Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Book Review - How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: How to Find Love in a Bookshop
Author: Veronica Henry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 16th June 2016 
Rating: 4. 5 Stars

Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for booklovers.

But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous - but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers.
Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye?

Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems...

And there's Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?

How to Find Love in a Book Shop is the delightful story of Emilia's fight to keep her book shop alive, the customers whose lives she has touched - and the books they all love.

What a highly enjoyable story, with a loveable cast of characters. The opening couple of chapters hooked me in instantly, as they alternated between Emilia starting to come to terms with her father's death, and having a bookshop to take care of, and the story of how Julius, fell in love, and started up the shop, for him and his baby daughter Emilia all those years ago. 

After such a beautiful opening to a book, I was very glad to see it got even better, as we are introduced to the various characters whose lives were touched by Julius Nightingale. For a character that does't appear in the book in the present, his spirit was present in almost every chapter, and he seemed like a wonderful man, as he touched so many of the villagers lives. 

There is Sarah who used to escape to the bookshop, as a break from her life as lady of the manor, her daughter Alicia who is about to be married, but is it to the correct man. There is Jackson who is working for the developer that wants to buy the bookshop and turn in into apartments, but instead discovers just what Nightingale books is all about. 

And then here is Thomasina who is very shy, but has a clear crush on someone and has a love of cookery and cookbooks. She teaches cookery at a local school, and has taken one pupil under her wing, and its lovely to see Lauren's development as they work together in Thomasina's one-table pop up restaurant. 

A whole community comes together to help Emilia work out if she should keep the shop and her clear legacy or sell up and move on. At times I really wasn't sure which way it would turn out. There are so many other characters whose stories we learn a lot about, and the focus of the chapters changes regularly, as to the various people that live in Peasebrook. Even the name of the town conjures up a charming place to live. 

The bookshop itself, Nightingales was cosy shop, with a fabulous cast of booksellers, that clearly knew what they were doing and seem to love books as much as Emilia. They had fantastic knowledge, and June who helped run the shop while Julius was ill, has some rather hidden depths to her. 

All in all How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a wonderful story, easily one of Veronica Henry's most enjoyable books, and yet also felt quite different to so many of the other books being released this year so far with bookshop in the title. This doesn't read like a love affair to books, but as a real story with a lot of heart, and endearing characters. 

Thank you so much to Orion and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Please do take a look at the rest of the stops on this blog tour, for more How to Find Love in a Bookshop fun! 

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