It’s such a pleasure today to be helping launch the blog tour for Autumn Dreams at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett, and sharing my publication day review: published by Boldwood Books, it’s now available as an ebook (free via Kindle Unlimited), in paperback, and as an audiobook. Thank you, as ever, to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).
After apparently ignoring her books for so long – just a case of unfortunate timing really – I was delighted to find that there wasn’t too long to wait for the second in the Mermaids Point series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first, Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point – you’ll find my review here – and I was really looking forward to my return visit…
When her dreams of young love were cruelly shattered, Nerissa Morgan found it hard to move on. Now, at forty-three, everyone around her is enjoying life while she’s just going through the motions. With her boss retiring and rumours of a new doctor coming in to take over the practice she manages, change is coming, whether she’s ready for it or not.
Following the death of his beloved wife, Tom Nelson buried himself in work at his busy inner-London GP practice. When his teenage children find themselves in trouble at school, he realises he’s completely lost touch with them. Desperate to reconnect before it’s too late, he whisks his family away to the pretty seaside village of Mermaids Point determined to make a fresh start.
But all is not as idyllic as it seems. With his predecessor reluctant to let go of the reins and the children as distant as ever, the last thing Tom needs is an undeniable attraction to the woman he unexpectedly finds himself sharing a roof with…
Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley and Milly Johnson.
I’m really enjoying this series – it has all the qualities of a Sunday night tv drama, with its wonderfully created seaside town setting and cast of characters whose stories immerse you in their lives. As promised at the end of the first book (which you really don’t need to have read, but then why wouldn’t you want to?), this is Nerissa’s story. She’s in her forties – although she sometimes does seem a little older – and worried about her future, working as housekeeper and receptionist to the village doctor who’s on the verge of retirement. He’s very secretive about his future plans, and Nerissa has increasing concerns that she’ll find herself both jobless and homeless, forced to rely on the support of her sprawling family, the Morgans.
But she finds he’s lined up a replacement doctor – Tom is a widower with two children, keen to relocate to a new place and leave his memories and a few current problems behind. There’s an initial attraction between him and Nerissa, and that becomes the central theme of the story – she carries an edge of sadness having lost the love of her life when they were both young, and the ready-made family is something that she both yearns for but feels the need to resist. The story largely focuses on their developing relationship, both working and personal – and I thoroughly enjoyed the way their story unfolded against the tapestry of other characters and all the small dramas along the way.
There’s a character listing at the start of the book, but I doubt you’ll need it – the book wraps you in a warm hug of friends and family that soon whisks you out of your life and into the heart of theirs. The setting is beautifully drawn, and if this is your second visit there’s the opportunity to catch up with your favourite characters from the first book – that was rather a treat for me, but others will equally enjoy meeting them for the first time. Everything about this book is both heartwarming and uplifting – and if you’re thinking that the only other thing it needs is a lovable dog, I’m delighted to tell you that Toby most certainly fills that slot perfectly. The slow-burn romance with all its obstacles is quite beautifully done – very real, and with the perfect emotional touches.
This really was my kind of read – and one so many others would equally enjoy.
The third in series, Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point – a bite-sized treat, and just 79p at the moment – will be published on 22nd October, and is available for pre-order for your kindle.
About the author
Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas.