It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of The Cottage in a Cornish Cove by Cass Grafton: published by Tabby Cow Press on 11th February, it’s now available for kindle and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US, for Kobo and Nook, and also via Smashwords. My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for the advance reading e-copy.
Well, having very rudely ignored Cass for a good few years, she’s suddenly becoming a regular feature! It was only a few weeks ago that I shared my review of the quite wonderful The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen – written with Ada Bright – and now she’s back again. But this time it’s with something very different – a contemporary romance, and the first in a series. I was really rather excited about this one, and it most certainly didn’t disappoint – let’s take a closer look…
A heart-warming tale of discovering all you never wanted is exactly what you needed.
Orphaned as a baby and raised by indifferent relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the quaint village of Polkerran.
With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B – and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.
Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and – to be honest – often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.
The stars are finally aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she finds herself living a dream that isn’t hers.
Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, who will be there to hold her hand?
The Cottage in a Cornish Cove is the first in an uplifting series of romances from Cass Grafton. Get to know the locals, wallow in the quaintness of Polkerran, and fall in love with romance all over again.
It’s not that often that I take to Twitter when I finish reading to tell the author (and everyone else!) what a perfect afternoon I’ve had, enjoying their book so very much. But this book was just so thoroughly gorgeous, and so well written – with tremendous warmth, lovely touches of gentle humour, quite wonderful characters, a setting I really enjoyed, a few perfectly handled emotional moments, and such a lovely romance at its centre.
Anna is one of those heroines that immediately wins your heart, with her memories of the happier moments of her childhood and youth, those lovely holidays in Polkerran with her beloved Aunt Meg. Despite the challenges of doing so, Meg’s legacy gives her the opportunity to return, to make a home in the place she always loved. And then there are those memories of Alex, the unattainable boy of her dreams – might he still be around, and now they’re both adults, might there be a chance he’ll notice her at last? Anna is so thoroughly lovely, almost (but not quite) too nice, quite overcome when her dreams do start to come true – and I really felt for her when things didn’t entirely follow the path she’d hoped they might.
The book’s romance comes from elsewhere entirely – unexpected maybe, but entirely convincing, and everything I wanted it to be. And no, I’m saying no more, I’ve stepped close enough to the spoilers already – but I think you’ll love it too.
I loved the setting of this book – I think I could now find my way around Polkerran in a blindfold, it’s so vividly described with its twin headlands and the colourful cottages clinging to its slopes. And I loved its people – Daniel who does the jobs around the house, Ray down the End, Brian up the Top, Tommy the Boat, Colin the Cod, Charlie the Crab (and the reason he got his name!), and so many more. The circle of friends who call round for coffee and cake are simply wonderful, a recurring Greek chorus commenting on the action – and Mrs L’s malapropisms add so much to the humour (in fact, I’m still laughing when I think about the “philanderer”!).
There’s more than enough depth to the story to keep you interested, alongside the developing romance – the possibility that the inheritance isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems, a few people (ok, one in particular) behaving badly, some big secrets uncovered. The whole story is quite deliciously revealed, gently and slowly – and there’s a nice bit of anguish at times, moments when it seems all is lost. And there’s that lovely recurring theme – a bit of a mystery – around following the shells. Do you know, I could go on for ever, picking out different things I loved about this book – if you love the same books that I do, you’re in for a real treat!
I must just mention the dialogue – Anna’s exchanges with her enigmatic boss Oliver are simply perfect, the moments of silence as effective as Anna’s need to fill them. And I really must mention the animals too – Douglas the dog, Thumper, but also the great little character that is Heathcliff…
I just loved this book – and ok, I know you can probably tell. It just fills your heart with joy, with a perfect balance of tears and laughter – and I’m SO delighted it’s the first in a planned series. Highly, highly recommended – just don’t plan on doing anything else on the day you choose to read it!
With thanks to Cass and Rachel, I’m offering the chance to win one of three paperback copies of The Cottage in a Cornish Cove (open internationally). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
Terms and Conditions Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
About the author
An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read – heart-warming, character driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.
She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.
Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.