Christmas at the Gin Shack by Catherine Miller @katylittlelady #BookReview @rararesources

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Christmas at the Gin Shack, which Im sharing with Clair at Have Books, Will Read

  • Author: Catherine Miller
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Contemporary, Christmas, Book Review, Books, Reading

Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…

Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!

But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.

Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo

I hadn’t realised this was a sequel so I had a quick recap of the first book which gave me enough background to become involved with the characters and the story, without actually having read the previous book. Despite being an octogenarian and having been persuaded to move into Oakley West retirement facility by her son after a minor stroke, Olive Turner is determined to live life to the full. Olive’s original ‘gin shack’ was her beloved beach hut where she and her two friends and kindred spirits, Veronica and Randy, met to drink their favourite tipple, becoming known as the Oakley West Trio. The quest to find the perfect gin and tonic began with Olive and her late husband, and Olive has no intention of giving up on their dream. And it makes her feel closer to her husband and daughter when she toasts them at the end of each day.

Olive’s Gin Shack idea escalated and is now a bar in larger premises, run by her beach hut neighbour and good friend, Tony, with the help of the original trio and the beach hut community. Christmas is coming which is Olive’s favourite season, and the Gin Shack members are trying out various delicious sounding cocktail recipes to enter into the Best Christmas Cocktail competition.

The Gin Shack was famous for featuring different gins. Every week customers got to try two new gin varieties and a cocktail featuring one of those gins. They were already known for their cocktail specials so it made sense that they should try and become award-winners to give their reputation some official gusto. Plus, it would be a fun way to keep attracting customers. Having had such a struggle in its early days, they needed to make sure the Gin Club shack was here to stay.

I love the concept of this story; the idea of a beach hut community (I’ve always fancied owning a beach hut) and the Gin Shack. And there’s much more to the story than you might at first assume, including lots of Christmas spirit (of both kinds), seeing off pranksters and saboteurs and a touch of romance. It’s far removed from the typical Christmas themed romance however, with the gang of older characters intent on family and friends, maintaining the Christmas spirit and keeping their enterprise going. Olive is a likeable and realistic character with genuine age related issues and tragic events in her past. She has a great attitude to life with a larger than life personality and I love the way she embraces her new purchase as she overcomes the steep climb up from the beach. It’s a refreshing change to have the more mature characters in the forefront of the story.

Catherine Miller has crafted a delightful cast of characters of all ages with an engaging, feel good story full of emotion and humour, a perfect read for the season.

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I chose to read and review Christmas at the Gin Shack based on a digital copy of the book supplied by Rachel’s Random Resources and the author/publisher.

When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find.  By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with HQDigital UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016. She is now the author of four books and hopes there will be many more now her twins have started school. Either that, or she’ll conduct more gin research on Olive’s behalf. 

 

Author links ~   Twitter | Facebook | Instagram  

 

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid #Audiobook

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

Today I’m revisiting an audiobook I listened to a couple of years ago, narrated by the excellent Julia Whelan, Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

Just after midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go, Ethan offers to take her home if she wants to stay out a little longer. From then on the storyline splits into two timelines. One takes Hannah home with Gabby, in the other she stays with Ethan. The following chapters alternate simultaneously between the two parallel universes and show how Hannah’s life, and that of those around her, unfolds in each one.
Continue reading

The Lost Corner by Katrina Mountfort ~ #BookReview @curlykats #Contemporary #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Katrina Mountfort
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Book Review, Books, Reading

Eve leaves behind her comfortable, suburban lifestyle when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, and returns to her Norfolk roots to rebuild her life. She feels instant belonging among the village pagans and eccentrics. But in a village of dark secrets and past tragedies, she finds more questions than answers.

It’s a week before Christmas and Eve Murdoch has just discovered her husband is having an affair. She packs a bag and drives without a destination in mind, until she realises she’s unconsciously heading towards Norfolk and more especially her home town of Great Yarmouth. The hotel she found was depressing and the town had seen better days. Not finding anything better she decides to head for Cromer. Continue reading

#Spotlight ~ Summer Sundaes by Georgina Troy #Contemporary #Romance @BrookCottageBks

Series: The Boardwalk by the Sea, Book 1

Author: Georgina Troy

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Release Date: 15 July 2017

Publisher: Green Shutter Books 

Wipe off your flip flops, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

When Sacha Collins, cafe owner and sundae-maker extraordinaire, meets Italian archaeologist, Alessandro Salvatore in Rome, she’s grateful to him for being her tour guide. Now he’s turned up in the seaside village where she lives, known locally as, The Boardwalk by the Sea and is setting up a gelateria in direct competition to her retro Summer Sundaes Café.

She’s only been running her café for two years since taking over from her father. Until now the only other shops on the boardwalk have been a wool shop, an antique shop and a second-hand book shop. These have helped rather than hindered her custom. How will her creative sundaes made from fresh Jersey ice cream compete with his delicious Italian gelato?

Sacha is worried. Is there enough custom for both businesses to thrive? Who is behind the strange changes being made on the boardwalk? And when the oldest resident on the boardwalk is threatened with eviction can Sacha and Alessandro come together and find a way of helping her?

For a peaceful little boardwalk overlooking one of the quieter beaches on the island, there’s an awful lot going on and some of it is going to lead to big changes.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah #Audiobook

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

My first Throwback Thursday post was about a book by Kristin Hannah that sits on my bookshelf unread. This time I’m revisiting one I loved. Winter Garden. It was released on audio in 2010 and narrated by Susan Ericksen. Here’s my review.. Continue reading

Perfect Responses by Margaret K Johnson #Contemporary #Fiction @Margaretkaj

  • Author: Margaret K Johnson
  • Published: July 2017 by Earthy Works
  • Category: Contemporary, Supernatural, Book Review, Books, Reading

Three women are about to face the biggest challenges of their lives.

Janet has been mistaken for a sex tourist after being abandoned by her fiancé in Africa. Debbie is hell-bent on a hopeless affair with Adam, her married boss. Pregnant Kate has just married the love of her life only for him to turn into a distant stranger overnight.

Janet, Debbie and Kate – three women whose responses to the events in their lives will determine the fate of Corrinne Walker. Corrinne, a self-help writer, who failed to live by her own life plan advice, is being judged in the afterlife. Janet, Debbie and Kate have been chosen as guinea pigs to put Corrinne’s book to the test. If it works within thirty days the charges of not following her own advice will be dropped and she can pass on. If not, Corrinne will be confined to Limbo forever. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Next Always by Nora Roberts #Contemporary #Romance

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’m revisiting the first in a trilogy. I’ve listened to it a couple of times and it ranks as one of my favourites, due in no small part to MacLeod Andrews’ narration. My original review for all three books can be found here. Continue reading

That Darkest Place (Riverbend Book 3) by @MarciaMeara #Romantic #Suspense #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Marcia Meara
  • Published: June 2017 by CreateSpace independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Romantic Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.” 

~Hunter Painter~

Following straight on from Finding Hunter, we find two of the Painter brothers keeping a harrowing hospital vigil. The fate of the patient is uncertain but his injuries are bound to be life changing. This story focuses mainly on Forrest and Jackson, both of whom have a lot to come to terms with in different ways. Jackson’s New Year begins with a tragedy. He can’t remember how he ended up in hospital and is initially unaware of the result of the devastating crash he was involved in. The knowledge he’s lost a leg comes as a huge shock but his brothers, and Willow, Hunter’s wife, are there to support and help Jackson as much as they can. Between them they decide to keep more terrible news from Jackson until he’s stronger and begins to remember. Continue reading