It’s publication day today for A Summer of Second Chances by Carol Thomas and I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on this book which I thoroughly enjoyed! I’ll have an Author Spotlight feature with Carol next week, so watch out for that too to find out more about the author.
Ava Flynn runs the charity shop, All Critters Great and Small, in the village of Dapplebury. It’s a shop that is very special to her as the charity was run by her late mother. Like many businesses in the village though, the shop is struggling. The village needs new life and needs it fast. When Henry, the new Lord Bramlington, returns to Dapplebury House with new ideas of how to revitalise and save the village, he certainly ruffles some feathers. ‘Lord Hotlington’, as he’s nicknamed by Ava’s friend Mary, was Ava’s first love but he left abruptly years before when they were caught together by his mother. The old attraction is definitely still there but will they take that chance again?
I so enjoyed getting to know the village of Dapplebury and the villagers too. As well as the main characters of Ava and Henry, there was lovely Gino who runs the village pub, Ava’s friend Mary who I’ve mentioned already, always there for her and there’s Flo who works in the charity shop who certainly provided some of the funniest moments in the book. Her window display is one I won’t forget in a hurry! I do enjoy a story set in a village where people always seem to know what everyone else is up to, although it’s fair to say that there was one pretty big family secret which took everyone by surprise here! I have to give an honourable mention to the dogs who play quite a central role in this book too. Ava’s springer spaniel Myrtle and Henry’s chocolate labrador Granger were stars in their own right.
The romance between Ava and Henry was one of those will-they-won’t-they relationships which are such fun to read about. Just when I thought they were finally going to get together and tell each other how they felt, something would happen or there would be a misunderstanding and the moment passed again. I do so enjoy reading these kind of romances when I am fairly sure that the couple will get together but the author just sows that seed of doubt!
A Summer of Second Chances is a wonderful story about friendship, community and love and just the kind of escapist reading I enjoy. Without giving anything away, I have to say that I just loved the ending! A really uplifting and heart-warming book, I’d love to read more about the village of Dapplebury and its inhabitants.
Thanks to Liz at ChocLit for the review e-copy of this book. A Summer of Second Chances is available from today in ebook. You’ll find buying options for various retailers on the ChocLit website here: A Summer of Second Chances
From the back of the book
Does first love deserve a second chance?
Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running – especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.
But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind – All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?
About the author
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and was a primary school teacher for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.
Carol writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.