Thursday 23 September 2021

Guest Review: Autumn Dreams at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett

When her dreams of young love were cruelly shattered, Nerissa Morgan found it hard to move on. Now, at forty-three, everyone around her is enjoying life while she’s just going through the motions. With her boss retiring and rumours of a new doctor coming in to take over the practice she manages, change is coming, whether she’s ready for it or not.

Following the death of his beloved wife, Tom Nelson buried himself in work at his busy inner-London GP practice. When his teenage children find themselves in trouble at school, he realises he’s completely lost touch with them. Desperate to reconnect before it’s too late, he whisks his family away to the pretty seaside village of Mermaids Point determined to make a fresh start.

But all is not as idyllic as it seems. With his predecessor reluctant to let go of the reins and the children as distant as ever, the last thing Tom needs is an undeniable attraction to the woman he unexpectedly finds himself sharing a roof with…

Review: This is the second book in a series set in the small seaside town of Mermaids Point. I enjoyed the first book and was pleased to find that this one contains some of the same characters who featured in that one. In fact, the author has helpfully included a full list of returning and new characters at the beginning of this book. Although this is a follow-up to the previous book in the series, it can easily be enjoyed as a standalone story.

The central female character in this story is Nerissa, live-in housekeeper and receptionist for the town’s doctor. The doctor is ready to retire, presenting Nerissa with concerns about her future livelihood and accommodation. The arrival of a new doctor, Tom Nelson, a widower with two children, puts Nerissa’s mind at rest as her services are still required as before. Tom is keen to make a fresh start following the death of his wife, which has caused a rift between himself and his children. A move to Mermaids Point and new schools for the children seem a perfect solution. Tom is pleased to find a friendly welcome for his family, but life is not without its problems and his relationship with his children is still not as close as he would like. A problem he had not foreseen is his growing attraction to Nerissa. Can she move on from the young love she lost and allow herself to admit her desire for Tom?

I very much enjoyed this heart-warming tale of Nerissa and Tom who each unexpectedly find a second chance for love. It was lovely to return to the pretty seaside town of Mermaids Point and meet up with so many familiar faces, while at the same time becoming acquainted with new characters. I really liked Tom; just the kind of doctor we would all like to find in our local surgeries. He had such a tough time dealing with the loss of his wife and trying to keep his kids on the right path; how sensible to try a new start for them all. The story is brimming with interesting characters, many of whom have interesting back stories of their own, showing that Tom and his family are not the only ones struggling with problems in their lives in this small town. I can really recommend this delightful book by Sarah Bennett. I’m now looking forward to the next book in the series; I’m sure Christmas will be quite magical by the sea at Mermaids Point.

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