A Perfect Cornish Summer by @PhillipaAshley #review @avonbooksUK

I’m rounding off the blogtour for A Perfect Cornish Summer with my review today. Cornwall is a popular setting for books and it’s not surprising really. It’s such a beautiful part of the country and always seems to me to have a strong sense of community. I’ve only been once on holiday for a week but I loved it and would love to go back for a longer time and explore all the little villages and winding lanes as well as visit the bigger towns. My birthday is on St Piran’s Day. St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall and I like that little connection.

There is a lot going on in the novel as we are introduced to the small coastal town of Porthmellow. First of all, we have Sam Lovell. She owns and runs The Stargazy Pie, a small business making and selling artisan pies to local shops and at events. She also is the brains behind and organiser of the Porthmellow Summer Festival. About ten years ago she split up with Gabe after he did something she saw as a complete betrayal. Gabe was not popular with many of the locals after that and left town, but in the time he was away, he became a renowned celebrity chef. So imagine Sam’s horror when her fellow organiser announces with delight that he will be headlining the festival, following the chef originally booked having to pull out. Sam was a character it was easy to like. She had had a lot to cope with in her life but had got on with things in a determined manner, doing her best for her family and making a success of her business. Yet you could feel her loneliness, never having really got over Gabe and being afraid to trust again.

Chloe is another interesting character. She is an incomer who has thrown herself into Porthmellow life and is on the organising committee for the festival. She isn’t aware of Sam and Gabe’s history so doesn’t realise that getting him to headline the festival isn’t quite the coup she had hoped! She is someone who I felt very sympathetic towards. There are secrets she has been keeping from the community, secrets which make her rather sad. It was lovely over the course of the novel to see things work themselves out for her.

The festival itself sounded amazing. I was almost drooling at the idea of some of the many stalls which were on offer. Porthmellow sounded like it would be a fantastic place to be while the festival was on. I did have just a little sympathy for the minority of the locals who were a bit grumpy about the impact the festival had on the town. Living by the sea myself, we like a good moan when it’s been a sunny day, the beach has been packed, the traffic’s a nightmare, the buses are all full and the visitors leave a mountain of rubbish on the beach! The Porthmellow locals have to pull together and work to overcome challenges such as those posed by the weather. I loved the sense of community which came through at this stage of the story, even from some of those characters who you wouldn’t expect to help.

A Perfect Cornish Summer is an engaging and feel-good read. There is plenty warmth and humour amidst the challenges faced by the characters and the festival. There is romance by the bucket-load and the various storylines are tied up in satisfying ways. I’m glad that this is the beginning of a new series and I’m certainly looking forward to paying a return visit to Porthmellow.

My thanks to Sabah at Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for sending me a review copy. A Perfect Cornish Summer is available now in paperback, audiobook and ebook formats. You should be able to buy or order it from your usual book retailer or you can order a Kindle copy online here: A Perfect Cornish Summer

From the back of the book

A brand new novel from the queen of Cornish romance.

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.

Don’t miss the rest of the blogtour

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