Author: Jessica Redland
Published: February 2020 by Boldwood Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Book Review
For Sarah Peterson, it’s time for change. Coming out of a dead end relationship and having had enough of city life, she just needs to escape and have a fresh start – a new job, a new home and a new lifestyle.
So when her Auntie Kay unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to take over her flower shop, Seaside Blooms, the timing could not be more perfect. She could escape to the beautiful seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, start a new chapter in her life – and learn how to run a business!
After three years Sarah is finally disillusioned with her commitment shy and insensitive partner Jason, and decides to call it a day. Leaving London for a weekend trip to her home town of Whitsborough Bay she’s sorry her parents are away for the weekend, but she can catch up with her Auntie Kay. Kay owns and runs Seaside Blooms and Sarah has happy memories of helping in the flower shop. Little does she realise the shop would soon be hers and her home would be back in Whitsborough Bay.
‘I’ve had an unexpected opportunity to travel round the world with my friend Linda and I’ve decided to take it. I want to retire and I want you to become the new owner of Seaside Blooms. Pretty much immediately.’
Sarah had made a life plan when she was quite young, down to when she’d meet her future husband and what her wedding dress would look like. Things hadn’t worked out quite as she’d hoped. During the process of packing her belongings she finds a long forgotten recording of a visit to a clairvoyant. The predictions had all been accurate apart from meeting her Mr Right, who the clairvoyant said would be named Steven. Badgered by one of her best friends she signs up to a dating agency.
I confess I did feel like giving Sarah a good shake once or twice, she was so Steven obsessed. And they kept cropping up everywhere, the good, the bad and downright awful. And suppose she’s already met and is drawn to someone whose name happens not to be Steven…
Despite her fixation with Stevens Sarah is someone with a relatable personality, worried about her weight, unsure if she wants or needs the pressure of running her own business and takes into account the opinions of her two best friends Elise and Clare who, incidentally, are complete opposites and only just tolerate each other for Sarah’s sake. Their animosity causes a few sparks to fly during some amusing scenes.
The characters are very well fleshed out, the writing style engaging and easy to read, and the story flows nicely with a character driven narrative. I enjoyed the descriptions of Sarah revamping the florist shop and setting up her business, also the relationships between the characters and the fact Sarah matured and took control of her life, learning lessons along the way.
About the Author
Jessica Redland lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in England – the inspiration for the settings in her books – with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel puppy, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the puppy has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!
She’s an HR Tutor on a freelance basis and tries, often successfully, to fit writing around that.