It’s a real pleasure today to help launch the blog tour and to share my review of Coming Home to Penvennan Cove by Linn B Halton: due for publication as an ebook by Aria Fiction on 8th October, it’s available for preorder for kindle, for Kobo, via Google Play and from iBooks. The paperback will be released on 14th January 2021 – and that’s available for preorder too. My thanks to Vicky at Aria for the invitation and support, and for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
I know I’ve said on many occasions how much I enjoy Linn’s lovely books – I always rather like everything her alter ego, Lucy Coleman, writes too! And, once again, I just couldn’t resist this one…
Can Kerra’s Cornish hometown offer the fresh start she needs?
When Kerra left the quiet Cornish town of Penvennan Cove for the bright lights of London she didn’t look back. But after the death of her mother, she’s decided it’s time to face her past and return to the place she called home. Her father needs her, and perhaps she needs him more than she’s willing to admit?
Tackling town gossip, home renovations and a flame from her past, it’s not quite smooth sailing for Kerra. Ross is the bad boy she was meant to forget, not a man who still sets her heart aflutter. As he helps bring her dream home to life, they begin to break down the barriers that have been holding them back and in the process learn things about themselves they never thought possible.
As friends old and new come together, the future in Penvennan looks bright.
Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Phillipa Ashley and Julie Houston.
It’s quite unusual to find a focus on “coming home” in one of the author’s books – I’ve got rather used to them involving a bit of armchair travel to somewhere I’d like to add to my bucket list. But we’re a little closer to home this time, in Cornwall and the town of Penvennan Cove, as Kerra decides to return to the place where she grew up and provide some support to her recently widowed father. She’s sold her website business, The Happy Hive, and plans to wind down for a while: friend and assistant Sy thinks she’s entirely taken leave of her senses, as well as being worried about his own future.
She moves into a cottage inherited from her grandmother, just across the road from her dad Eddie and his dog-sitting business: and she reconnects with childhood friend Tegan, struggling with the recent loss of her husband and partner while running her demanding house cleaning business.
But the cottage isn’t quite all Kerra wants it to be, and when neighbour Drew outlines his plans for improving his cottage next door as a home for himself and his absent girlfriend, they decide to join forces and improve both properties at the same time. Does that make it sound a bit like a home improvement programme? In some ways it is, and I found a lot of the detail simply fascinating – but this book is really all about the community and its characters, as Kerra makes her fresh start, builds new relationships and develops existing ones, explores what makes her happy, and tries to make Penvennan Cove her home again.
There’s really very little I enjoy more than a story with a strong sense of community, and every character is quite perfectly drawn – including the wonderful Ripley, a cat with real personality who decides she’d far prefer to live with Kerra than with her owner Drew – with a lovely focus throughout on friendship and family. When Sy visits, he discovers Cornwall has a few attractions he certainly hadn’t expected: builder Ross provides Kerra’s romantic interest, and yes, he certainly made me go a little weak at the knees too.
And as well as the sometimes emotional back stories of some of the characters, there’s an intriguing mystery and edge of danger around the goings-on of the former tenant at the cottage – nicely done, a little unsettling, and well resolved by the book’s end. There are new friends too, and opportunities for investment and developing other interests… and I really loved it all.
I will just mention that his book is written in the first person, present tense: I’ll admit it’s something I don’t always like, but by the end of the first chapter I barely noticed, and it worked really well in increasing engagement with Kerra’s character, her thoughts and feelings. The writing, as always, is excellent – the author’s books often feel like a nice cuddle, and this one most certainly ticks all those boxes while being a thoroughly engaging read.
I see that there are plans for this book to be the first in a three book series, and that makes me very happy. Like Kerra, I now feel entirely at home in Penvennan Cove, part of the community, surrounded by friends – and I’ll really be looking forward to my next visit.
About the author
From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.
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