Debbie Johnson is a new author to me, fitting in perfectly with the #NewAuthorForMe July challenge. This certainly won’t be the last book by her that I read though. I enjoyed it so much that I just couldn’t put it down, needing to know how it was all going to work out. I’m sure it must really annoy authors when they spend months – or more – planning, drafting writing and redrafting a novel only for their readers to race through it so, sorry Debbie but I read it in a day by the pool on holiday!
Pippa’s Cornish Dream is one of these books where you immediately warm to the main character: in this case, of course, it’s Pippa. We meet her unblocking a toilet in a holiday cottage and doing a happy dance with the loo brush – only to discover that her guest has arrived and is watching with amusement behind her! This really does set the scene for the book which has a lot of humour in it. Pippa Harte is a really strong woman although she doesn’t always feel it. She is bringing up her four siblings after the tragic death of their parents, looking after the family farm (which includes a cow called Spongebob and a pig called Harry Potter) as well running a holiday cottage business. All this while just in her early twenties! She has put her own life on hold – no university, no love life, barely time to think of herself.
Ben Retallick is the guest who witnesses the happy toilet dance. Pippa recognises him from her childhood but Ben has a past he is trying to put behind him. He has come to the lovely Cornish coast for a bit peace and seclusion. Inevitably, attraction blossoms between them but with neither feeling they want or can have commitment, how can this possibly work for them? Their romance is one of the central storylines of the book and brilliantly done. Pippa begins to rediscover that she is in fact a woman and needs and certainly deserves time to herself (or at least with Ben!) and happiness.
It’s not all easy-going for Pippa though. She has her rebellious teenage brother Patrick to deal with which would be a difficult enough job for a parent, let alone a sister just a few years older. She always has the worry of her quarterly reviews to see if she is still considered fit to look after her brothers and sisters. And she has to deal with some unwanted press attention when Ben’s past is exposed by the newspapers.
A fantastic read – romance, beautiful Cornish scenery, a gorgeous but troubled hero, teenage traumas, great characters, lots of humour and a real feel-good ending. Highly recommend this for your summer-reading shelf!
My thanks to the publishers, Harper Impulse, for providing a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for this honest review. Pippa’s Cornish Dream was published on July 2nd 2015 and you can order it here: Pippa’s Cornish Dream.
Since Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parents’ farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for a date. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety. When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for! But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … Then again, this is Cornwall.