It’s such a pleasure today to join the publication day push for the latest book from Liz Davies, The Ticklemore Tavern, and to share my review: independently published, it’s now available for kindle (free through Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback, available via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for my advance reading copy.
This is the fourth Ticklemore book – Liz produces books far faster than I can read them, so I haven’t managed to read them all (so far), but I do remember how very much I enjoyed the second, The Ticklemore Tattler (you’ll find my review here). I first discovered Liz’s lovely writing with The Summer of Going Topless – extremely funny, but really touching too (you’ll find my review here). And, later, I read and thoroughly enjoyed The Cottage on Wildflower Lane, and that was wonderful too (my review is here). But I was really looking forward to another visit to Ticklemore – and maybe spending more time with the glorious Hattie…
Violet makes her own gin.
Logan Cassidy sells it in his pub, The Ticklemore Tavern.
It should have been a match made in heaven, especially since the pair of them fancy the socks off each other, and they are both young, free and single.
Logan’s mum, Marie, doesn’t think Violet is good enough for her son. No woman is, or ever will be. And when she becomes ill, Logan is torn between looking after his mum or following his heart.
However, neither Logan, nor Marie, has taken the sheer force of nature that is Violet into account. What Violet wants, Violet gets.
But maybe not this time, eh?
Just sometimes, a story doesn’t have to be particularly complicated to delight its readers – this one’s particularly simple and straightforward, but immensely engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it unfold.
When Violet walks into the bar of the Ticklemore Tavern to try to sell her botanical gins – she’s a distiller, running the business with her brother and doing rather well – she comes across owner Logan, and there’s an instant spark between them. Neither of them is in a relationship, and they both get excited about getting to know each other to see how things develop – but they hadn’t bargained for the opposition from Logan’s mum Marie. It’s clear that she doesn’t want Violet in her son’s life, with a few early and rather venomous exchanges – but it seems she’s never wanted another woman to be part of Logan’s life, afraid of what that might mean for their very close mother-and-son relationship. And she’s not well – her crippling headaches are getting worse, defying diagnosis by the doctors, becoming infinitely worse on any days when Logan has plans to get together with Violet, and any chance of a relationship looks doomed.
Everyone else can see what’s happening – the staff in the pub, the residents that gather at the Bookylicious cafe for their full English breakfasts – and it’s clear that the only chance of making sure that Logan and Violet can have the happiness they deserve is by the community making an intervention. And that’s where Hattie steps in, calling one of those wonderful meetings that always accompany a crisis in Ticklemore – but is there anything they can do to free Logan from the hold his mother has over him, and give his relationship with Violet the chance it deserves?
The author’s books always have the most wonderfully developed characters. If I’d walked into the Ticklemore Tavern, I think I’d have fallen for Logan too – he’s a bit of a looker, a successful businessman, and there’s a gentleness and concern for others that really warms the heart. I loved Violet too – her passion for developing the flavours of her range of gins, the effort she puts into helping decorate the pub for autumn, her feisty personality, her uncertainty when she realises that the path to a rather lovely relationship isn’t going to be quite as straightforward as she’d hoped. The relationship between the two of them is just perfect – the sparky exchanges, the small misunderstandings, the way their feelings deepen – and it became a developing romance I really believed in. But then there’s Marie – a well-drawn and believable dragon, and no-one is going to step between her and her son.
I love the setting, and the community that lives there – this book reintroduces a few of the characters from earlier books in the series and touches on their storylines, but there’s no need to have read the other books to enjoy the part they play in the story. And their leader, of course, is Hattie – straight talking, entirely without filter, but with a clear view of what’s going on and a determination to do something about it.
I really did thoroughly enjoy this one – the romance itself, the relationship between the mother and son, the way the story developed, the exchanges between the wonderfully real characters, the touches of well-judged humour and the moments of real poignancy, the detail about the development and production of the flavoured gins, and the overall autumnal feel to it all – and it’s a book I’d very much recommend to others.
About the author
Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.