It’s always a real pleasure to feature the latest book from Sue Moorcroft: I’m guessing you probably know by now that she’s been one of my favourite authors for quite a long time, unfailingly producing books I thoroughly enjoy. Today I’m joining the blog tour and sharing my review of A Summer to Remember, published by Avon Books on 2nd May and available in paperback, e-book and as an audiobook. My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my reading e-copy (via netgalley), and for the package of a finished paperback complete with spade and hand-drawn map – and, of course, to Sue for the signed copy collected at the last Street Team lunch (and if you’d like to join the team too, you can sign up here).
While I’ll admit (just between us, of course…) that I’m often a bigger fan of Sue’s Christmas books, this is the book that changed my mind. Yes, I know I’ve said this before – just put “Sue Moorcroft” in the search bar, and you’ll find reviews of so many of her lovely books – but I really do think this is her very best yet…
COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!
WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.
WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!
WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.
WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.
PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…
GET IN TOUCH NOW TO MAKE THIS A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!
A new book, and a new Norfolk location – and, to my great surprise, I didn’t miss Middledip one bit. Nelson’s Bar is such a wonderful creation – the Roundhouse and cottages, the Duke of Bronte B&B, the cliffs with their leap leading to the secret beach – and by the book’s end I think I’d be able to find my way pretty easily to Aaron’s cottage and workshop or to the De Silva house. The fact that it’s an internet “not-spot” might just be a challenge, but I do know where to go to get a connection. If, like me, you like your books to have a strong sense of place, a feel of a community, you’ll find this book an absolute delight.
I defy anyone not to take to Clancy when she arrives as caretaker at Roundhouse Row – cleaning and changing beds on visitor changeover day, along with a little light gardening – having walked away from her high-powered London job and her former relationship after a particularly embarrassing and public humiliation. She’s really nothing like her cousin Alice, joint owner of the Roundhouse, who’s behaved particularly badly – and people’s memories of Alice and the repercussions of her behaviour mean that Clancy has an uphill climb to prove to people that she’s a rather different proposition. Slowly but surely, with Aaron’s help (what a lovely man!), she wins people over – well, most of the people – but later twists and turns then put her happy future in Nelson’s Bar in jeopardy.
One of the many things I love about the author’s books is that edge of something a little darker, the extent to which it intrudes perfectly judged: while never losing the story’s essential lightness, she doesn’t shy away from issues that could be rather more uncomfortable in less capable hands. The complexities of relationships feature quite heavily, and they’re handled particularly realistically: the developing relationship between Clancy and Aaron is set against a background of prejudice, mental health issues, heartbreak and betrayal, and the whole story has a very satisfying depth that raises it well above whatever you might expect from the playful description and sunny cover.
All the characters are exceptionally well drawn, their relationships so well handled. I’ll admit to a particularly soft spot for Dilys and Ernie, and the gentle humour they inspire – and Nelson the dog is just wonderful. But the less likeable characters are strong too – Alice with her breathtaking selfishness, Jordy with his arrogance and bluster, Genevieve nursing her imagined wrongs with her capacity to cause real upset.
The writing and storytelling is superb. These are all real people, behaving in a wholly believable way: and the ease with which the author manipulates their stories makes the book an absolute joy to read, the pages turning so very easily as you wonder what fate might have in store. This is one of the must read books of the summer, and highly recommended by me.
About the author
Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and been nominated for others, including a ‘RoNA’ (Romantic Novel Award). Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies.
She also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor.
The daughter of two soldiers, Sue was born in Germany and went on to spend much of her childhood in Malta and Cyprus. She likes reading, Zumba, FitStep, yoga, and watching Formula 1.
For more information on Sue Moorcroft and her books, she has an excellent website: she also has a Facebook author page, and you can follow her on Twitter. And if you’d like sign up for her newsletter, you can do so here.