I was on Twitter a week or two ago (shocking, I know) and I saw a random tweet from Angie (from Angieville – I’ve followed her for years and she has great taste in books). Angie tweeted that The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan was on sale and that she really loved the book. (it’s still $1.99) I had never heard of Jenny Colgan. The cover and blurb made it sound like women’s fiction. But for some reason – I don’t know why – not only did I buy it (I buy books ALL the time based on twitter recs) but I actually read it that night.
And it stole my heart. I’m in love. Like – REAL LOVE. There might be a slight fiction feel to it, but there is a HEA. There is an absolutely adorable heroine who leaves London, returns to her hometown in northern Scotland (a made-up island name Mure where you WILL want to travel). She leaves her corporate job and goes home to her brothers and father. Faces a home and a life where her mother no longer lives (her death prompted Flora to flee).
In a twist on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Flora gets her childhood home back into shape. She discovers she loves cooking and baking her mother’s recipes. She discovers a love for her childhood island and all of the inhabitants. (The townspeople add so, so much to this book).
And there is a romance. Flora has had a desperate crush on her American boss at work. And he has barely glanced at her. But business brings him to Mure, and here he is stuck with Flora on this tiny, odd island and magical things happen to him too. He is 1000000% intense work. Had a bad childhood. And he starts to heal and fall in love.
And Flora’s three brothers are the best and each have a side storyline.
AND THEN – I discovered there is a sequel recently released – The Endless Beach. Flora and Joel’s relationship is tested a bit and more closely examined and it’s perfect. The town’s doctor, an immigrant from Syria named Saif, is desperately waiting word to see if his two young sons and wife are alive thousands of miles away. You will fall in love with him.
And Flora’s brothers have a bigger role in this book. For the purist romance fans – the ones where there MUST be a HEA or the world will end, there is a side storyline that does not end in a HEA. It was tough for me to take. Joel and Flora do flourish though.
I’m missing 1,000 things to tell you about this book. The food that is prepared. The nature. Agot! Charlie! Jan! Lorna! These are all people you need to meet immediately.
And much to my delight, a third book centered around these characters comes out this October, Christmas on the Island. I’m giddy.
For a proper review of these books – read Angie’s reviews here.
I’ve bought them in digital. I’ve bought them in print. I found them so adorable. I’ve completely fallen in love with this island and Flora and all her family, both blood and friends. I hope you enjoy Mure just as much.
Thanks for the recommendation – I just bought it. (I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – it always makes me wish I could dance!)
Pat Lieberman says
Beautiful covers, esp the last one. This author sounds like very sweet reads.
Sigh. I’m still just so happy you loved them, too, Mandi.