Absolutely delighted to be hosting day two of, Jill Steeples’, blog tour for ‘Summer at the Dog & Duck’. This is the second book in the series and you can find my review of the first book, here: Blog tour Review! Christmas at The Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples (@jillesteeples)@Aria_Fiction.
The perfect summer read. Continuing the light hearted, uplifting dramas around the ‘The Dog & Duck’ pub and the life of its landlady Ellie Browne.
Ellie Browne has found happiness running The Dog and Duck pub in the idyllic village of Little Leyton, and her blossoming romance with tall, handsome property developer, Max Golding, is going swimmingly. With her new best friend, Digby, the black Labrador at her side, life just couldn’t be sweeter.
But their peace is shattered when Max’s younger sister, Katy, turns up unannounced with a whole heap of attitude. And Max’s loyalties are stretched further when his glamorous ex, Sasha, re-appears with her own burgeoning secret.
With the master of the manor preoccupied with the demands of his ‘other women’, Ellie’s forced to consider if she has any role to play in Max’s life or in the village of Little Leyton.
Can Ellie get her life and relationship back on track in time for the summer charity ball at Braithwaite Manor?
What does TWG think?
If you’re not aware of this already, ‘Summer at the Dog & Duck’ is the second book in the ‘Dog & Duck’ series. Ideally it would be better reading this one AFTER you have read the first book, just so that you don’t end up confused as the second book picks up where the last story ended, so to speak. Also, I think that if you read the Summer book beforehand, you may end up giving yourself spoilers for the first book before you have even read it. But that’s just my opinion, obviously!
We are back in Little Leyton and the infamous, The Dog & Duck, with new landlady, Ellie Browne. Poor ol’ Ellie is feeling a little insecure, wondering if she is good enough to run the pub, would the punters accept a woman as their landlady instead of a man, and so forth. But, seeing as her boyfriend’s ex is wanting to return to the village, I think Ellie’s concerns over her landlady status could be the least of her worries, don’t you?
I LOVED being back in Little Leyton! I was sad when the previous book ended, so I was so excited to return and catch up with the familiar characters I had grown to love. Last season at The Dog and Duck, we saw things getting ready to change, friendly faces deciding their next moves, and relationships starting to blossom. It was strange to come back this season and not have those characters where they were before, however, Ellie has done a magnificent job. I thought that Ellie was a little more introvert than before, she seemed to have mislaid her fiery nature and confidence where certain things were concerned. On one hand it was great to see a different side to her character, yet on the other side I missed those traits.
For me, Jill Steeples’ new novel was such a quick read, as soon as I started reading it, I just couldn’t put it down! The authors fabulous humour makes itself known throughout the entire storyline, I think I snlaughed (snorted & laughed at the same time) on more than one occasion. Fantastic.
As for the storyline itself, it wasn’t a hard-hitting, overly intense, brain ache of a storyline. No. It was more of a light-hearted, fun-filled, spot on intensity levels, type of cosy read. I thought the careful added situation of Max’s sister, Katy, was written brilliantly, and no doubt a lot of parents with teenagers will resonate! I’m not a mum to a teenager, but I remember being one! As far as I can remember, my attitude wasn’t THAT bad, but then again we all say that haha. The only part of the book to irk me a tad, was how Max was reacting to Katy’s actions. Don’t get me wrong, I could see why he was becoming rather aggravated, BUT, I thought that he crossed the line once of twice. Obviously folk handle situations in different ways, but I could actually see the situation from Katy’s point of view, and not just because I was able to read both sides ha.
Time to be severely vague; at one particular point in the storyline I became rather emotional. I didn’t think that I would find myself crying at that part, but I did and it was beautiful. Now, the only way you’re going to find out what part that was and why it made me cry, is by going and buying the book!
Summer at the Dog & Duck, for me, is my favourite book of the two so far. I absolutely adored the heart-felt emotion. The community spirit. The heart warming friendships and relationships. The sense of belonging and fitting in. Knowing that your extended family is around every single corner, in every shop; everywhere in Little Leyton. This book blew me away, it filled my heart with so much comfort, warmth and love, I was extremely sad to reach the end.
Personally, this novel showcases Jill Steeples’ incredible talent of story telling as from the start of the book until the very end, Jill Steeples manages to make the reader believe in themselves and learn to trust their heart.
Thank you Aria Fiction
Jill’s previous book, WINTER AT THE DOG & DUCK is out now:
Jill Steeples lives in a small market town in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, baking cakes, eating them and drinking wine.