Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Book Review - The Beachside Flower Stall by Karen Clarke - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: The Beachside Flower Stall
Author: Karen Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th April 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Carrie Dashwood fled Dorset ten years ago when her best friend Megan stole her love, local heartthrob Tom. Now she’s back to help run her aunt Ruby’s flower stall in idyllic Shipley. 

Trying to persuade herself that her feelings for Tom are in the past, Carrie plans to avoid him and Megan completely. But it’s not to be, because Ruby’s Blooms are arranging the flowers for Megan and Tom’s wedding. 

Soon Carrie’s crawling under the stall to hide and accidentally inventing an imaginary boyfriend... But with the stall’s finances in jeopardy and Ruby needing her niece more than ever, Carrie has to keep her emotions in check.

With bouquets to arrange, family secrets to uncover, and Tom unavoidably a part of her life again, can Carrie keep her cool, save the stall, and find her very own happy ever after?

What a joyous return to Shipley, the the Beachside Bay series, with a predominately who le new set of characters so although its the second book in a series, its also a standalone.  It was a complete pleasure to read this book, and was a great way to spend an afternoon. 

Carrie hasn't seen Megan or Tom, since Tom's 21st birthday party, where Carrie was hoping to move her friendship with Tom onto a more romantic level, and instead Megan, her best friend, hits on him and they start a relationship. 

Ten years later, Carrie is asked to help out on her aunt's flower stall at the market in Shipley, as her aunt, Ruby, has been laid low for the moment. She soons finds out that not only is Tom in the area still, but he is getting married to Megan after all these years.

Oh and if that wasn't enough, the flower stall, Ruby's Blooms is having to pitch to do the wedding flowers as they can't turn down a job this big for financial reasons. 

As much as I really did enjoy the weaving story that is Carrie, Megan and Tom, in the run up to the wedding, and there are some wonderful moments, between them, my favourite storylines all involved Ruby. 

When you discover the reason that Ruby is not quite herself, and what Carrie tries to do to help her, well it melted my heart, and as the story is revealed, I found myself wishing for a happy outcome for Ruby even more than I was for Carrie. 

I loved Carrie's first days on the market stall, the only prep she had done, was to view a youtube video on flower arranging, so clearly doesn't really know anything about making up bouquets or even the names of most of the flowers on sale, but local busy body Doris Day is on hand to give advice. 

Karen Clarke writes in such an easy to read style, that I found the pages were flying past, as I just kept on needing to read, as I was really caught up in the stories and lives of the people in Shipley. There were some flower arrangements that I could really picture, and then there are some either cringeworthy or hilarious conversations. 

Ruby's house is above a bakery and the baker may have a vested interest in his upstairs tenant, and the conversations with the double entendres he has with Carrie are very funny. Then there are the things that Ruby's flower stall assistant Jane is wanting to get up to, on her holiday with her husband that greatly amused me, and I think embarrassed Carrie (inspired by a rather famous erotic novel!). 

The Beachside Flower Stall is an excellent second book in this series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

About the author

After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.



Please follow along with the rest of the blog tour, for more The Beachside Flower Stall goodness. 

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