At long last, it’s my turn to share my review of Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash as part of the blog tour – it’s been sheer torture having to wait! Published on 30th March, this lovely book is now available for kindle (free to read via Kindle Unlimited, and just 99p this weekend) and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support: the ecopy I read was my own, preordered from Amazon so that it would be waiting on my kindle on publication day.
Quite apart from being one of the loveliest ladies I know (and her Tuesday night Facebook chats have really kept me going through my long solitary lockdown winter), I’m a massive fan of Kim’s writing. You might just have seen the post where I re-shared my reviews of both Amazing Grace (one of my 2019 Books of the Year – and the e-book’s just 99p at the moment!) and Escape to Giddywell Grange (you can read it again here). And blow me, she then did it again – Sunshine and Second Chances was just the perfect summer read, and Kim featured yet again in my 2020 Books of the Year list (you’ll find my review here). Sadly no sunshine in the garden as I read this one, but I was so looking forward to seeing if I’d love this book as much as the others…
When thirty-four-year-old Nellie Wagstaff loses her job and discovers her fiancé is a cheating scumbag in a single day, she feels like the world has come crashing down. And that’s before the solicitor’s letter, along with a request to visit a place she hasn’t thought about for a very long time.
Heartbroken, Nellie escapes to the beautiful seaside town of Muddleford in Dorset, where she discovers she’s inherited more than she ever bargained for. Nellie never knew why her mother stopped talking to her sister, but now childhood memories of Muddleford come flooding back: long hot summers, the sea glistening beyond the sandy cove… and a stolen kiss with a boy called Jack.
Jack, now a devilishly handsome vet, has the local pet owners swooning over him, and as Nellie and he become close once more, and she gets used to gossiping with the locals and sipping wine at her beach hut with sand between her toes, she’s sure she can feel sparks flying once more. But just as she thinks she might be able to open her heart again, her newest frenemy, the glamourous Natalia, tells her a secret about Jack that changes everything.
Nellie will never know why her mother and aunt parted ways. She’ll sell the house, forget about Jack, and get back to real life. Because there’s nothing for her in Muddleford… is there?
An utterly uplifting and completely hilarious summer read about learning to trust yourself and of finding love and friendship in the least expected places for fans of Jessica Redland, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin.
Just sometimes, you pick up a book and you just know from the opening pages that you’re going to love every moment – you feel for the main character, the writing draws you in, and you settle in for a reading session knowing you’re in a safe pair of hands.
Goodness, Nell’s having a rough time at the start of this one – I really felt for her as scumbag Callum walked away and blew apart their wedding plans, and with the most dreadful timing when she also finds out that she no longer has a job either. There’s no family support – there’s a poignant story there – but she has a really good mate in Shivani, one of those friends we all need when life takes one of those dips we can’t handle on our own. But a solicitor’s letter opens up a whole new set of possibilities – an inheritance from her aunt in Muddleford in Dorset that turns out to be everything she owned, the house where she spent such happy times as a child, a car (and what a car!), an eye-watering amount of money, a beach hut – and, although it triggers all sorts of memories and regrets that she’d lost contact with her aunt through a set of circumstances she never really understood, life suddenly doesn’t look too bad after all.
She remembers her childhood friend Jack, her first love – and is delighted to find he’s still living next door, all nicely grown up, a rather dishy vet, who seems really happy to pick up their friendship where it left off. And then there’s the mysterious Norman – who she finds was particularly special in her aunt’s life, and who becomes a pretty important part of hers too. But they’re not children any more, and Nell’s arrival ruffles a few feathers – and she has some difficult decisions to make, whether to embrace her new life and a fresh start surrounded by her childhood memories, or whether to wave it a sad goodbye and face up to life’s realities back at home in the Midlands.
I really did love everything about this book. Nell’s voice – the story’s told in the first person, and you share every moment of her thoughts and feelings – is quite wonderful, and I adored her from the very beginning, wanting to give her a hug and tell her that everything would work out ok. The supporting cast is superb – I immediately fell for Jack (who wouldn’t – and Norman!), felt very uncomfortable about Natalia, and all the other other well drawn characters play their part in the lovely story. It all has a perfect emotional touch too – I was quite tearful at the memories, and the way any possibility of romance ebbed and flowed and the obstacles to happiness looked insurmountable, but there was plenty to make me smile and laugh too. The setting is wonderful, created with love – far more than just a backdrop, and I’d have so loved to join Nell on one of those deckchairs outside the beach hut, and to breath that sea air (in fact, I really felt I was there…).
The story has some unpredictable twists and turns, some really heartwarming and others that made me feel there might just not be the happy ending I so wanted – and there’s one moment of real drama that had my heart in my mouth, everything on edge, just hoping things would work out. And the whole present day story is nicely underpinned by the secrets of the past, revealed with such poignancy, the reasons why Nell was torn away from the relationship and home where she’d experienced such love and happiness.
Kim Nash is a wonderful writer – this book had everything I look for in a light and summery read, but plenty of emotional depth to satisfy too. It’s just a gorgeous read, totally uplifting and enjoyable from first page to last, and one I’d thoroughly recommend to anyone who enjoys the same books as I do. And even better, I’m delighted to see that this might not be our only visit to Muddleford – I can’t wait!
About the author
Kim Nash is an author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, feel-good, romantic fiction.
She lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is Head of Publicity for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!). Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.
Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019. Escape to Giddywell Grange was her second, published by Hera Books in September 2019: her third was Sunshine and Second Chances, published in June 2020, and shortlisted for the 2020 Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award.
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Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019; Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and was published in September 2019; Sunshine and Second Chances is Kim’s third novel and was published on June 4th 2020.
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