Author: Kiley Dunbar
Published: May 2021 by Hera
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Rom Com, Book Review
The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.
Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.
Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).
Apply to: The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.
What a wonderful premise for a story. To run a bookshop and cafe and live in a beautiful little village for two weeks….if only! I realised immediately Clove Lore was based on Clovelly, a beautiful place on the Devon coast with it’s steep cobbled main street, lovely cottages and harbour, just as it’s described in the book.
Mature student, Jude Crawley, has just graduated and anticipates that her clandestine relationship with Mack, professor of Philosophy, can now be made public. That is until she sees him kissing another student. Heartbroken at Mack’s duplicity, and made worse by the fact they had booked two weeks in Devon, running a little bookshop in a picturesque harbour village…and it was non-refundable.
After bouts of indecision, talking things over with her best friend, Daniel, and taking into consideration the changes within her family, Jude decides to go it alone not realising Mack had thrown another spanner in the works.
I think of Mack using his charming, smarmy voice, telling whoever rang up that Jude would be delighted to lodge with another person. He’s pushing it, the bloody creep. Then again, maybe Mack honestly thought there’d be another bedroom too? I try to be charitable and give my ex the benefit of the doubt. After all, I thought there were two rooms here. Just like this guy did, this…
‘What’s your name again?’ I yell.
It was good to see Jude blossom as she and Elliot deal with the situation they find themselves in and get to grips with running the bookshop and cafe, while becoming aquainted with the locals. Her life had, up until now, consisted of working in her parents’ bakery and looking after her nan. Since their circumstances had changed, with Jude’s parents retiring and selling the bakery and her nan moving to a retirement community, she was forced to carve out a life for herself. Two weeks in Devon was giving her some breathing space to adjust and decide how to move forward.
Jude narrates her story, so we’re privy to her innermost emotions and soul searching. She’s a little immature for her age and lacking in confidence, but as time goes on the changes are evident. The bookshop is delightful and comes with a resident scruffy mutt, Aldous, who has his own sad story.
Learning that she had to share the bookshop with Elliot is a blow initially but Jude is determined to rise to the challenge, then sparks begin to fly. But it seems Elliot has a secret. One he isn’t about to share.
The setting is fabulous and Clove Lore is filled with quirky characters you can’t help but like. Stories with a great sense of community are always a draw and Kiley Dunbar has a lovely, easy to read and descriptive writing style to add to the reading pleasure.
Book links ~ Amazon UK | Blackwells | Apple Books |
Kiley is Scottish and lives in England with her husband, two kids and Amos the Bedlington Terrier. She writes around her work at a University in the North of England where she lectures in English Literature and creative writing. She is proud to be a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a graduate of their New Writers’ Scheme.