Summer at Seafall Cottage by Lily Graham

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Synopsis: Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary. 

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I was looking forward to this release by Lily Graham as I absolutely LOVED A Cornish Christmas. However, I was surprised as this one seemed a little slower to get into.

Our lead character Victoria’s has gone to Cornwall and made an extremely rash decision and brought herself a derelict house. Following the breakdown of her marriage it appears this is her way of retreating to lick her wounds in private. ‘Seafall Cottage’ Has its own secrets though and when she finds some diaries in the house she cannot help but be pulled into the stories within those pages. Before long she becomes almost obsessed with the owner and writer of the diaries Tilly.  Tilly is a young girl living in the early 1900s and we see the story flip between present day and Victoria and then back to the past with Tilly.

Additional characters such as Angie, Victoria’s houseboat neighbor struck a cord and I really liked her and then there is Adam and a whole host of others. Somehow though I never really connected all that much with any of them. The writing was brilliant and the story enjoyable but I just felt there was something lacking with this latest book that wasn’t with the last one. I certainly enjoyed it, but think her first book was so amazing I spent the whole time comparing which is never a good idea.

A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham

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Synopsis: Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic …

At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea – a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever. 

When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember. 

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: So you read the synopsis and expect to be let in for a magical fluffy Christmas themed book. No! That’s not what you get at all I think…thankfully what you do get is a rather compelling sort of book. Let me explain. Many of my regular Blog Visitors know that when it comes to ‘paranormal’ or ‘ghost’ type stories I tend to roll my eyes. The exception to this rule only comes in the form of the extremely talented Crime Writer Caroline Mitchell. You may now add to that list Lily Graham. I’m never that keen on paranormal elements, and to be honest although I don’t mind story lines being slightly outlandish, sometimes paranormal type books extend that way too far over my preference for a line. When I started this book I had no clue this element was even part of the story line. Thankfully it’s done in such a way that it’s an emotionally charged kind of ‘tear-jerker’ book as opposed to something bordering on the ridiculous.

Ivy and her husband Stuart have moved from London back to Ivy’s home town of Cloudsea. A beautiful Cornish village by the sea, which has enabled them to start afresh. Now that Ivy is pregnant with their first child, the grief she feels following the death of her Mother eases. However when she brings her Mother’s old writing desk to her home she has no idea how that simple act will change things for her. Sadly I don’t want to explain any more of the story line as I think it ends up being a spoiler for those wanting to read it. What I will say is that the story line follows a normal couple, dealing with normal things. That sounds strange right? Well I have to say it made a refreshing change to read about the normal things, such as a great couple having arguments over misunderstandings and then making it work.

The characters of Ivy and Stuart are easy to like and extremely readable. I fell in love with their dialogue when referring to Stuarts Mother nicknamed ‘The Terrorist’. As the story progresses we see Ivy making decisions that help her deal with her grief such as contacting friends of her Mothers from a group nicknamed ‘The Thursday Club’. I loved the addition of a bunch of older women all so different and they definitely added to the colour of the story. Although I had my doubts at the beginning due to the ‘magical’ element that made not an ounce of difference. I ended up reading the book in one day and loved it. Any author that can produce a book featuring a paranormal element, as well as romance, tears and laughter get a (surprise) 5 out of 5 from me.