When Flora MacKenzie traded her glum career in London for the remote Scottish island of Mure, she never dreamed that Joel -- her difficult, adorable boss -- would follow. Now, not only has Flora been reunited with her family and opened a charming café by the sea, but she and Joel are taking their first faltering steps into romance. A bracing season on the shore sets the stage for Jenny Colgan's delightful novel that's as funny, heartwarming, and unpredictable as love itself.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, The Cafe by the Sea, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.
Sarah Barron is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You can’t go into a book from Jenny Colgan expecting fast-paced action or never ending tension, her stories are subtle and take the time to develop an atmosphere that fairly envelops you in a little cocoon, pushing all present worries and distractions to the side. Such is the case as we return to visit with Flora, newly returned to her home island of Mure, and the changes brought by the brash American, Colton’s appearance on the island. With Colton, now wholly having claimed a piece of her younger brother Fintan’s heart, and Flora becoming closer to Joel, another American and Colton’s attorney. Of course, in the time away there have been changes, most notable the new doctor on the island, Saif, a Syrian refugee and his never-ending hopefulness that his wife and sons will be found and they will be reunited. Lorna, Flora’s best friend and head of the lower school is still struggling with the dwindling number of enrolled students, her single status, the lack of available men on the island, and her growing attraction to Saif. Of course, life on the island is a struggle for everyone: hopes that Colton’s project, The Rock, would bring prosperity, new tourism and the locals a steady source of income providing produce, dairy and seafood to the resort. But, with the resort remaining unopened, and Colton obviously up to his ears in business, meaning Joel is working endless hours on issues he can’t (and won’t) discuss or entertain questions about, things are balancing on a knife’s edge for Flora in the café, and personally. So much life and living packed into this story in this small community: from little daily struggles to the biggest questions of acceptance, purpose and healing that each character draws, from residents to the small groups of underprivileged boys from the mainland that are brought to spend time in the wilderness with Charlie and Jan, there’s a magic on Mure that seems to take root in the hearts and minds of each person, making changes large and small to how they move forward. With lovely insets of Eck walking his son down the aisle to his hoped-for happy ever after in the first (that they know) gay wedding on Mure, to the ‘wildebeast’ four-year old Agot, known mostly for speaking in ALL CAPS, yet with an unwavering ability to draw the reluctant into her circle, or provide a needed cuddle when someone is sad – this isn’t a story that is easy to explain, but hard to forget. Disappear for a few hours to Mure in The Café by the Sea, then take a wander on The Endless Beach. The beach that runs the length of the island, withstanding tides, storms and providing a connection that ties the whole island together…… I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
The Summer Seaside Kitchen series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. The small island of Mure is anything but dull, and the people of the island, both generational residents and new, make the community a very interesting one. The book continues its primary focus on Flora as she navigates her new-found love for her old home, but with new troubles brewing. Her former boss and current boyfriend, Joel, is away on business, and this starts a downward spiral for them. He refuses to open up to her, and she constantly wonders if she's really enough for the hot-shot city lawyer. But I was also introduced to two new storylines. Coltan, Flora's brother's boyfriend, has a secret - and it's an awful one. He drags Joel into it, and it's such a big secret that Joel can't really handle it all. This mystery hovers over the story like a fog bank. It's there, but most people don't realize how thick it is. It plays out throughout the story, and when it's all revealed, there's a lot to take in. Jenny Colgan handles it all beautifully, showing that her characters have a depth and feeling that really brings them to life. I was also introduced to Saif, the refugee that has found somewhat of a home as the island's doctor. His story is another sad one, having been separated from his wife and two children in the war. He walks the beach just waiting for that miraculous moment when a boat shows up to reunite them. But after waiting for so long, he's having a hard time hanging on to the hope. Not all of these intricate storylines are entirely wrapped up at the end of the book. But they do seem to reach a natural position of concluded for now, but with more to tell. As I get to know more of the island's residents, I fall in love all over again.
Slow to start but worth the wait to get into the story
I read all of this author. Her books are light romances, which are usually part of a short series. I enjoy them as individually they are quick reads, something to enjoy in the late evenings.
Flora MacKenzie has recently returned to the place where she grew up, the Scottish island of Mure. She is busy running a cafe and is in the beginning stages of a romance with her former boss, Joel. This is the second book in the Summer Seaside Kitchen series but can be read as a standalone novel as the author does a good job catching the reader up on what happened in the previous book. What I enjoyed most about this book was the focus wasn't solely on the two main characters. Instead the book also explored the lives of other characters who lived on the island. This definitely wasn't a complete lighthearted romance as there were some serious things going on although they never completely overpowered the book where it felt too dark. Would love to see where the author goes from here in the next book as I am interested what she has in store for the supporting characters. Definitely recommend if you like romance books that aren't complete fluff and have a little substance. I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.