Not read the first book in the series yet? Find out what I thought of ‘An Autumn Affair’ right here: An Autumn Affair by Alice Ross. Book Review.
‘A perfect, feel good summer read about love, life and family.
One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…
Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory.
Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust covered cupboards.
Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?
Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…
Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?
One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!’
Thank you to Jenny In Neverland for inviting me on the tour, and thank you to Carina UK and Alice Ross for allowing me to read the book pre-release!
Despite ‘A Summer of Secrets’ being part of the Countryside Dreams series, just like the previous story ‘An Autumn Affair’, it can be read as a standalone book. This means that each book can be read without reading the other books in the series prior, however, the stories are great reads so there wouldn’t be any reason not to read the rest!
We’re back in Buttersley meeting another four of its colourful residents, how many skeletons will be found in each of their closets?
Will Portia be able to restore Buttersley Manor to its former glory, or will her heart rule her head?
Can Jenny remove herself from her mother’s grasp, or will she continue to put her life on hold as that is all she has ever known?
The perfect wife, the perfect marriage, and the perfect child. But is Richard’s life as perfect as he thinks? Can anything ever be just…perfect?
Then there is Joe, oh how straightforward it is to be a window cleaner, everyone knowing who you are, reputation is a powerful thing. But is it just Joe’s reputation that he should be worried about?
Welcome to Buttersley! The place where anything and everything can happen, literally! As soon as I knew that I was going to be involved in this tour, I made sure that I had read the first book in the series, just incase. Yes, they can be read on their own, but seeing as this would have been the first book that I had read of Alice’s, I just had an excuse to read the first book beforehand.
Even though I knew that the story concentrates on four characters and their lives, it took me a couple of chapters to work out where it was all going. I did find it hard to keep up at first, but seeing as I am easily confused and find it hard to keep up with Bambi, then I expected myself to be a tad slow!
Each of the characters that you meet have their own story to tell and you get to find out about their personalities pretty quickly. I found myself warming to Portia and Richard quicker than I did Jenny and Joe. I think this was because I shouted at the book ‘grow up!’ and ‘grow a pair’, multiple times throughout Jenny and Joe’s stories. I sound harsh now don’t I? I think it’s my ice queen persona coming out there, either that or I am just…harsh! Once my confusion with the direction of the book subsided, I really got into the book and found myself enjoying the dramas that unfolded. There is always something to keep you thinking and eager to read more of the book, which for me personally, is a bonus. Sometimes when I have read books that cover multiple characters lives, the storyline can get a little bit clouded and can be a bit slow on getting to the nitty gritty parts. ‘A Summer of Secrets’ was definitely not one of those books. Each of the four characters have their own nitty gritty parts to sink your teeth into. I most certainly wasn’t bored when I was reading it. I mean, I read the book in one night!
Alice Ross has managed to give the book incredible depth in various ways. Within just one book she has evolved her characters and made them grow up right in front of your very eyes. I did change my opinion of each person as the story progressed, I wasn’t as judgemental of Jenny and Joe at the end, I did warm to them. Well, I suppose I had stop being too much of an ice queen and admit that I may have felt a tad sorry for Jenny, once or twice(!), the guilt that her mother has fed into her over the years is astonishing. How anyone can put up with that is beyond me. I’m talking about the characters as if I know them, just goes to show how talented Alice is as a writer if she can make me feel as though I have friends ;).
Alice Ross is a very clever writer. Not only did she make me feel as though I had friends, she made me wonder about what was in store, who had the secrets, and whether the secrets would finally be revealed. As well as all of that, she made me laugh with her witty writing. The sarcasm that oozes into the story with some of the one liners is brilliant, it added even more to the already enjoyable read.
‘A Summer of Secrets’ is a perfect read for sitting in your garden with your glass of pimms (or any beverage of your choice), and finding yourself disappearing into the tales that await for you in Buttersley. If you thought the countryside was going to be calm and serene, then you haven’t been to Buttersley, it’s a village you won’t ever forget…
About the author – Alice Ross.
Follow Alice on Twitter
Alice Ross used to work in the financial services industry where she wrote riveting, enthralling brochures about pensions and ISAs that everyone read avidly and no one ever put straight into the bin.
One day, when nobody was looking, she managed to escape. Dragging her personal chef (aka her husband) along with her, she headed to Spain, where she began writing witty, sexy, romps designed to amuse slightly more than pension brochures.
Missing Blighty (including the weather but don’t tell anyone), she returned five years later and now works parttime in the tourism industry.
When not writing, she can be found scratching out a tune on her violin, walking her dog in wellies two sizes too big (don’t ask!), or standing on her head in a yoga pose.