a child?

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We always look forward to books from Jenny Colgan and were delighted when another delicious Rosie Hopkins arrived. A delightfully heartwarming story, perfect for Christmas reading for you and all your friends! Curl up and enjoy! Highly Recommended!

THE CHRISTMAS PARTY by Carole Matthews

The Christmas PartySynopsis: Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It’s going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party, the brilliant new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller Carole Matthews

Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace.
Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Carole Matthews is one of our favourite authors and The Christmas Party is another brilliant example of her wonderful writing, once started you will be completely absorbed in the story. A perfect weekend read! We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!

The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene

The Seafront Tea RoomsSynopsis: A wonderful and heart-warming novel about female friendship, set on the British coast, from the author of The Vintage Teacup Club.

The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they’ve been searching for charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain’s best tea rooms. She knows she’s found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the ‘Seafront’, convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind . .

Full of romance, tea and cake, The Seafront Tea Rooms is a heart-warming tale about the strength found in true friendship.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We loved The Vintage Teacup Club and in The Seafront Tea Rooms, Vanessa has created an equally delightful story that is perfect for reading curled up with delicious cakes and tea. Complete with recipes this is a fabulous read, we loved it!
Highly Recommended!

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually by Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill to Four Weddings...ActuallySynopsis: Movie addict Scarlett O’Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she’s dreamed of – but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread.
Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiance, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie – life couldn’t be better.
But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous. As she begins to experience the other side to being rich and famous, it’s not only Scarlett’s perfect wedding that’s put in jeopardy, but her whole world.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We loved From Notting Hill to New York . . . Actually, and we loved meeting the characters again. Ali always weaves magic into her writing and this book is another fabulous example. Glitzy, glamorous, and intriguing, a perfect weekend read! We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!