Category: Marcie Steel

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steel


Synopsis: All Riley Flynn wants is to meet someone who makes her happy. But attracting the right kind of man is not easy, and with her heart still hurting from her last break-up, Riley believes she’ll never find love again.

A year ago, Sadie Stewart’s whole world was shattered when her husband, Ross, died. She has struggled to keep herself together for the sake of their young daughter, but with the anniversary of his death approaching, Sadie finds herself overwhelmed by grief.

Sadie and Riley work at Chandlers shoe shop, in the charming town of Hedworth. But when Chandlers is threatened with closure, the friends are confronted with the loss of not only their jobs, but also their support network – the glue that holds them together when they are close to breaking.

As they put together a plan to save their beloved shop, Sadie realises that she might just be learning to live again. Could it be that new beginnings are just round the corner? The campaign also finds Riley unexpectedly crossing paths with charming photographer, Ethan. Maybe her second chance at love is right under her feet …


KAT’S REVIEW: When I read my first Marcie Steele I admit I was worried. Marcie Steel is none other than the crime writer Mel Sherratt. Could she possibly have one foot in each genre successfully? It turns out she can! I really enjoyed the other MS books and was looking forward to reading the latest one. With this one out main character is Riley Flynn. She works in Chandlers Show shop and has done for many years. Alongside her, the other two characters appearing in this story are Sadie and Dan.

Riley is an immediately likeable character and you get an idea very soon on that her friends including Sadie and Dan are like one big family. The shoe shop boss Suzanne soon makes an appearance and threatens to close the shop they have all worked at for years. Between them they decide there is nothing left to do but plan something to save the shop. We see Riley’s love life slowly unfold including some suspect ex-boyfriends. On the other side of the fence Sadie is struggling to get her life back on track following the death of her husband Ross. The friendship between everybody shines through and makes this a real feel good read.

The story was a little slow in the beginning but soon picked up when they are pitched against each other and their antics start. It’s a very light hearted read and certainly enjoyable although I still think her last book holds the edge. I certainly think Mel Sherratt is proving its more than possible to straddle two genres.

That’s What Friends Are For by Marcie Steel


Synopsis: Best friends tell each other everything… right?

Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated…

On the outside, thirty-something Sam seems to have it all; the gorgeous husband, the beautiful home and the flourishing business. But things are not quite as rosy as they seem. So when handsome stranger, Dan, walks into her life, Sam finds his attentions hard to resist. Louise might seem like life and soul of the party, but her outgoing exterior hides her sadness about the heartbreak in her past. She just wants someone to love – but all Louise gets left with is a quick fumble with an ex at the end of the night. When a glamorous face from the past returns to shake things up, things get even more complicated for Sam and Louise. And just when they need each other the most, they’ve reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: For those that maybe don’t know Marcie Steele is actually a pseudonym for the Crime Writer Mel Sherratt. Her first book under this name was released only 3 months ago and I really enjoyed it. I was surprised at how quickly book 2 has materialised but was looking forward to getting stuck in. Thankfully this new release was just as good as the last one (if not marginally better).

Sam is an easy character to like, along with her best friend Louise. There is also Louise daughter Charley who most definitely added to the storyline. Sam was my preferred character and on the surface it seems she has it all. However, her marriage is seemingly floundering and her life seems mundane in comparison to others. In contrast, Louise is the clear wild child of the two and although they are both now adults it soon becomes clear that these two ladies have a lot of history together.

The storyline was easy to get swept along with and the characters likeable and pretty normal. As per usual, irrelevant of genre, and more to do with the writing you get taken along with the story and I read this in just two sittings. Mel Sherratt has an easy flow to her stories and it doesn’t take long before you realise you have read quite a few chapters.

Some people may misconstrue the type of story as the cover is beautiful but erring on the ‘girly’ side if you will. This is certainly not a sickly sweet type of book, more one to delve into ordinary friendships and secrets. It’s another engaging read and one that I enjoyed. Another great read by Marcie Steel and I will really look forward to what she comes up with next.

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.