Wednesday 27 February 2019

Guest Review: The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he - or she - has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it. 

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed - and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events. 

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

Review: Although Nicola May has an impressive back catalogue of novels, this is the first one that I have read. The title and book cover suggested that it would be right up my street. Indeed, having looked back at the cover once I had finished the book, I can see that it is a really good representation of the scene described in the story. Once begun, I found this a quick read, with an interesting combination of romance and intrigue.

This is the tale of Rosa Larkin, who, when we first meet her, is living in London, renting a room from handsome rugby player and friend, Josh, but unable to keep a job for any length of time. Out of the blue she inherits a shop with flat above in the little Devon seaside town of Cockleberry Bay. Although she has no idea from whom she has inherited the property, she sets off with little dachshund, Hot (brilliant name for a sausage dog!), with a view to setting herself up in business. The building turns out to need a lot of work, but she sets to, even though she has absolutely no experience in such renovation. In her early days in the town, she meets lots of local people, some friendly and pleasant, and some not so nice, but who can she trust? As the days and weeks go by, Rosa discovers more and more about her inheritance and, indeed, about her own origins. 

I found this book a light and easy read, probably perfect for taking on holiday. Although basically a romance, there are enough twists and turns to the story to add another dimension; there is always the threat of something nasty or even evil round the next corner. Rosa herself has had a difficult time growing up and deserves a break, but she is not so good at choosing who she should look to for help, or seeing what is right in front of her nose. I found myself shouting a warning at my Kindle on quite a few occasions. The setting for the book is a beautiful seaside town, and Rosa just has to exit her front door to see the water, but I’m not sure that I would like to live there; there are some strange and unpleasant people around.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge sucker for books with charming little shops in small towns. This is one I would definitely read, especially considering how sweet the cover is!