Summer at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

‘Perfect for fans of Poldark’ is one of the marketing lines for this book so how could I resist? I have to confess that apart from the first one, I haven’t read the original Winston Graham books, but I loved the recent BBC adaptation. And like much of the female population (and quite possibly the male population too!) I was very taken with the casting of Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark! If you are familiar with the story you will recognise parallels with the original Poldark in the characters and storylines. However, it is distinct enough as a story in itself and such good fun to read.

Demi is really down on her luck. She’s been sleeping rough for a bit and just when she seemed to be sorted out with work in a cafe, an obnoxious customer causes a scene and she loses her job. Enter Cal Penwith, totally gorgeous with smouldering good looks who offers Demi (short for Demelza of course) a job and a home working to renovate faded holiday resort Kilhallion Park. Once a caravan park, it’s now dilapidated but Cal has big plans to revive it and Demi has lots of ideas too.

I really enjoyed reading this story and spotting the similarities with Poldark. It is heavily influenced by the original story but there is lots more going on so you won’t always be able to guess what is going to happen. The simmering sexual tension between Cal and Demi was ever-present in the background, although it is far from clear that Cal can lay his past behind him. There were a good few shirtless moments for Cal and yes I was picturing Aidan Turner! There were also lots of laugh out loud moments in the story. One part that had me giggling was when the dreadful Mawgan was described by Demi as being “so orange I needed sunglasses!” Mawgan is a wonderfully awful character who you will love to hate. She seems determined to ruin Cal’s chances of renovating the holiday park and certainly holds lots of grudges. The Cornish coast setting of the book sounded fabulous and I would definitely want to visit the newly refurbished Kilhallion Park. 

Summer at the Cornish Cafe is a perfect summer read or one to read just to get you in the mood for summer. It had me longing to visit Cornwall again even though I’d be one of the ’emmets’. It is a funny, warm and very romantic read and definitely has that feel-good factor. One of the best things is that this book is the first in a trilogy. I can’t wait to read more about Cal and Demi and find out how things go with Kilhallion Park. I’ll just leave you with this picture from Poldark to get you in the mood….

My thanks to the publishers for allowing me to this review copy via Netgalley. Summer at the Cornish Cafe was published by Avon on 5th May. You can order a copy for just 99p at the moment and I highly recommend that you do! Click here to order: Summer at the Cornish Cafe

From the back of the book

One summer can change everything . . .

Recommended for readers who loved Summer at Shell Cottage, The Cornish House, Tremarnock and Poldark.

“Warm and funny and feel-good. The best sort of holiday read.” Katie Fforde

“Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!” Jill Mansell

Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.

That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.

Demi realises that she has finally found a place she can call home. But as the summer draws to a close, and Demi’s own reputation as an up and coming café owner starts to spread, she is faced with a tough decision . . .

A gorgeous story exploring new beginnings, new love and new opportunities, set against the stunning background of the Cornish coast. Phillipa Ashley has written a feisty, compelling heroine who leaps off the page and encourages you to live your summer to the full.

3 thoughts on “Summer at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

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