#BlogTour! #Review – The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan (@FayKeenan) @Aria_Fiction

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Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Cathy Bramley.

Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.

But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.

This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.

What does TWG think?

It’s TWG’s stop on Fay Kennan’s blog tour today! I hope you enjoy my review of her debut book, The Second Chance Tea Shop.

Okay, okay, I’ll hold my hands up; I have to admit that I did groan when I saw that this was yet another novel with yet another tea shop/café in the storyline. At least I admit it though, right? Seeing as this book is Fay Kennan’s debut novel (and the cover is a tad more-ish), I decided to put my teashop/café vendetta to one side and feed my curiosity by actually reading it. Yes, as soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued by it, definitely not going to lie about that. I was just throwing a little wobbly about the overuse of a particular setting.

Anyway, needed to get my little grumble out of the way before I started singing Fay Kennan’s book baby’s praises! I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ from start to finish! For a couple of seconds max, the thought of the storyline heading down the candyfloss route did enter my mind, when in actual fact, it was the complete opposite!

After the heart ache that Anna has been through recently, she decides that a fresh start with her daughter, Ellie, would be the ideal solution to regaining control of her life. Whilst the village of Little Somerby may be brand new to Ellie, it isn’t for Anna and as she starts settling into village life yet again, she ends up recognising A LOT more than she bargained for. Will Little Somerby give Anna the second chance at life which she desperately craves? Or could certain pasts end up colliding and ruin her fresh start before it’s even begun?

I have been wracking my brain trying to think of what Fay Keenan’s novel reminds me of; a multiple layered cake, that’s what it reminds me of! Don’t laugh, hear me out. By looking at the cake (the book) we would assume that it’s just a book about a little tea shop, yet by reading every chapter and going through each individual layer of the storyline and the character’s personalities, it was just like enjoying all of the different layers of a cake. Each layer contained different hurdles, different characters and different emotions, allowing us to surrender to the storyline and the magic between the words. Just like a multi-layered cake layers, no two layers, (or chapters), were the same and that is what made Fay Keenan’s book baby stand out for me.

As I said above, a lot of books at the moment are set in the oh-so-popular tea shop or café, which can make it harder for a brand new author to find a way of standing out amongst the crowd. What could ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ bring to the table that was completely unique? A bit like ‘what’s your tea shop got that mine aint got’, kinda thing. But you know what, ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is unlike all of the other similar books in its market and I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, the main character has already built up a life previously which didn’t contain any premises involving mini sandwiches. Unfortunately her life got turned upside down in a devastating way.

Secondly, the tea shop featured in this novel is already an established business, which means that Anna isn’t doing her own version of ‘Changing Rooms’ on the building.

Thirdly, there is A LOT more to this storyline that meets the eye; complex characters, devastating secrets, village gossip, heart breaking secrets, and enough warmth to keep your own house warm over the winter. No joke. Emotional it may be at times yet the heart warming factor trumps any sadness and uncertainty.

Fourthly, the little tea shop is portrayed as a character within the book, instead of being the hub of the storyline. It’s a fantastic addition to an already brilliant storyline, instead of being the centre of attention.

Personally? This novel has got to be one of my most favourite tea shop books out there. It has been brilliantly written (hard to believe it’s a debut book to be honest!), nicely structured with just the right amount of contrasting characters.

‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is just like drinking the perfectly made cup of tea; warm enough, sweet enough, not too strong and not too weak. In other words; perfection.

Thank you Aria.

Buy now: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Googleplay

Author bio

Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back
in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she
teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen
years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village
in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.

Follow Fay:
Facebook: FayKeenanAuthor
Twitter: @FayKeenan
Instagram: @FayKeenan
Website: www.faykeenan.com

Make sure you pop into the tea shop as the tour continues with the bloggers below!

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My thoughts on ‘Time after Time’, NO, not the one by Cindi Lauper! Written by Hannah McKinnon.

Time after Time by Hannah McKinnon.
Published 2nd June 2016 by Maze (an imprint of HarperCollins).
Available to buy in E-book format from Amazon UK.

‘Have you ever wondered ‘what if?’
When Hayley Cooper goes to sleep wishing for a different life, then wakes up in bed with her first boyfriend, she can’t believe her eyes. She hasn’t seen Chris in over twenty years – but now she’s married to him. And Hayley is in for a few more romantic surprises . . .
Over a single weekend, Hayley lives her life time and time again, and as each of her former loves resurface, Hayley starts to realise that there’s some truth in the saying ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Yes, the past two years with her husband Rick have been tough, but is the grass always greener?’

Such a good question; have you ever wondered ‘what if?’. Have you ever wondered what things would be like if you had taken a different path in life? Have you ever wondered what your acquaintances from the past would be like after you have moved on? Lets just pause for a second whilst you get into the ‘what if?’ mind-set….

Have you thought about it yet?

What about now?

Now?!

We’re only human, of course we are bound to wonder ‘what if?’ whenever relationships end, or we make a huge decision in life. However, we cannot wave a magic wand, or close our eyes and be back in time, to a life that never was. Well, WE can’t, but there seems to be just one person that can. Does the name ‘Hayley Cooper’ ring a bell to you? No? Well it should! (Why haven’t you read this book yet?! :o)

Hayley Cooper is in a difficult situation in her current life and it’s safe to say that she is pretty peeved with the way things are going. She wants a different life, and it gets her wondering about her ex boyfriends. Little did she know she would come face to face with them when she woke up the next morning.

That reminds me, what day is it today? Monday, or Saturday?

The cover of this book totally threw me. I had seen it multiple times over on Twitter and Amazon but hadn’t had the chance to click buy. So, when Avon publishers tweeted about it again one night, I made sure I got it there and then. Not only is it a memorable cover, it is also a very romantic looking cover, although I stupidly judged the book by its cover and wondered why I was getting confused. Only a smidge though, honestly…

Hayley is the main character of the story. She is married with children but there is something about her life that isn’t sitting right with her. Something doesn’t seem quite right and she cannot seem to put her finger on it. That is of course, until she follows all the paths of her past that she never took. Hayley seems to like the weekend in this book because she re-visits the same day multiple times! If you went back in time to visit all of the ‘what ifs’ of your past, do you think that you would be met with positivity, with everything the same as you have always dreamt about?

That is a tough one to answer. Although in Hayley’s case, it was definitely an eye opener for her (and for me, her past is fascinating!). My opinion of Hayley changed throughout the book because of how the story unfolded. One moment I felt incredibly sorry for her, another time I felt infuriated with her because she just could not see what she had which meant her decisions were otherwise jaded. Hayley’s best friend is a hoot, my sort of person with a mouth that’s always on fast forward.

Considering the amount of to-ing and fro-ing this book does, it didn’t actually get me flustered, which is surprising. Books like that usually do, but maybe because the switch was always expected, it didn’t confuse me. Whilst the book contains very funny moments, as well as some difficult situations, it made me think about my life. What if I had chosen different paths? Obviously I can’t do anything about it now, but it’s only natural to wonder.
Hannah has written such a heart warming and emotionally driven book, which was full of depth and relatable situations. The message behind the story is a rather powerful one, however, the added softness in terms of humour and sarcasm, turns it into a light-hearted read as well.
I must say, I am looking forward to whatever Hannah has up her sleeve next. I can promise you one thing though, I won’t ever be thinking ‘what if’ about this book because I know I took the right path by reading it!