Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review ~ Summer at Castle Stone by Lynn Marie Hulsman.

Title: Summer at Castle Stone.
Author: Lynn Marie Hulsman.
Publisher: HarperImpulse.
Genre: Romantic Comedy.
Release Date: July 24, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

This summer, lose your heart in Ireland…

Shayla Sheridan’s a New York native born into big city luxury, but she’s never really fitted in with the “it” crowd. Desperate to make it as a writer and to finally step out from her famous father’s shadow, Shayla decides to take on a tricky assignment across the pond…

Swapping skyscrapers and heels for wellies and the heart of the Irish countryside, Shayla must go about ghost-writing a book of recipes by the notoriously reclusive and attractive head chef of Castle Stone, Tom O’Grady.

The only problem? He has no idea that she’s writing it.







I’m always drawn to books set in Ireland and seeing that Summer at Castle Stone combined the writing/publishing world with this setting definitely increased its appeal for me. The concept I think I was always going to enjoy but the author wrote with real charm which won me over right from the start. This novel is a glorious summer read – full of lively characters and some Irish spirit and culture.

Although Summer at Castle Stone was billed as a romantic comedy, I was surprised by how sharp and funny it actually was. None of the humour felt forced yet there were a lot of laugh out loud moments for me which made the story very easy to get into and also made me quickly warm to the main character Shayla. Shayla was at the beginning very strong-willed, knowing what she wanted was to be recognised as a writer under her own credit – not due to the name of her father Hank de Winter. Her relationship with her dad was a complex one and I was interested to see whether that would change at all.

When Shayla headed to Ireland, I really grew to love this book and it was a struggle when I needed to put it down. From her life in America with best friend Maggie, Shayla knew very little about how to look after herself from cooking to cleaning but once she’s in Ireland, she really comes into her own and the friendships she made were a real joy to read. I loved seeing her relationship with Mrs. O’Grady develop – they had a sweet bond which was just as enjoyable for me to read as Shayla’s connection with Mrs. O’Grady’s son, Tom. Ah Tom was a bit of a hunk wasn’t he and though possibly a little infuriating at times, I could definitely see the appeal.

My only complaint with Summer at Castle Stone was that the book felt a bit too easy to predict. From reading the synopsis before actually picking up the book, I thought it sounded very obvious how things were going to pan out and though I really did enjoy reading it, it would have been nice for a few more unexpected turns along the way. But then this would still go down as one of my favourite romantic comedies. With a great mix of humour and light-heartedness to the more touching and sexier parts, Lynn Marie Hulsman’s writing brought this book great character and a really refreshing, entertaining story.




Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

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