Thursday 6 July 2017

Review | The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea by Jennifer Joyce

Published by HQ Digital on June 28, 2017

I love Jennifer Joyce’s books and they never, ever disappoint, so I was very excited to download a copy of her newest book The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea, and it was a joy to read. I’m a huge fan of Jennifer’s books anyway but I also love a seaside setting, as my favourite place to be is by the sea – so this book was a win-win for me and it was an utter delight.

Mae has always dreamed of running her own little bed and breakfast, and her wish has come true. She rents out the spare rooms in her house, where she lives with her daughter Hannah. When her usual guests have to cancel because of an injury, Mae needs people to fill the rooms. It isn’t long before the little bed and breakfast by the sea is welcoming Melody and Willow, two women whose lives are facing upheaval in different ways. All three women have their own problems in love and in life, but will summer at Mae’s bed and breakfast help them overcome them and open themselves up to new love, new friendships and new beginnings?

One thing I loved in particular about this book was all the detail and dreamy description Jennifer uses as she builds up Clifton-on-Sea. I just wanted to head straight to the seaside and see it through Jennifer’s eyes as it sounded absolutely beautiful. From the picturesque views to the food, the smells, the arcades and the entertainment, the kids and the seagulls and every other little thing about the place, the author describes the location wonderfully. Jennifer’s attention to detail is always lovely – I still remember just how much I wanted to taste the cakes from The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts – but for some reason it felt like it had been stepped up even further in this book, and I loved every moment.

Each of the three women I liked, for different reasons. Mae was my favourite as she was so welcoming and such a friendly character, always there to listen to Melody and Willow, though for her own gain as much as theirs. As she offers a friendly ear, she gets some adult company. As much as she adores her four-year-old daughter, there are times when she would love some proper conversation and this summer’s guests at her B&B offer just that.

Melody is a slightly more withdrawn character, rarely seen without her camera around her neck. She is taking plenty of seaside photos for her mysterious project, but sometimes seeing things through her camera lens means she misses out on seeing what’s right in front of her. Melody lacks a bit of confidence but through the character of Hugo (*insert all the love heart eyes emojis here*), she begins to come out of her shell a bit more and appreciate the place behind the photographs. I really warmed to Melody the further through the book I was, but to be honest in her scenes I was more distracted by Hugo and his dog Scoop, both who made my heart melt a little!

Willow is married to Ethan but all is not well. Their dream home is falling to pieces, they barely speak or see each other and they both, deep down, know that things aren’t working out between them. But Willow is not someone to give up easily and the fight in her character is one of the things I liked most about her.

This book is absolutely charming from start to finish. Jennifer’s books provide the perfect escape from your own life but what I love even more about them is that they are honest and heartfelt and they give you hope that things will turn out better than you thought and that all odds can be overcome. She is easily one of my favourite authors and I love her different take on a popular fictional theme, something she offers with every book, and a new book from Jennifer is always one of my highlights of the year. I love spending a few hours with a new batch of lovely, down-to-earth characters who are prepared to work to get life to go their way and who deserve a happy ending. I love her locations and her vivid storytelling. The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is another heart-warming and dreamy summer read by Jennifer Joyce.

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