Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, love, drama, and a happily ever after.
Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Phillipa Ashley, and Holly Martin.
The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories, best read in order, that intertwine with recurring characters.
The Post Office Shop: Tilly Sheridan is fifty, perimenopausal, a widow, and pretty much lives in dungarees. Her daily life consists of running her family’s small shop on Dreamcatcher Farm, where not much goes on. The last thing she expects to happen in her life is to fall in love with an ex-criminal.
Rory Murphy has just finished a fifteen-year sentence for robbery, but he is not the man who first walked into that prison. With the help of a mentor, he changed his life whilst still behind bars, and now he has been given the opportunity of working on a farm to help him integrate back into society. He’s expecting early starts, long days, backbreaking work, and lonely nights, but he finds friendship, family, and love in Pepper Bay. Is it possible for him to finally have a good life? Not if his past has anything to do with it.
Bestselling author of the Pepper Bay series, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.
Heiress Ariana Theodosis wanted everything that Hollywood had to offer, took it all, and is now paying the price. When she inherits a hotel on the beautiful French Riviera, she hopes it’s a chance to start again.
Elizabeth and Robert Chappell were Hollywood’s fiery English golden couple. Their legendary breakups and passionate make-ups were tabloid gold, but now they are headed for divorce. Will they say their last goodbyes by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean?
Madame du Lac has watched the rich and famous pass through the faded doors of the Hotel du Soleil for over four decades, and has kept its secrets too. As the past catches up with her, is it time to break her silence, or are some things best left buried…?
When we meet Greek heiress Ariana Theodosis she is arriving in Ithos, Greece to see her ailing grandmother. After her grandmother passes it comes to light that she owned Hotel du Soleil, on the French Riviera which she bequeathed to Ariana. Ariana has been living in LA trying to make it as an actress but has done more partying than acting roles. She sees managing and taking responsibility of the Hotel as a way to prove herself to her father. However, what she doesn’t expect is to meet the hotels current occupants. Gabriel grew up at the Hotel and considers it his home and his father’s legacy. As far as he is concerned it belongs to his family and his mother Madame du Lac so he isn’t prepared for Ariana’s revelation that she is now the owner. How are Ariana’s grandmother and Gabriel’s mother connected? How did Ariana’s grandmother come to own the hotel? What secrets is Madame du Lac hiding from Gabriel?
First I have to say that I loved the prologue of this book. It set the scene perfectly for what was to come and it was like being transported into an old Hollywood movie. I really enjoyed the storyline and meeting all the characters. What drew me to the story was the mystery element about the Hotel and how Ariana’s grandmother was the owner but no one including her own son knew this. I loved the first meeting between Gabriel and Ariana when Ariana made it clear that she wasn’t going to back down or give up her inheritance. At the same time their attraction to each other was evident from the outset. As a main character I did like Ariana. At the start she did live up to her label of spoilt heiress but by the end of the book she was a completely different character. Inheriting the Hotel had made her grow up, face her responsibilities and show that she was never destined to be an actress but a business woman. The description of the Hotel was just perfect. Although a little run down it had this shabby chic element to it which I loved. After a long day at work I looked forward to reading this book and escaping to the French Riviera and escaping to the Hotel du Soleil.
A story filled with glitz, glamour and secrets!
Carol Kirkwood is one of the BBC’s most loved TV presenters, best known for presenting the weather. She lights up viewers’ homes every day, appearing on programmes such as BBC Breakfast, Strictly Come Dancing, Wimbledon Tennis Fortnight, and Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show. She is hugely popular with fans and Carol frequently trends on Twitter. Beyond the television screen, she can often be found ensconced in a book, singing, dancing, and driving fast cars.
Her debut novel, Under A Greek Moon, captured the hearts of the nation and stormed into the Sunday Times bestseller list, debuting at no 2.
ONE PROMISE Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to always be there for each other. And of course, they’ll get married if they’re both 35 and single.
TWO DECADES Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met.
CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD? So, when newly single Fin reappears, there’s no way they can keep their promise. Is there?
Eleanor and Finn have been best friends since they can remember. When they were 13 years old they planned their lives together and made promises to each other which quickly turned into a pact. They would go to the same university, move to London together, rent a flat together and as they got older they would always live within 20 minutes of each other. They also entered into a pact that if they were both single when they were 35 years old they would marry each other. They both signed a contract to this effect but life had other plans for them. Fast forward several years later and Eleanor now aged 34 finds herself single after her long term relationship ended. It just so happens that Finn is also newly single and returning to the UK after being away for years. Eleanor and Finn drifted apart and haven’t seen each other or been in touch for two decades. How will they react to seeing each other again? Can all promises be kept or are some promises never meant to be fulfilled?
As someone who loved reading Before I Saw You which was one of my favourite reads of 2021, I couldn’t wait to read this book. The author has done it again with another book which has also become a firm favourite. I adored the storyline. It was well written, full of emotion and pulled at my heart strings. The storyline flitted between the past and the present, switching between Eleanor and Finn’s narrative. It was sad to see how they played such a big part in each other’s lives until they drifted apart. But that first meeting after so many years was awkward at first but their connection was still there. From the outset it was clear that Eleanor liked Finn more than just a friend but Finn didn’t appear to see Eleanor as anything other than a friend. When I read the chapter about Eleanor when she was aged 16 my heart truly broke for her. But despite this Eleanor was always there for Finn especially as they grew older and looked after him when alcohol started to play a big factor in Finn’s life. There were times when I just wanted to grab both of the characters especially Finn and say that what they were looking for was staring them in the face. But this is a perfect example of how sometimes life works in that that you can’t always see what’s right in front of you.
I think that Finn’s background and his relationship with his parents had an impact on him both mentally and emotionally but at the same time it had an adverse impact on his relationship with Eleanor. So although Finn was running away from his family and himself he was also running away from Eleanor and their relationship which caused further distance between them.
I was quite anxious to see what would happen at the end but the ending was everything I was hoping for.
A book full of emotion, childhood promises, heart breaking decisions and a story that will never leave you long after you’ve turned the last page!
EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!
After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centeringaround love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.
Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”
Three wives, one letter, and an explosive secret that will change everything.
He said, she said. Who do you believe?
Jessica, Stephanie and Priyanka are complete strangers, but they have one thing in common: they’ve each received a letter accusing their husbands of committing a sexual assault more than two decades prior. Is the accusation true or is there more to the story? It was a secret that remained buried for years.
With their worlds suddenly turned upside down, they don’t know who to trust – a complete stranger or the men they love and built their lives with. The three women come together to embark on a hunt for the truth, but they are hardly prepared for what they will discover. Who is the victim, and will justice ultimately be served?
This is the story of three wives and a secret that could turn their lives upside down. Jess, who works in an art gallery, is married to Max. Priyanka, a teacher is married to Andrew and Stephanie, a dental receptionist is married to Daniel. Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie have never met but on the same day they each receive a letter from someone called Holly accusing their husbands of attacking her mother which resulted in her conception and directs them to a storage unit. Who do they believe; a stranger or their husbands? What did happen that night? This is the story of three women who come together on a quest for truth and justice.
This book had a really interesting concept where the three main characters Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie find themselves with a moral dilemma. Do they acknowledge the letter and ask those difficult questions or put it out of sight and out of mind. Do they trust the men they’ve married or search for the truth about what happened even if that means destroying their own lives and families in the process. The story was written in such an intriguing and compelling way that it kept me guessing about what had actually happened. The more the characters delved into what happened it was difficult at times to know who to trust and who was telling the truth. At the same time the author has done an amazing job writing about a very tough and sensitive subject. It was interesting to see how each character reacted to the letter. Jess is curious and starts to look up the names listed in the letter. It is Jess who takes the first step in contacting Priyanka and Stephanie to bring the group together. Priyanka sees it as a sick joke. Stephanie puts it in a tin so she can think about what to do. If I had received such a letter I would have no idea how to react. However by the end of the book all three characters have formed a bond that can never be broken.
The story was split into three sections; the letter, the diary and the key. It is also told from multiple narratives so it was interesting to see what each of the three characters were thinking and the impact the letter had on them. The ending wasn’t what I expected but that last page was very fitting to the story.
A book I would highly recommend with a story full of suspense, emotions and a strong female cast.
Cate Ray is a pseudonym for Cath Weeks. Cath was born near Bath, and after stints in London and Paris returned to Bath where she lives with her family.
The author of four previous novels under her own name, she has been selected for book clubs by Elle, Evening Standard, Closer and Woman & Home. She was nominated for the Waverton Good Reads award and a Frome Literary Festival award winning short story has been produced and broadcast on the BBC. @CateRaywriter http://www.CateRay.co.uk
Tabitha is stuck. She still lives in the small town she grew up in . . . the town she’s barely ever left.
So, when her dad drops a bombshell over their weekly Sunday dinner, Tabitha takes a look at her own life. She lives firmly in her comfort zone and doesn’t know how to break out. Sometimes she wishes she should go back and start it all again.
When she meets Bea, a free spirit like no one else she’s ever known with an ‘interesting’ sense of style, Tabitha quickly befriends her, recognising in Bea the change she’s been craving. But soon it becomes clear that more has changed than her new friend. Somehow Tabitha has been transported back to the 1980s.
With the chance to reinvent herself in another time, will Tabitha finally manage to move forward?
Tabitha’s life is very uneventful that is until her Dad drops a bombshell at Sunday dinner. One thing’s for sure that after hearing his news, pudding is the last thing on everyone’s minds. Tabitha works at Pearls and Doodles a shop that sells an array of knick-knacks and vintage clothing. It’s whilst she’s sorting stock that she comes across an amethyst crystal ring. Now the ring isn’t just any normal ring or a piece of costume jewellery because when Tabitha wears it she is transported to 1989. It’s in 1989 that Tabitha meets free spirit Bea and they strike up a friendship. It’s her dad’s news and spending more time with Bea that Tabitha starts to assess her own life. Will Tabitha make the changes she needs to so that she can start living her best life?
I have been looking forward to reading this book for a while and loved it. There’s something about a story that includes time travel that I find fascinating. The story was well plotted and written and I enjoyed moving from the present to the past with Tabitha.
I really liked Tabitha as a character from the beginning. She really likes routine but it was clear that she wanted to make some changes to her life but didn’t know where to start. Travelling to the 1980s was the catalyst for Tabitha making those well needed changes. I loved how Tabitha liked to collect and restore vintage items and she was a bit of a magpie when it comes to finding treasure, a bit like me. At the same time she is also an entrepreneur posting her finds on Instagram and building up her own independent business. I can see why Tabitha bonded with Bea from the outset. Bea is so optimistic and free spirited. There is a familiarity with Bea and Tabitha finds she’s telling her how she is really feeling and what is happening in her life like she’s an old friend even though they’ve just met. Although Tabitha is worried about changing the past, it’s the past that changes her and her outlook on life.
This book definitely gave me Back to the Future vibes but instead of having a DeLorean, Tabitha had a crystal ring. I had an inkling as to why Tabitha had such a strong connection to Bea but there was a plot twist that completely threw my theory; and I loved it. I couldn’t have picked a better ending for the story and when I closed the book I was still smiling.
A book that I would highly recommend especially if you like time travel and are a fan of the 80’s.
LOUISE PENTLAND is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Wilde novels trilogy and non-fiction book MumLife. She’s the number one parenting vlogger in the UK, with 9 million combined followers across her social platforms. Louise is the creator and host of the podcast Mothers’ Meeting, where she interviews fellow mums and discusses all things motherhood.
Louise featured on the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Influencers’ list and was crowned as the number one ‘mumfluencer’ by Mother & Baby. She is also a UN Global Ambassador for Gender Equality and an NSPCC Ambassador for Childhood. Louise has filmed with an array of people, from Kim Kardashian to the Pope at the Vatican. She is also involved in the support and encouragement of childhood literacy with charity Bookstart, alongside Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
As the Battle of Britain rages overhead, a warlock leader from the Council of High Witches comes to Woodville with a ritual to repel the imminent Nazi invasion. The only catch is it involves full-frontal nudity on the White Cliffs of Dover. The Witches of Woodville are having none of it, but when more witches arrive they realise they might have a spy in their midst, and it’s up to Faye Bright to uncover the traitor. But she’s got enough on her plate already with the ghost of a Polish Hurricane pilot who may hold the key to the truth.
When we catch up with Faye she is still trying to process and deal with the aftermath of the dramatic battle at the end of the second book, Babes in the Woods. That’s when Larry approaches Miss Charlotte, Mrs Teach and Faye because there’s something in one of his barns which isn’t quite normal. It turns out that a poltergeist has inhabited Ivy Barn. But after ridding the barn of the poltergeist Faye comes across a ghost called Leo who appears to be tethered to the barn. At the same time Faye, Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach are approached by The Council of Witches to see if they can stop the war and defeat the enemy by taking part in The Cone of Power ritual. As if Faye wasn’t busy enough an old enemy resurfaces with an ally who is closer to Faye than she thinks who’s goal is to destroy The Council of Witches. Will The Cone of Power ritual be successful? Will Faye help Leo find out what is keeping him tied to Ivy Barn? Will Faye discover the spy who is trying to destroy them?
The author has created such a brilliant and original series in the Witches of Woodville combining magic, witches and the Second World War which are some of my favourite subjects. As soon as the author reveals the next book in the series I can’t wait to catch up with Miss Charlotte, Mrs Teach and Faye and find out what’s going on in this little Kentish Town and be transported back to the 1940’s. This is the third book in the series and I absolutely loved the storyline. When I think the series can’t get any better the next book always proves me wrong. The story was new and fresh but included the characters I have grown to love and become attached to. The underlying themes of these books are that it is World War Two, the enemy and the war is getting closer each day. Faye, Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach are not only helping stave off the war but also magical threats so for them there’s double trouble in Kent. But even though the underlying theme is that of the wartime era every story so far has included a new element which is a little bit different. This has made reading this series interesting and captivated my imagination from the beginning.
From the first book to this latest instalment we see Faye grow from strength to strength from discovering that her mother was a witch to truly embracing her own heritage and power. As the books progress Faye proves that she’s one of the most powerful witches that this little village or even The Council of Witches has ever seen. She proves countless times that she may be even more powerful than her mentors and her mother even if Faye herself is unsure of her on capabilities. I did love how Faye and Bertie are now courting because it shows how much they’ve both grown up from the first book where Faye simply saw Bertie as a friend but there was an indication that Bertie was a bit sweet on Faye. I really enjoyed the little journal entries from Bertie because they made me laugh. They were very matter of fact like Bertie, including what was happening around him to what he was having for his dinner. Bertie knows that Faye is a witch and embraces this even trying to help her by buying her a book about spells which was so sweet.
I’ve said it many times but The Witches of Woodville is one of my favourite series. I wish this series had been around when I was younger because I know I would have loved it. The books include witches and magic in a small town in Kent during the Second World War. What’s not to love. I can’t wait to see what awaits Faye in the next book.
To quote the last sentence of the book ‘THE WITCHES OF WOODVILLE WILL RETURN …’ so go and read the books because you won’t regret it.
Mark Stay co-wrote the screenplay for Robot Overlords which became a movie with Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, and premiered at the 58th London Film Festival. He is co- presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast and has worked in bookselling and publishing for over twenty-five years. He lives in Kent, England, with his family and a trio of retired chickens. He blogs and humblebrags over at markstaywrites.com.
Last week I turned 29. Along with the usual homemade Victoria sponge, helium balloon and Selfridges gift vouchers, my Mum’s birthday present to me was the threat that if I’m not engaged by my 30th birthday, she’s sending me off to the Motherland to find a fresh-from-the-Desh husband
When Zara’s Mum puts together the most archaic of arranged marriage resources (not exactly the romcom-worthy love story she had envisioned for herself), she is soon exhausted by her family’s failed attempts to set her up with every vaguely suitable Abdul, Ahmed and Farook that they can find. Zara decides to take matters into her own hands. How hard can it be to find a husband at twenty-nine?
With just a year to go, time is of the essence, so Zara joins a dating app and signs up for speed dating. She meets Hamza, a kind British Egyptian who shares her values and would make a good husband. Zara knows that not all marriages are based on love (or lust) at first sight but struggles with the lack of spark. Particularly when she can’t stop thinking of someone else . . .
As her next birthday looms, and family pressure intensifies, Zara knows she must make a decision, but will she make the right one?
Zara’s 29th birthday wasn’t just an ordinary birthday; it will be a birthday that she won’t forget after her mum makes it clear that if Zara isn’t engaged by her 30th birthday then she’s being sent to Bangladesh for an arranged marriage. Zara’s mother quickly starts to choose the best picture of her daughter from the thousands of picture on her phone and sets Zara to work creating a marriage CV. However, Zara has no intention of leaving the job of finding her a husband to her family alone but also takes matter into her own hands by subscribing to a dating app. Zara’s dating life has never been busier meeting prospective husbands introduced to her by family and also meeting Hamza who she meets through the dating app. Will Zara find a partner before she turns 30? Will she find the love of her life or settle for something less? Or was the one under her nose the whole time?
When I was reading this book I honestly looked at certain parts and felt that this story was written about me. This has quickly become my new read. At times it felt like Zara was on an emotional rollercoaster and I was on this journey with her. From the first page I knew I was going to like Zara. I definitely could relate to Zara and everything she was going through. Zara is not averse to getting married and she is looking for love but just hasn’t found the right person yet. Zara’s previous relationship which ended badly has made Zara cautious. One of the things that this book portrays perfectly but also very realistically is the pressure within the South Asian community to get married and to be married within a specific marriageable age range. Unfortunately time frames and marriage don’t always match up. Zara now finds that by her 30th birthday she will fall outside of that range and be considered a lost cause or forgotten about where prospective proposals are concerned. As her mother points out the older Zara gets the proposals with slow down and disappear. It was also lovely to see the little mention of people being paired up in heaven before they are born and that once they are born they have to find each other because this is something my grandmother would say to me when I was growing up.
I was quite surprised to learn that this was the author’s debut novel but I can honestly say she’s done a fantastic job. I think that people from the South Asian community can relate to Zara as a person but can also relate to what she is going through. As for the ending of this book I need to read book two urgently because I already know that Zara’s story is far from over.
A book I would highly recommend if you like rom-coms that pull at your heart strings.
Tasneem Abdur-Rashid is a British Bengali writer born and raised in London. A mother of two, Tasneem has worked across media, PR and communications both in the UK and in the UAE. Today, Tasneem spends her days writing novels and her nights co-hosting the award-winning podcast Not Another Mum Pod – and in between, she’s busy trying (and often failing) to be super mum, super wife and super chef. Having recently completed a Master’s in Creative Writing with distinction, Tasneem’s debut rom-com Finding Mr Perfectly Fine will be published by Zaffre/Bonnier on July 7, 2022.
You can find Tasneem on Instagram: @tasneemarashid and @notanothermumpod
A magical and pacy middle-grade debut following a young girl’s adventure from modern-day Pakistan into the world of the jinn.
Nura has worked all her life in the mica mines, earning just enough to keep her family afloat – and to enjoy the odd delicious gulab jamun from the market. Some day she’s going to find the Demon’s Tongue, a legendary treasure buried deep in the mines, and she’ll never have to worry about money again.
Then a terrible accident buries her best friend in the mines. Desperate to save him, Nura digs too deep and passes over into the magical and terrible world of the jinn. Across a pink sea and under a purple sky, she finds her way to a palace, where great riches and a whole new life are on offer.
But it’s not long before Nura discovers this world to be as unfair as the real one, and that trickster jinn always live up to their reputation…
Nura and the Immortal Palace, by M.T. Khan, published Walker Books is out now, priced £7.99
Nura has spent most of her life in the mines, mining for mica. Although her mother is adamant that Nura needs to stop working so that she can get an educatio, Nura is taking it upon herself to help provide for her mother and siblings. Nura is determined to find the Demon’s Tongue which will mean that her family are set for life. No one really knows what the Demon’s Tongue but it could be any kind of treasure. During the search its Nura’s actions which inadvertently cause a cave in and her friend Faisal and some other children are left behind. When the tunnel is searched and Faisal and the other children are not found, Nura makes it her mission to find them. It’s during her search that she is transported to the jinn world and the Sijj Palace. Will Nura find Faisal and the missing children? Will she be able to escape the Sijj Palace and return home?
I’ve not read a middle grade book in a few years but when I saw this book and the description it just sounded like something I really wanted to read. This was such a fun read. The storyline was engaging, well-structured and I found myself transported to the jinn world with Nura. The Sijj Palace sounded absolutely fascinating because although it was full of jinn it was colourful, bright and full of so many possibilities. Nura is given a glimpse and a taste of the luxuries that The Sijj Palace has which she doesn’t have access to at home. It’s a completely different way of life and something that she’s not use to which further entices her into this new world.
The subject of greed plays a big part not only for Nura but also the jinns. But Nura quickly realises that greed in general could have a detrimental impact on her life and could determine whether or not she sees her mother and siblings again. The concept of the story was fascinating. Jinns are essentially spirits and tricksters but as Nura finds out that not all jinns are scary and some are good. My final thought when turning the last page is that I wish there’d been a book like this when I was younger. I loved how the story incorporated South Asian culture and that I could look at Nura and see someone who looked like me. I loved all of the references to South Asian culture from the food to the outfits. I also really liked that one of the key messages of this book was education and the important part it plays in a person’s life. From the start of the book Nura’s mother is very forward thinking and keen for her daughter not to work but to have an education. Although Nura dismisses this offhand to begin with as the story progresses she quickly realises that actually education is important.
An epic adventure into the world of the jinn which is best enjoyed with a plate of jalebi or gulab jamun.
M.T. KHAN is a SFF writer from Pakistan, now living in Canada. She focuses on stories close to her heart, evoking cultural and societal conversations through her works.When she’s not writing, M.T. Khan has her nose deep in physics textbooks or glued to her CAD computer as she majors in Mechanical Engineering. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada, with a hyperactive cat and an increasing selection of fantasy video games.
No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game.
A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything.
Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.
Meet Naina. Naina was in a 10 year fake relationship with Yash Raje which ended when Yash dumped Naina and declared that he was in love with someone else. Vansh is Yash’s brother. He is charming, rich and the darling of the Raje family so much so that Naina jokingly calls him Prince. In return he refers to Naina by her full name Nightlina. After Naina’s relationship with Yash ends she thinks her ties to the Raje Family have come to an end but she couldn’t be more wrong. When Naina thinks she’s secured funding for her foundation that will help millions of women in South East Asia become economically dependent, in swoops Vansh with his own project and suddenly he’s the competition. Inevitably Naina and Vansh end up working together but then the lines between work and play start to blur when Vansh proposes they have a no strings attached arrangement, Nina can’t resist, but is it as easy as it sounds? Will Naina and Vansh continue what they’ve started or will it all end in disaster?
I grew up reading the classics from the age of 11 and always wondered what would happen if the classics were given a desi twist and I think my question has been answered. I’ve never read anything by this author but I’ve always been intrigued by her work especially because in the series she takes on the classics and gives them a revamp. I really liked the storyline. It was refreshing and well written. Having read this book knowing nothing about the Rajes the author has done a brilliant job in bringing the reader up to speed with the family in the first chapter. As a character Naina was very intriguing and from the first time I was introduced to her the first word that came to mind was rebel. But at the same time she was also very oppressed. I can see why she entered into a fake relationship with Yash because it was the only way she could pursue her career and do the things she wanted to do. At the same time being in a relationship with Yash meant that Naina was not under the control of her very domineering father. It was sad at times to read that her father never recognised that his daughter was smart and her true potential. Rather in his eyes her potential was limited to marrying Yash and becoming the wife of a senator. Although she had some support from her mother who was trying her best, her mother was trying to balance finding common ground between supporting her daughter and the demands of her husband. I did feel sad for Naina when her mother made comments to her about the shade of her skin and that if she slimmed down that this would help her find a husband. Sadly colourism is still very rife in the South Asian community and comments even if made off hand can be upsetting.
From the outset it was clear that Yash and Naina were more friends than anything else. The same could not be said for the very charming and handsome Vansh. The teasing and conversation between Vansh and Naina just felt comfortable. Vansh always had a special place in his heart for Naina because she knew how he struggled with dyslexia growing up and always tried to help him even if it meant reading textbooks to him. The connection between Naina and Vansh was definitely more than friends. I loved how Vansh called Naina by her full name just to wind her up. The more time they spent together the connection intensified and there were definitely some spicy moments between them. One of which was interrupted by Naina’s mother. Being Yash’s ex and brother Naina and Vansh had to keep their relationship a secret. But I did commend Vansh for sticking up for Naina because she seemed to bear the brunt of the blame for her relationship with Yash ending. She was blamed not only by his family but also her own, despite being the one that was essentially dumped. So when Vansh stood up for Naina not only was it an act of chivalry but he was calling everyone out for pointing the finger at Naina when his brother was to blame. This book doesn’t focus on one love story but it includes a bonus love story which develops between Esha and Sid. This is the fourth book in series and I’m looking forward to reading the first three books.
If you like books that include friends to enemies, enemies to lovers, secret relationships and the age gap trope then this is the book for you.
USA Today Bestselling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that explore issues faced by women around the world. Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s Best Books of the year lists. She has won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, is a RITA® finalist, and has been listed for the Dublin Literary Award. Shelf Awareness calls her “Not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today.”
She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two visiting adult children, and the world’s most perfect dog.
Thea Rushwood was looking forward to exploring the beautiful Cornish tourist spot of Port Karadow, but when her friend drops out at the last minute, she is forced to go solo. Arriving at her cosy holiday cottage to discover a building site next door, Thea and the annoyingly attractive, but grumpy builder, Ben, don’t get off to the best start.
Thea starts to wonder if her perfect escape wasn’t meant to be. That’s before she realizes there is more to Ben – and to the community – than she first thought. As a magical Cornish summer stretches out in front of her, Thea discovers this is one holiday that she never wants to end…
Thea is a librarian from Bristol. She was due to go on holiday to Port Karadow with her friend Esme, but plans changed and she now finds herself on holiday on her own. Thea will be staying at Sunfish Cottage which just so happens to be located near Oystercatcher Cottage, a private residence owned by Ben who is fixing up the cottage. Ben isn’t very welcoming to begin with but the more time that Thea spends with him she quickly realises that under that grumpy exterior there is a gentle and kind soul. But this isn’t just any ordinary holiday Thea is hoping to make her dream of having a bookshop by the sea a reality if she can find a location in Port Karadow. Will Thea’s long held dream come true? Will Thea and Ben become something more than friends?
Cressida McLaughlin is one of my auto buy authors. As soon as I hear that there is a new Cornish Cream Tea book I’m completely sold. I don’t need to know anything about the book, a synopsis, featured characters or locations because all I know is that I’m going on another adventure in Cornwall and I cannot wait. I was really intrigued to read this book because it’s based in a different area on the Cornish coast but is still part of the Cornish Cream Tea series. However, some of the characters such as Charlie, Daniel, Delilah and Sam do make an appearance in this book. What can I say apart from I loved the storyline. It was engaging, well written, pulled at my heart strings and was just heart-warming. Reading this book was like being given a big hug.
I knew that I would like Thea as soon as I met her especially when she said that books were her life. The first thing she notices about the cottage she will be staying in is that it has a bookcase full of paperbacks and not only has she packed some print books but she also has her kindle with her because she’s never without a book. She is just like me and a complete bookworm. When we meet Thea she’s not looking for romance as she thinks she likes someone else but isn’t entirely sure. That is until she meets Ben and then the only thing she can think about is him. Ben has previously had his heart broken so he’s not looking for love and has built a wall around him. I can honestly say one of my favourite scenes was when Thea and Ben were at the lighthouse. It was just so romantic and very adorable. What I liked about this book is that it wasn’t just about a holiday romance it was also about Thea making her dream of opening a bookshop come true which I think is a dream for any bookworm. Port Karadow just sounded perfect and I loved spending time there.
I’m really looking forward to the next book by this author especially the next book in the Cornish Cream Tea series. If you haven’t read a book by this author or this series then honestly you’re missing out.
If you like feel good heart-warming reads with a picturesque location and romance this is the book for you. The perfect book to read on the beach, during summer or all year round.
Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David. When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline. http://www.cressidamclaughlin.com @cressmclaughlin