Stirred with Love by Marcie Steel


Synopsis: Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them …

Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left. After the end of her fairytale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart.  Chloe, a young woman with the world at her feet, is struggling to know what to do with her life.

When Lily embarks on a new venture in the picturesque town of Somerley, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around.  But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add neighbouring competition, local heart throbs and heartbreak to the mix. When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds?

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: For those that maybe don’t know, Marcie Steel is a pseudonym used by a very popular Crime Writer Mel Sherratt. Now I am a fan of Mel’s crime work so was interested to see how she fared in this genre.  The story sounds familiar, but in this genre that’s not unusual and it sounded like a warm and comforting read about women determined to do things their way. I settled down and before I knew it was over halfway through the book.

Lily Mortimer is getting on a bit but has decided to re-open her once thriving café in Somerley. Since the loss of her husband she hasn’t been able to deal with it, but now seems the right time and as you read about Lily there is something of a quiet determination about her. The other two characters are Kate who is recovering from the breakup of her marriage and the young and exuberant Chloe who although only in her late teens has the world at her feet.

All three characters were extremely likeable and they all fit well together. I have to say that I leaned more towards Chloe as her blunt retorts and black and white view of the world made her a very likeable young girl. Kate certainly didn’t have as much of an impression on me but was a great character all the same. The story itself is certainly not new to this genre, but by no means did this make it any less enjoyable.

However, maybe I am being overly critical but there were things that maybe didn’t sit right with me. For example, for some reason it felt like there were chunks of the book where we skip from the premise of a thread to the conclusion with nothing in-between (if that makes sense). I just thought that sometimes, I wanted to know a lot more about what was going on, the whys and where’s etc, in short I think I would have happily sat through another 100 pages which made me feel more integrated with the story. Other than that a solid read and one I thoroughly enjoyed, I just felt a little short changed because as a reader you were left wanting a little bit more. Even though I have been critical, the fact that I enjoyed it and read it in 2 sittings I think means it thoroughly deserves a 4/5.

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