Wednesday 5 April 2023

Guest Review: Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland

Welcome back to The Starfish Café for a glorious summer, but with a few dark clouds on the horizon...

A new beginning...

As her summer wedding to Jake approaches, Hollie is excited for their new beginning as a family. But when some unexpected news threatens the future she and Jake had hoped for, Hollie will need to find the strength to overcome heartache once more.

A fragile heart….

Single mum, Kerry, loves her job at The Starfish Café, but behind the brave smiles and laughter with customers there is a sadness deep within. So when someone from her past re-appears in her life, Kerry can either hide away or face her demons and try to finally move on from her heartbreak.

A summer to remember…

For Hollie and Kerry it promises to be an emotional rollercoaster of a summer, but the community at The Starfish Café will always be there to help them through - after all, with courage nothing is impossible…

Review: This is the final book in the Starfish Cafe Series by Jessica Redland. The stories in this series feature the staff and customers of this establishment, which is set on the outskirts of the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitsburgh Bay, the setting of many of Jessica’s other books. At the beginning of the book there is a very useful list of recurring characters, with details of how they fit into the series. In common with the other books in this series, this one features a striking cover that makes you want to set off for the seaside and enjoy a peaceful evening looking out over the water while enjoying a treat from the cafe. 

This story centres predominantly on Hollie, owner of the Starfish Cafe, and Kerry, a part-time member of staff and single mother of four. Hollie is looking forward to her forthcoming wedding to Jake and a wonderful honeymoon in Italy. However, the couple are dismayed when their happy future is jeopardised by distressing events, including the unwelcome reappearance of a figure from the past. In the case of Kerry, the reader learns about her past and her busy life in the present looking after her four lively children. Someone from her past also makes an appearance, making her worry how this will affect her and her children’s lives. It promises to be an eventful summer for both of the ladies, where they may well need the support of their friends and colleagues.

I very much enjoyed this highly emotional story and am sad to be saying goodbye to the characters I have got to know through the books in this series. I liked that individual chapters were told from either Hollie’s or Kerry’s perspective. It has been wonderful following Hollie and Jake through their growing relationship since book 1. They are both strong characters and deserved a happy future after their previous trials and tribulations. It was frustrating to find that there was more heartache in store for them. I liked learning more about Kerry, and became really immersed in her story to the extent of positively disliking the person from her past who decided to come out from the woodwork. Of course, there are many other familiar faces in the story and one little dog who was central to Hollie and Jake’s relationship. I like the fact that the author rounds off the story with an epilogue that gives the reader a peek into the future for each of the main characters. This book would undoubtedly make a lovely summer read; it could be read as a standalone, but I can recommend the whole 3-book series.

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