Book Review & Blog Tour: A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles

Hey everyone! I’m excited to be one of the tour stops for A Summer Escape and Strawberry Shortcake at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles, which is hosted by the lovely team at Bookouture!

A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle

Author: Liz Eeles

Publication Date: 01 July 2019

Genre: Adult Fiction – Romantic Comedy/Romance

Pages: 274

Publisher: Bookouture

The Cosy Kettle café is the perfect place to escape this summer, for fans of Cathy Bramley, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson. Guests can tuck in to fruit puddings and strawberry-studded ice cream, but for Flora, the warm summer breeze is blowing in big changes…

When Flora finds out about her husband’s secret fling, she escapes to the one place she feels safe: her beloved café, The Cosy Kettle, in the charming village of Honeyford. Serving up cream teas to her café regulars is the perfect way to soothe her broken heart, and although she’s never lived in the area, the little community welcome her with open arms.

She’s soon lodging with local eccentric Luna in her remote and beautiful Starlight Cottage, snuggled between rolling green hills. Luna’s handsome son Daniel lost his wife several years ago, and as Flora gets to know him, sharing walks through the blossom-scented woods, they both slowly begin to heal… and she realises that behind Daniel’s quiet exterior, there’s a passionate nature that makes her forget all about her ex-husband.

As she settles into her new life, hosting a baking competition for the village’s summer celebration seems like a great idea… but with Daniel’s mysterious silences leading Flora to believe he’s hiding secrets, she can’t help but wonder if she can really trust him. And when the race to bake the perfect Victoria sponge stirs up old rivalries between locals, Flora starts to feel like she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

After her new start, will Flora ever truly belong in Honeyford? And, this summer, can she risk opening up her heart again? 

Even before I read the blurb for this book, I was immediately pulled in by the cover. It reminds me of a cosy summer cottage where I could curl up with a good book and get lost. I knew I wanted this one as one of my summer reads.

Flora is in her mid 40s and considers life to be near picture perfect with her thriving bookstore and husband who owns a successful restaurant. Unfortunately, everything comes to a crashing halt when she catches Malcolm mid tongue lock with one of the waitresses (who’s in her 20s). After realizing that Malcolm has been having an affair and lying to her, Flora leaves her life with Malcolm in Oxford and relocates to Honeyford where her bookshop is.

As someone who had a very similar experience happen, I couldn’t help but immediately feel for Flora and everything that she had gone through. Malcolm is literally the world’s biggest piece of sh*t. He doesn’t support Flora. He thinks her bookshop is a waste of time hobby. He is incredibly condescending.

It’s not until Flora starts residing at the Starlight Cottage with Luna with her son Daniel and grandson Caleb that she starts to realize how much of her life had been devoted to someone who was too selfish to care about her. I loved watching Flora grow increasingly independent and sure of herself as she started taking a larger interest in both her customers at the bookshop as well as the community of Honeyford as a whole.

It was really important to me that the romance between Flora and Daniel wasn’t rushed and over the top because, let’s be honest, no one needs a rebound after a relationship comes crumbling down. Plus with Daniel as a widower and single father, it felt much more natural that Flora and Daniel started off on very uneasy footing and had to actively work to get to know each other and knock down the walls around their hearts.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. This book didn’t really come across as the laugh out loud type (unless you’re laughing at how over the top Luna can be), but it definitely is heartwarming and will have you rooting for both Flora and Daniel the entire time. This is definitely the perfect summer read for an afternoon filled with sun and sangria. I can’t wait to read more books from this author!

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for the eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Get your copy of A Summer Escape and Strawberry Shortcake at the Cosy Kettle:

Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist. 

Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result. 

Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.

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