The little picture house by the sea is the Palace at Polwhipple - a lovely art deco cinema, nestled in front of azure Cornish seas. But it is long past its heyday now, and its only saving grace is Ferelli's, the family run ice-cream concession in the foyer, which is widely known as the best ice cream for miles.
When Ferdie, the owner of Ferelli's, falls ill, his granddaughter Gina drops everything to come and help out. But when she arrives she is dismayed by the state of the cinema, which she remembers fondly from summer holidays when she was little, and she is determined to do anything she can to help. Alongside her old friend Ben Pascoe, she sets about reviving the Palace to its former glory with a themed Brief Encounter night.
Review: I was so excited for this new series and as soon as I started reading this first installment, I knew my excitement was entirely appropriate. For a novella that I thought was going to be about a picture house, this book started off being far more about ice cream than anything else so this one definitely comes with a warning-reading this will make you hungry! I loved the premise behind this first installment though. Gina travels down to Cornwall to help out with her grandparents' gelato business and ever the events planner, gets sucked into planning something with the dilapidated cinema in the town.
I loved Gina as a character, she is independent and forward thinking, and like may of us, she can't seem to leave her job behind. I liked that she was able to sort herself out with somewhere to stay, I admired her organisation. I also liked the fact that she is so loyal to her family, there isn't enough of that in books these days! Her grandparents are also excellent characters. I know there are going to be more fun times with them around and they certainly know how to make a good cappuccino! And then we have Ben, old childhood friend of Gina's. There is so much more to Ben than meets the eye and he is definitely shaping up to be a mystery man that we are all going to fall in love with.
What is great about this first installment is that there is so much history that is alluded to that is obviously going to re-surface as the series goes on, but there are also other characters that are introduced that are going to take the story in another direction. I loved meeting Carrie in this first part, she seems like she's definitely going to be a keeper and an asset to Gina. Max is definitely the villain of the piece and so I'm looking forward to hearing how his story line develops.
Obviously brief encounter is also featured in the storyline and so now I am going to go and check this out from the library so I can have my own magical moment with it, just like Gina planned. I loved this read, not only does it have my favourite flavour of ice cream in it, it finishes at the perfect point, leaving me wanting more. I so cannot wait for the next installment. Definitely get this one downloaded and spend an afternoon with Gina, Ben and a big bowl of ice cream!
To start reading this series now, click here!