Absolutely delighted to be one of the bloggers hosting today’s stop on Karen Clarke’s blog blitz! Here is my review:
Snow is falling and there’s romance in the air. Curl up for a cosy Christmas by the fire at Seaview Cottage…
When thirty-year-old Lily Ambrose’s latest relationship ends in disaster, she remembers happy childhood holidays in the seaside town of Shipley and decides it’s the perfect place for a fresh start.
But when Lily arrives, the town’s spirits are as low as her own: the local celebrity due to turn on the Christmas lights has gone on a cruise instead. Keen to prove herself, she calls in a favour and secures gorgeous reality star Ollie.
Lily’s neighbours are initially thrilled, but Ollie is as uncontrollable as he is good-looking. He can’t remember the town’s name, calls the Christmas decorations tacky, and manages to offend everyone. And whilst handsome but stubborn cameraman Craig tries to help, even he can’t stop Ollie’s madcap plans to stage a romance with Lily…
Will Lily be able to keep Ollie under control and bring the Christmas cheer back to Shipley – and find herself a real kiss under the mistletoe?
An addictive, heart-warming and uplifting read about friendship, romance, and Christmas spirit. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Cathy Bramley and Debbie Johnson.
What does TWG think?
Even though I am super happy to be back in Shipley, I am also quite sad that Karen Clarke’s series has come to an end. I’ll fully admit that I wasn’t too sure on the series to begin with when it started with ‘The Beachside Sweet Shop’, but when the second book ‘The Beachside Flower Stall’ was released, I found myself falling head over heels in love with the magic of Shipley. Whilst all three books in this series can be read as standalone novels, I would recommend reading all of them in order, purely so that you don’t miss out on any of Shipley’s magic. Each storyline has its own central character which you may recognise from previous storylines and, luckily for us, all three books are interlinked in some way or another which, in my opinion, makes the community spirit shout loud and proud.
Lily is determined to create a new life for herself in Shipley after her old life went disastrously wrong. The only downside to her new beginning is that she doesn’t know anyone, and all of her neighbours are extremely close-knit and involved in neighbourly duties. Will Lily be able to become ‘one of them’? Lily is determined to make her new neighbours like her, so she decides to go above and beyond for her new village. Little does she know how much of a fine line she will be walking on, just to make the residents happy. As long as her gesture doesn’t blow up in her face…..right?
I absolutely LOVED Ollie. I could tell from a mile off that when Lily’s friend recommended Ollie to her, that the entire scenario wasn’t going to be at all plain sailing and, as weird as this sounds, I was super excited to find out what trouble Ollie would bring to the village of Shipley. Put it this way, that man is absolutely bonkers! I found Ollie’s friend (and cameraman), Craig, to be such a dark horse and, whilst Ollie seemed to steal the show as it were, I found myself leaning more towards Craig. It was though he kept his cards close to his chest. What was he hiding?
As the storyline unfolded, Lily’s personality shined like a beacon, making her grow into herself and take charge of her life. I really did love how we were able to grow with the main character during the story, it was as though Lily became even more relatable as time went on.
‘The Beachside Christmas’ wasn’t just the Ollie show, the neighbours each had their own parts to play in this story, and my goodness what memorable characters they are! Such unique and fun individuals, there really is a neighbour who ticks every single box.
Even though Ollie wants to shine bright like a diamond and overpower everyone else, he had me in hysterics more times than I could count due to his antics! Hats off to Karen Clarke for being able to include so many vibrant and different characters in one book. I was surprised (in a good way) that the romance involved in this novel was gradual and more natural, as opposed to being straight away and unrealistic. Absolutely brilliant.
Karen Clarke’s series, in my eyes, has gotten better with each book. ‘The Beachside Christmas’ has got to be my most favourite story from the series due to its relatable, loveable, and utterly bonkers nature which was destined to make me laugh from page one.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Beachside Christmas’. So many heart-warming, humorous, and loveable moments under one book cover. What more could you want? Personally, Karen Clarke’s latest novel ticked every single box and I feel blessed to have been able to read such a huggable, festive treat. Just like the Christmas lights on all of Lily’s neighbours houses, ‘The Beachside Christmas’ will forever light up my heart. Thank you for the memories, Shipley! It’s been an absolutely pleasure.
Heart-warming, cosy, festive and utterly divine, ‘The Beachside Christmas’ is perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit…even in September.
Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. THE BEACHSIDE SWEET SHOP and THE BEACHSIDE FLOWER STALL are out now and THE BEACHSIDE CHRISTMAS will be available in September 2017.
Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download
When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published in the UK and abroad. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’
Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.
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