Fay Keenan returns to the blog today with the second in her Little Somerby series, as we check back in with the Carters of Carter Cider and meet Anna’s friend and former sister-in-law, Caroline.
Springtime at the Cider Kitchen
Opening with the wedding of Anna and Matthew, Caroline is in tumult. Her brother’s widow is remarrying, making the day painful and emotionally trying. She’s happy for Anna, and thrilled to have time with her niece Emma, but the juxtaposition of Anna’s ability to move forward in her life contrasted with her own uncertainty about her future have her in a knot of mixed emotions. Matthew’s best man and brother Jonathan is instantly in-tune to her – and while well-informed about his past and player history, she’s intrigued. Even more intriguing as she’s looking for a new direction to use her skills as an events organizer is the possibility of the Cider Kitchen. A new offering from the Carters, the restaurant is shortly to open and in need of a manager.
Jonathan is finally back in Little Somersby, living in his father’s house as a sort of roommate / caretaker as Jack isn’t in the best of health. The tumult in the family because of his own bad behaviors is settling – and he’s working (or trying to) side by side with Matthew to run the business. He’s always been one with a list of women on speed dial – with dates, flirting and more than a few conquests: yet none have stuck. He can’t quite figure out Caroline or why he can’t forget her after their night together – and he’s using his position as a family member and her boss to consistently insinuate himself into her presence.
Oh with the back and forth here! Caroline is drawn to Jonathan despite her determination (and hedgehog-like prickles) to keep herself removed. With the restaurant to focus on, and her growing friendship with Matthew’s daughter Meredith, more time with her niece Emma, and then her past resurfacing – there are plenty of elements playing into this story and keep it moving forward. With more twists, a few moments of utter uncertainty, loss and joys – the story is engaging and easy to connect to with characters that stick in your mind.
What Keenan has done here is crafted a family story that is also one of love, life and possibility. Full of challenges, forgiveness, anger and a few moments of outright small-village fun, games and camaraderie; Little Somersby is a place that welcomes visitors – even if residents have to work a bit to find their place.
Title: Springtime at the Cider Kitchen
Author: Fay Keenan
Series: Little Somerby #2
Also in this series: The Second Chance Tea Shop
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Food / Recipes, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Aria
Published on: 1 January, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Moving, funny, thoughtful and romantic. Bring on the next one!' JENNY KANE.
Caroline Hemingway can't help but feel a little strange watching her ex sister-in-law marrying the owner of Carter's Cider Farm, but she's delighted Anna's found happiness after the death of her late husband, and Caroline's brother, James. If only Caroline could find her own love story...
Desperate to escape the rat race, Caroline decides to take the plunge and move to the idyllic village of Little Somerby, where she is given the task of opening and running a restaurant in one of the forgotten barns on the Cider Farm.
Opening and running The Cider Kitchen is no easy task, and there are many challenges on the way, but slowly Caroline feels she's being accepted into the local community, and starts to believe she may have found her forever home. But secrets from her past seem destined to haunt her, and not even the attentions of the very dishy Jonathan Carter can distract her from all she's left behind...
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: