Synopsis: Molly Baker is living her best life.
Thirty-eight years old, she lives on the twenty-five-acre Hope Farm in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by (mostly) four-legged friends and rolling hills. There’s Anthony the anti-social sheep, Tina Turner the alpaca with attitude, and the definitely-not-miniature pig, Teacup.
Molly runs the farm as an alternative school for kids who haven’t thrived in mainstream education. It’s full on, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. So when the well-groomed Shelby Dacre turns up at Hope Farm asking to enrol his son Lucas, Molly isn’t fazed.
But Lucas is distant and soon Molly realises he might be more of a handful than she anticipated. And then there’s the added problem that his dad is distractingly handsome. Molly has her beloved farm to think of – could letting Lucas and Shelby in be a terrible mistake, or the start of something wonderful?
My Rating: 3/5
My Review: I have been reading Carole Matthews for over 20 years and rarely dislike a book she writes. I certainly didn’t dislike this book but it just wasn’t as good as some of her other books. The main character Molly just seemed a little flat and to be honest a little annoying. Shelby is the other main character and I didn’t feel like he was any more endearing. A well known actor with a son who he frankly couldn’t be bothered to look after. Therefore he drops him at Hope Farm where Molly runs the place with the help of her colleagues Bev and Alan.
The story was okay and it was certainly an easy read. However it was super predicatble and along with the fact I didn’t care for the characters meant I just wasn’t that bothered what happened. I finished it but being totally truthful it was just unmemorable and I couldn’t help but feel a little dissapointed.
Synopsis: Jodie Jackson is all at sea, in every sense.
On a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight, she’s leaving her London life, her career, and her husband behind. She’d like a chance to turn back the clocks, but she’ll settle for some peace and quiet on her brother Bill’s beautifully renovated houseboat, Sunny DaysBut from the moment Jodie steps aboard her new home, it’s clear she’ll struggle to keep herself to herself.
Jodie soon delights in her newfound freedom. But out of mind isn’t out of sight, and when her old life comes knocking Jodie is forced to face reality. Will she answer the call or choose a life filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes?
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: My god, even after the years she has spent writing Carole Matthews just has that something special. Jodie is a character that I liked immediately and at the very early stages all we know is she is going to the Isle of Wight to spend some time alone. She is lucky enough to not only work for her brother, but to be able to stay at his recently renovated houseboat named Sunny Days.
Once there her wish to be left alone is completely ignored…enter Marilyn…the second star of this book! She is a cleaner her brther has employed and she is one woman positivity showboat. Jodie is reluctantly forced to explore life on the island by Marilyn and makes friends along the way invluding her neighbour Ned, the beach statueman George and Ida the owner of the beach cafe.
The story is wonderful and frankly made me want to pack a bag and jump on a ferry. This book was an absolute delight to read andI was truly dissapointed to finish it. I would love to see another book set here in the future!
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.
Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “A Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews”
Synopsis: Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking.
And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down.
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Continue reading “Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews”
My Star Rating: 4/5
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. Continue reading “The Cake Shop in The Garden by Carole Matthews”
My Rating: 4/5
Availability: Hardback, Paperback, Kindle, Audio, Kobo
Synopsis: In the dead of night, Ayesha takes her daughter, Sabina, and slips quietly from her home, leaving behind a life full of pain. Boarding a coach to London, all Ayesha wants is a fresh start.
Hayden, a former pop star, has kept himself hidden away for years. He’s only opened up his home to two people – Crystal, a professional dancer with a heart of gold, and Joy, an ill-tempered retiree with a soft spot for waifs and strays.
When Crystal asks Hayden if Ayesha and Sabina can stay with them, he reluctantly agrees and, as different as they may be, they quickly form an unlikely bond. So when enemies threaten their peaceful home, they will do all they can to save it and each other.
Continue reading “A Place to Call Home by Carole Matthews”
My Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: Grace, Ella and Flick have been friends since College. When Ella invites them all to her cottage in South Wales for a week Grace jumps at the chance to spend some quality time with her friends. Sadly her husband Harry is less enthused and as they set off in his Bentley for their journey, Ella is pretty sure the week will be far from easy. As with every Carole Matthew’s book I read, she has a knack for ensuring the reader likes the characters. Thankfully this latest book is a perfect example of how good she really is. Grace is easy to warm to and you can’t help but feel sympathetic when Harry starts whingeing very early on because there is no phone signal.
In addition to Grace, we see her friend Ella who is the laid back one and their unpredictable and fickle friend Flick who seems to be the wild element of the friendship to their calm. Ella’s husband Art along with Flick’s handsome friend Noah, complete the six and from the early part of the book you just know the week is going to be unpredictable. I just fell in love with the descriptive Cwtch Cottage that Carole described and it made me want to immediately book up a beautiful cottage in the country for the summer!
This book is a rollercoaster of laughter, tears and friendship.
The real storyline is one that is basic, but sometimes works the best. It tells the story of the three women and we get to see each of them deal with their relationships with the men in their lives and their closest girlfriends. I was absolutely enthralled by this book and truly thought it was one of her best. I literally didn’t put it down and found myself just having to finish it because I needed to know what was going to happen to everybody.
It sounds ridiculous, but when you have an author you have read for so many years, I almost get frightened that one day I will pick up one of their new books and they will have just lost that spark that makes you love their books. In the case of Carole Matthews, her books are like wine, they most definitely improve with age and I for one will be pre-ordering the next one. It’s a sheer joy to read a book so wonderful from an author that has been writing for so long. This one is highly recommended!