It’s an absolute delight today to be helping launch the blog tour and to share my publication day review of Sunshine Over Bluebell Cliff by Della Galton: published by Boldwood Books, it’s now available for kindle, in paperback, and as an audiobook too. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
You might just have noticed that Boldwood are rapidly becoming one of my favourite publishing teams – I hadn’t read anything from Della Galton before, but I’ve grown to trust them implicitly, knowing that if they liked her writing I’m pretty well guaranteed to enjoy it too. And, yet again, one of their books and authors has given me such an enormous amount of reading pleasure..
A place to make your dreams come true…
Clara King is left in sole charge of a fabulous new cliff top hotel for the summer. The owner has barely left the country when Clara realises that someone is hell bent on putting the Bluebell Cliff Hotel out of business. It becomes a race against time to hunt down the sneaky saboteur before they succeed in bringing the hotel to its knees.
With her dream job under threat and her personal life in chaos, Clara discovers that, when what you love the most is in danger, it can bring out the very best in you.
Do you know, I’ve decided I might have a bit of a “thing” about books set in or around hotels – I find all the behind-the-scenes stuff absolutely fascinating. And I really loved the Bluebell Cliff Hotel, “here to help you make your dreams come true” – all the interactions between its staff (every one beautifully drawn), the near calamities kept invisible from their guests, the fact that they catered for special interest groups and how that worked (or just sometimes didn’t), the honeymoon suite in the lighthouse (and the way it becomes a focus for one of the “leaks” that drive the sabotage story), even the sweepstake to discover Mr B’s full name (and when revealed, it was everything I wanted it to be). And then there’s the other hotel – only a stone’s throw away – and its owners, the Greenwood brothers, who might just not be too delighted about the Bluebell Cliff’s success, as their own business dwindles.
Clara’s an excellent character as the story’s focus – taking over the reins at short notice, handling a succession of challenging situations that threaten the hotel’s reputation while wrestling with her own life disappointments and all that’s going in within her extended family. Oh, and Foxy the three-legged dog too – but he’s just wonderful…
The family shenanigans are really well done, the dilemmas and the different relationships (and the occasional crisis) really involving. The saboteur story-line is excellent – many red herrings, some obvious suspects, but credible when the real culprit is uncovered.
And then there’s the romance – if I enjoy a hotel setting, I think I might like a “mortal enemies become friends (and more)” storyline even more. This one was excellent – lots of hidden depths and secrets, a nice touch with the emotional content as the relationship gently warmed, and plenty of seemingly insurmountable obstacles to overcome before any chance of a happy ending.
There’s lots of gentle humour too – actually, it was really laugh-out-loud at times for me, although I know such things do rather depend on your personal tastes. And the book’s setting is wonderful – not just the hotel, but its surroundings on the Dorset coast also beautifully drawn.
This book got everything absolutely right for me – an excellent light and heartwarming read, recommended to anyone who might enjoy a well-written escape from life’s current realities.
About the author
Della Galton is a novelist, short story writer and journalist. She’s had over 1500 short stories published in the UK alone and she’s run out of fingers to count her books on.
She is a popular speaker at writing conventions and the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum Magazine.
When she is not writing she enjoys walking her dogs around the beautiful Dorset countryside and beaches.