Philppa Ashley returns to the blog today with another story set in Cornwall, this one focused around the people involved in the village food festival in
A Perfect Cornish Summer
I love Ashley’s Little Cornish Isle series, so this one was a no-brainer. And I’m really glad I grabbed it. A small coastal village full of characters as the build up to their annual food festival challenges residents and volunteers alike with preparation, weather, publicity and life. Samphire Lovell has a mobile truck from which she sells handmade pies at various festivals and events throughout the countryside. A business she started after the death of her mother, as she was struggling to keep her family fed and together after the death of her mother. An income stream that became even more important when her brother was arrested and jailed after a robbery, and she found herself without brother or boyfriend. But, that was eleven years ago and her sister Zennor has grown up and started a graphics design business with her best friend Ben. All is now focused on the run-up to the festival – their biggest ever and making sure everything goes off without a hitch. Sam, as the organizer has found Chloe – a recent blow in to town, with experience in event organization as her second in command – and al things are moving smoothly toward the big event in a few weeks.
And then their headline chef becomes suddenly unavailable due to his own bad behavior, and that leaves a big hole in the programme – and when you add in Sam’s worries about her own pie business, local complaints about traffic disruptions and noise during the festival and what seems to be a concerted negative campaign against the festival on the facebook page, Sam’s more than a bit worried. She didn’t know worry though until Chloe, doing her job and rounding up another ‘big’ chef’ gets a commitment from Gabe – Sam’s ex and former town resident now major London chef – things heat up for Sam – not in a good way. Can she and Gabe (more she than he) actually work “together’ politely and professionally after all this time and anger? And just how much more can go ‘wrong’ with the festival – weather appears to be a concern with very un-June-like winds that threaten the ‘show tent’ and could prevent festival visitors, someone splashing Sam’s van with red paint, pulling down signs and more negative traffic on facebook don’t hold a candle to Sam’s own mixed up thoughts about Gabe, or the interactions between people in the committee – locals all but Chloe and all familiar with the history there.
I actually enjoyed this story very much, although I wish that less effort was expended in ‘presenting’ the feel of a small village with many different storylines (Chloe and Drew, Evie and Troy, Sam and Gabe, Gabe and the town, the missing Ryan, Bryony and her overlarge attitude) – which worked to present the ‘everyone knows everything’ sort of vibe but also added many people to ‘catch up’ with – without actually presenting us with a clear entrant for the ‘next in the series’ to become the focus. Weather, terrain and even a sense of the ‘locals’ was clear in the story, and while I would have loved to read more about the food at the festival the sense of community, family and Sam finding the answers to questions she had for a decade to get – the story had me wanting the best for the little town and its people and ready for the next festival – coming sooner than anyone has actually planned!
Title: A Perfect Cornish Summer
Author: Philippa Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Food / Recipes, Friendship, Humor elements, Multi-Cultural, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Avon Books UK
Published on: 25 April, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
The first in a gorgeous new series from the author of Summer at the Cornish Cafe.
Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…
For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).
When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.
Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.
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.