I’m sharing my review of Linn B Halton’s Coming Home to Penvennan Cover today and I also have an extract for you to read. I was looking back at my blog as I knew I’d read books by this author before and it seems that was way back in 2016! I won’t leave it so long next time as this was such an enjoyable read.
Kerra has had a successful career in London but after her mother’s death, she has made the decision to see her business and return home to Penvennan Cove. She expects to take this time to re-evaluate what she wants from life and primarily to support her dad who is struggling a bit after losing his wife. Kerra has a cottage in Penvennan Cove which had belonged to her grandmother and so after serving due notice on the tenant, she moves in there.
There is quite a gentle start to the book as the author sets the scene and introduces us to her characters, giving us time to get to know them. Kerra is immediately shown to be a hard worker but also someone who values her family and friends. Despite having made a huge amount of money on the sale of her business, it’s not beneath her to get stuck in and help her friend Tegan with her business, cleaning holiday cottages when she’s short staffed. I did wonder whether Kerra, being used to a busy lifestyle in London, a modern spacious apartment and the finer things in life would settle into the quieter life in Cornwall and in particular to the small cottage she had moved to. This was one of the main themes of the book.
There is a strong focus on Kerra’s family and friends running throughout the book and how Kerra fits back into the community. Not everyone is welcoming and of course being a small community there’s a fair bit curtain twitching and gossip. There’s a hint of danger and mystery surrounding Kerra’s former tenant too. Then there’s the love interest with Ross, the man who made her knees go weak when she was a teenager and seems to have the same effect now! I would say that there isn’t a huge emphasis on the romance aspect in the book, but rather it brings a pleasing additional element to the story. Kerra’s romance isn’t, in fact, the only love story nor perhaps the most touching from my point of view.
Coming Home to Penvennan Cove is a book about going back, second chances and moving on, and not just for Kerra. Having got to know many of the residents of Penvennan Cove quite well in this book, I look forward to seeing what happens next for them in what is to be a trilogy of books.
Finally, I pull up outside of Pedrevan Cottage and the enormity of this moment almost takes my breath away.
My heart weeps and all I can do to show Mum how much I regret the days we didn’t have together, is to be here for Dad. And now I’m actually going to live in the cottage in which my mum was born and brought up, for the very first time. That would have warmed my grandma’s heart, too.
Switching off the engine, I immediately grab my phone and press speed dial. ‘I’m here, Dad.’
‘I’m on me way.’
Walking up to the front gate I stand for a few moments to take it all in and I’m awash with emotion. I knew that someday I would come back here to live, but the picture in my head was a totally different scenario.
‘I’ve got this, Mum,’ I whisper, softly to myself. ‘Dad’s in safe hands now. Your daughter is finally home to stay.’
Unlocking the door and stepping over the threshold instantly transports me back to my childhood. I can picture Grandma stopping to welcome me with a big sloppy kiss on my cheek, as I’d breathe in the smell of biscuits fresh from the oven wafting through the cottage. Fairings, they were called. Sweet and spicy, made with fresh ginger, they were deliciously crumbly in the mouth.
Giving myself a little shake, I step forward with determination but the moment I head into the sitting room I let out a groan.
The stack of boxes sitting neatly in the middle is a sharp reminder that I didn’t bring very much with me. Sy would point to things and say, ‘You’ll need this, and that…’ but I kept shaking my head.
Suddenly, I hear a key in the door. ‘Only me and I’ve brought another friendly face,’ Dad calls out. I turn around to see him and Tegan, standing in the doorway grinning at me.
‘Group hug time, I think.’
As I stride across to join them, it feels good to be wrapped in the arms of two people who have known me forever. I’m just Kerra again now. No need to wear my work armour and fear people will see the chinks in it. Or lie in bed at 2 a.m. worrying after a stressful day. This is the start of a new life and a new me. It’s time to live in the moment and enjoy each day as it comes.
‘Your mum will be smiling,’ Dad says, his voice breaking up and Tegan and I hug him even tighter. So many memories come flooding back and it’s bittersweet, every smile raising a tear simply because she’s no longer here.
Thanks to Vicky at Aria for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my review copy of the book. Coming Home to Penvennan Cove is available now in ebook format and the paperback will follow in January.
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From the back of the book
Can Kerra’s Cornish hometown offer the fresh start she needs?
When Kerra left the quiet Cornish town of Penvennan Cove for the bright lights of London she didn’t look back. But after the death of her mother, she’s decided it’s time to face her past and return to the place she called home. Her father needs her, and perhaps she needs him more than she’s willing to admit?
Tackling town gossip, home renovations and a flame from her past, it’s not quite smooth sailing for Kerra. Ross is the bad boy she was meant to forget, not a man who still sets her heart aflutter. As he helps bring her dream home to life, they begin to break down the barriers that have been holding them back and in the process learn things about themselves they never thought possible. As friends old and new come together, the future in Penvennan looks bright.
About the author
From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.