It’s my pleasure today to join the blog tour and share my review of Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot: published on 3rd September by One More Chapter, it’s now available for kindle and as an audiobook via Amazon in the UK and US, with the paperback to follow in November. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and all her usual wonderful support, and to the publisher for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).
This is the fifth book in the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea series (you’ll find them all here) – and Rachel was rather surprised (and a little shocked!) when I told her I’d never read a book from Jane Linfoot. Do you know, I’ve never even featured one of her books – and there are now quite a number to catch up on. I’m always a bit worried about joining a series when it’s already so well established – it’s sometimes a bit like going to a party where you feel a little awkward because you don’t know anyone – but Rachel assured me that I’d really enjoy this one, and find it comfortable reading as a standalone. I’ve found she’s always right, and other early readers were saying the same – so, it was definitely time that I paid a visit to the Little Wedding Shop…
St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere…
‘A pure delight’ Debbie Johnson
Return to your favourite little wedding shop by the sea for love, laughter and a romance to sweep you off your feet!
It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop!
Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!
I’m going to start by saying that I really loved this book – because I do have to admit that, at first, I really thought I wasn’t going to like it at all. I do have a particularly jaded view of the wedding industry – I’d rather agreed to set that to one side, given the book’s title – but the first 50 pages or so of the book just made me feel so dreadfully old.
First there was Milla’s arrival in St Aidan, in her bright pink camper van with the flashing lights – a hint of a sad back story, a bit of an unexpected encounter on the quayside, and then we’re plunged into the midst of the most frenetic party imaginable. I’ve rarely felt so strongly that this really wasn’t going to be the book for me – the humour seemed to be piled on particularly thickly, and it was all far too slapstick for my tastes. And it really did amaze me that anyone could think that Milla was a suitable candidate to be given responsibility for the more special wedding clients – goodness, she can barely stand upright in her stilettos, she’d be a total disaster.
But then, slowly but surely, a little magic started to happen. All the characters became a bit more rounded as I got to know them better – and I found myself starting to rather like Milla as her rather sad back story was fleshed out. I was surprised to discover that I found the whole wedding side of things quite fascinating – the search for the perfect venue, the themes, the wedding fairs and all the effort that goes into them, the catering side (all those wonderful cupcakes!), the commitment and really hard work of the wedding organiser.
Then there’s that rather special chemistry between Milla and her main client – and it grew very convincingly, despite the obvious obstacles in the way, and I began to really enjoy it. And then, to my surprise, I found myself laughing out loud – I think it was at a particular point in a muddy field, another of Milla’s many disasters.
And the story continued to build, and Milla began to find her feet and grow in confidence – and I found myself cheering her on, really wanting her to make a success of things, hoping she’d get a bit of a happy ending. And through all its twists and turns, the whole book became considerably more substantial – but I’d really never expected to find myself having quite a few emotional moments. And there aren’t many times when I find myself with a smile on my face while reading through real tears – towards the end, I was really sobbing.
This was such very clever writing – and a quite wonderful story of the most unlikely heroine turning her life around, making a success of things in a way I never expected, showing real bravery and determination, and doing everything she can to get herself that happy future she so thoroughly deserves. And the large supporting cast is also excellent – a group of really supportive friends who become Milla’s family, watching her back and picking her up when she stumbles, celebrating every little success she achieves. The backdrop is superb too – St Aidan itself, the harbour and the beach, and all those fantastic and well described wedding venues.
Things might not have started too well – but that was entirely about a bit of a mismatch between a book and its reader, nothing to do with the book itself. It really is quite a wonderful story about fresh starts and new beginnings, so different and exceptionally well told, so uplifting and joyous, good fun but with a rather perfect emotional touch – and I’m very happy to say that this was a book I absolutely loved.
About the author
I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines, and lots of heart. Writing is fab, because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I live in a cottage up a mountain road in Derbyshire, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos. Happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.