I’m really delighted to be joining the blog tour today for The Flower Shop on Foxley St. by Rachel Dove, published for kindle by HQ Digital/Harper Collins on 26th July and available from Amazon in the UK and US. This book is part of the Westfield series, but comfortably read as a standalone. I had the real pleasure of attending an event Rachel held at Wetherby library last year – you can read my report again here – and I’ve been really looking forward to reading a book by her. I was thrilled to find that her writing is every bit as warm and lovely as the lady herself.
A new love could be about to bloom for Lily in this bright, warm women’s fiction title that fans of Holly Hepburn and Cathy Bramley will love.
Lily Rose Baxter loves her little flower shop on Foxley Street and the freedom and independence from her family that it represents.
Lily can’t help but feel that something is missing from her life…, but when mysterious stranger Will Singer comes into her shop looking for the perfect bouquet of roses, all that could be about to change.
Do you know, I’m sometimes a tad averse to books with any kind of little shop in the title – but, for some strange reason, I’m always attracted by a flower shop! And the flower shop in this book isn’t just a vaguely sketched-in backdrop – it’s just wonderfully drawn, as Roger (what a great character he is!) and Lily labour at the bench putting together their ordered bouquets, taking turns to answer the shop bell.
As well as a vivid setting, the author creates some great living, breathing characters, with depth that surprised me. I loved Lily from the very beginning, so hoping that her decisions would be the right ones. I guess many of us sometimes settle for the easy option in life, but in this case… oh, my word, please no! And Will is just gorgeous, outside and in, but with secrets that make a happy ending look totally impossible.
The different threads are so well unravelled, and it’s a story with a lot more complexity (and a few surprises) than I ever expected – and I was really impressed by the strength and fluidity of the writing. I must say a word about Lily’s parents too (always on the look out for more mature characters!) – there’s an excellent thread to the story about the way retirement tests their relationship, with the loveliest twists and turns, so well done.
There are times when you don’t really want your reading to be a challenge, you just want to relax and enjoy – and this gorgeous book gave me one of the loveliest escapist afternoons I’ve had in a while. I loved this one…
Fancy an extract? My pleasure…
Will Singer looked every inch the thirty-two-year-old man he was. The bathroom mirror rarely did anyone any favours, but this particular winter morning it appeared to be magically channelling the mirror from Snow White in terms of stark clarity and downright truth. Who’s the hottest man of them all? Certainly not you, dude.
He had badly needed a shave. People were starting to comment on it, but the clean-shaven Will was not a great improvement. At least his dark stubble had detracted from the huge Kardashian-sized luggage wedged under his eyes. Without his hairy mask, Will felt naked, unable to hide.
Even worse was the fact that the lack of hair on his face left people free to roam over his other features, in particular the mop of hair sprouting from his head. He looked like Lionel Messi mixed with Mufasa the lion. It did well for them, but Will wasn’t sure it was such a great style for him. Any longer and he would have to buy an Alice band like Beckham. Start sporting a man bun. He was pretty sure the villagers had never seen a man bun. It might scare them enough to dust off the pitchforks and torches. He had a sudden vision of his uncle Archie dressed like Braveheart, rallying the twin set and mohair-clad villagers into action from atop a horse. ‘People of Westfield, we shall not lie down and die. The man bun must be destroyed!’
He chuckled to himself at his own humour. He would have to tell Lily that joke later.
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I’m delighted to be able to offer a giveaway:
1st Prize : Signed paperback copy of The Flower Shop on Foxley St. (open internationally)
2nd Prize: A Signed paperback copy of The Chic Boutique on Baker St. (open internationally)
Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About Rachel Dove
I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses. In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.
My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now. In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback, and the follow up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.