Sue Watson returns to the blog today with the first in her new Ice Cream Café series – a perfect summery treat with plenty of laughs and several family secrets. Please read on for my review and a small snippet that details one of the many challenges that Ella is facing in
Ella’s Ice Cream Summer
Ella is a now-single mum with a horrid ex (Dick – in name and behavior) two children off to start their own lives in far away places, her Mum in need of watching and now, a lack of income. When her aunt passed after several years of a family fracture, Ella is bequeathed the ice-cream truck from the family business in Devon, and without a job or income, she heads off to explore possibilities.
Arriving in Devon, she’s saddened by the shambles that the family’s ice-cream parlor is in: having spent many summer vacations with her aunt and cousin Gina, she has nothing but wonderful memories of her time there. But with her always-into-something mother who is flat-out refusing to explain why she and her sister stopped speaking, let alone her animosity for Gina, Ella has plenty to sort out and little time or money to do either. Fortunately some assistance arrives in the form of the local solicitor’s son, who is willing to help her work through the paperwork to set up the business and is always available for a romp – at least until September when he’s very clearly stated he’ll be off to Hawaii to dive there. Oh – and did I mention that in amongst all of her own struggles, she is also the dog-siter for a little dog with a wardrobe and jewelry that would rival the M & S Showroom? Oh yes – there is that. And the cousin, recently returned, drinking, avoiding any subject that she doesn’t want to tackle, and generally telling Ella everything she wants to hear – but the important bits.
Full of ice-cream ideas that will make your mouth water, an elderly adventuress in her mother, the leave em after loving them lawyer Ben and the troubled and often flighty Gina, a flighty dog with jammies, evening wear and more, not to mention the secondary characters that appear in small scenes: the stoy is lush and layered with atmosphere and descriptions that are hard to ignore. Then we have Ella and her own personal growth: her ability to put herself in the picture (if not actually first) after years of bending to everyone else’s whims and will, and a bag full of papers, letters and family secrets that was hidden in Reynaldo the ice-cream truck. A story that, while it reveals the secrets slowly is so engaging and engrossing that you want to know more – and certainly want to park on the shore across from Reynaldo awaiting the next creation. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Title: Ella's Ice-Cream Summer
Author: Sue Watson
Series: The Ice-Cream Café #1
Also in this series: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 11 May, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!
Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.
Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.
There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
And if you need more convincing – here’s some of Ella’s struggles …
“Which reminds me,” I said, “talking of old people posting naked body parts, I’m not very good online and Josh leads her astray, but can you still keep an eye on Nan’s online activities while you’re away?”
Lucie smiled; “yeah, don’t worry, I’m always across that shit.”
“But I reckon we’re one photo away from her getting her Instagram shut down,” she warned. “And someone should take her Twitter off her.”
“Not Donald Trump again?”
Lucie pulled a face. “Putin.”
“Oh Christ, really?” And to think until recently all I had to worry about was her having a tattoo on her bum like Cheryl Cole-thingy and plastering it all over the net. I could only dream of those halcyon days, when all I worried about was my mother appearing on a niche tattoo-porn website. Now I was concerned about the KGB living in our loft and what to pack for my thirty-year stay in Siberia.
“Oh, the Cheryl tat was funny.” Lucie smiled, gazing ahead like it was a lovely moment of nostalgia.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: