The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Good day to you Kittens! This week I have for you pure delight in the form of a book. There are certain books that, when you read them, you know are written by a person for whom books bring great joy. Everything that I have ever read by Jenny Colgan brings this feeling to mind. She loves books and she loves people who love books. Her books tend to revolve around female characters and they typically end up being love stories. For those of you who might not be into that kind of thing, let me be clear, there’s more to each story than a romance. I would argue that Colgan’s stories are more about women finding themselves than they are about women finding a man. For these stories, the men are just window dressing. “The Bookshop on the Shore” is a follow up to Colgan’s 2016 release, “The Bookshop on the Corner”. A word to the wise, when you are looking for these books just keep in mind that Colgan’s U.K. Editions sometimes have slightly different titles and they have drastically different covers. “The Bookshop on the Shore” is out today!

Title: The Bookshop on the ShoreThe Bookshop on the Shore

Author: Jenny Colgan

Author website: https://www.jennycolgan.com/

Publisher: William Morrow

Publish date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 9780062913555

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

The Bookshop on the Shore continues the story of Nina Redmond, a Librarian we met in The Bookshop on the Corner. Colgan returns to the town of Kirrinfief in Scotland, but this time the story focuses on a young woman named Zoe. Zoe is a single mom to an adorable boy named Hari. She is struggling to make ends meet in London as Hari’s deadbeat dad continues to come up with excuses for why he can’t help take care of his son, why he can’t tell his family about Hari, and why they can’t make their relationship work for Hari’s sake. At the end of her rope and unable to afford her rent, Zoe accepts a job offer in Kirrinfief. She will be acting as au pair to a well-established, though mysterious, family while also assisting Nina with the book van. Zoe has experience working with children and loves books…plus, she’s desperate, so this has to work out.

So, of course, it doesn’t work out at all. The children of the Urquart family are little hellions. She is not their first au pair and they want her gone. Their mother has left them and their father is absolutely no help at all and the housekeeper isn’t go to throw Zoe any bones. The one redeeming factor was supposed to be helping Nina with the book ban, but the citizens of Kirrinfief don’t know what they want in a book and they don’t want anything Zoe suggests for them. Hari’s father is still falling down on his responsibilities. Zoe’s at her limits and then, things get even worse.

This book is Jenny Colgan as her readers have come to expect. There’s humor, there’s romance, there’s plenty of unexpected mayhem caused by the very nature of the Scottish weather and people. Zoe is definitely given the fish out of water treatment by the locals. Colgan conveys some of the struggle of being a single parent, particularly to a child with some peculiarities with beautiful poignancy while not weighing the story down too much. Zoe’s life is hard and it wouldn’t be a stretch to understand how she could give up on herself and her dreams, but you know that she will always keep fighting for Hari. This story is about a mother’s unfailing love for her child and the strength of that same women when life throws everything it’s got at her.

The writing is clean and precise. The colloquialisms are easy to gather from context (at least they were for this American reader) and the interspersed cultural details about Scotland and it’s traditions will inspire readers to want to learn more. This book is an easy read. It doesn’t hit the reader over the head with the romance, and in fact I consider that the least important element to the story. Zoe is a triumph who will inspire so many people to get back up when life has bowled them over. This book was lovely while still dealing with the harsh realities many women face when it comes to motherhood and making a living.

Disclaimer: I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon4 glasses of lemonade= a book you could recommend to a book group or anybody who reads.  You might find controversial subject matter, but it is handled delicately.

I really went back and forth on whether to give this one the full 5 glasses of lemonade rating, but I held back for one reason: the story delves into mental health with both adults and children. For that reason, the book might need a trigger warning for some readers, especially those who are sensitive to the idea of medicating young children for mental health purposes. In general, I feel that I can recommend anything Jenny Colgan writes to any reader I come across who just needs a boost.

I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

Hello Kittens! As the mercury and the humidity hit their highest levels here in the South I thought it was time to get our internal temps rising as well. Which is why I have a steamy romance novel for you today. I Flipping Love You is a sexy romp set in the Hamptons that will have readers fanning themselves while dreaming about attractive men at the beach. There’s heart to this story, but it’s also got everything your average romance fan is going to love: mistaken identity, horrible blind dates, sex in public places, and genuinely lovable characters. Good luck staying cool while you read this one.

Title: I Flipping Love YouI Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3)

Author: Helena Hunting

Author website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publish date: 05/29/18

ISBN: 9781250183972

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Rian Sutter (pronounced like Ryan) and her sister Marley are out shopping for groceries when she meets an undeniably attractive man in a sharp suit, a man who seems to be tracking her throughout the store, a man who confronts her and begins yelling at her? In one of several deliciously funny mix-ups, this story starts off with a case of mistaken identity. Rian and her sister are hard-working entrepreneurs, trying to escape their family’s sordid past, and rebuild a life while selling and flipping homes in the Hamptons. They are finally beginning to do well and start working towards some of their long-term goals, barring that little grocery store incident. But fate isn’t done with Rian and Mr. Sharp Suit, Pierce, because he and his brother are buying, renovating, and renting homes in the area as well. As the Summer heats up, so does the chemistry between Rian and Pierce, but after being abandoned on numerous occasions due to her family history, Rian cannot open up to Pierce in the ways he wants her to. One thing’s for sure, they have crazy chemistry that is obvious to anyone who sees them. You’ll find yourself rooting for them all the way to the end.

I Flipping Love You is the third title in Helena Hunting’s Shacking Up series. While you don’t need to have read the first two books for this one to make sense, I understand based on reading the synopsis that at least one of the characters that appears in I Flipping Love You appears as a protagonist in the previous book. I have not read the other two and still managed to thoroughly enjoy this book. My one complaint about this book will barely register for most romance fans, but I’ll state it anyway: there’s not enough time spent in the book talking about flipping houses. That is supposedly a major point of the plot, it’s even in the title, but there are no specific details in the book that lend weight to that. It reads as though someone who doesn’t know much about construction set a book in that world.

That being said, the plot was still enjoyable. It moves at a decent pace and tension builds throughout. You won’t find much in the way of surprises in the plot, with every revelation being teased a few chapters before, but the characters are so adorably flawed that you still anticipate how they are going to react to each other when it all hits the fan. Pierce is definitely the dream romance character: extremely attractive, wealthy, and a good guy, while Rian is also attractive (but unaware of it), determined, and sassy. You’ll love them both as they come to love each other. This book was funny, a little sad at times, and constantly steamy. A winning combination as far as I’m concerned.

Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

1 glass of lemonade= a book that can only be recommended to someone whose reading taste you know well, like a best friend.  There may be a fair amount of curse words, spicy sex scenes, or potentially morally repugnant behavior.  This does not mean that the book is bad, just that the audience might be a little more limited.

Sex, sex, and more sex for this one, no real cursing or immoral behavior. Nothing wrong with any of that and it’s typical of romances, but I still wouldn’t be recommending this one to anyone but known romance fans.