The cast of the runaway bestseller, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, are back – including Rosa, Josh, Mary, Jacob, Sheila, new mum Titch and, last but by no means least, Hot, the adorable dachshund.
Newlywed, and with her inherited corner shop successfully up and running, Rosa Smith seems to have all that anyone could wish for. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Rosa’s suspicions that her husband is having an affair have dire consequences.
Reaching rock bottom before she can climb back up to the top, fragile Rosa is forced to face her fears, addiction and jealousy head-on.
With a selection of meddling locals still at large, a mystery fire and Titch’s frantic search for the real father of her sick baby, the second book in this enchanting series will take you on a further unpredictable journey of self-discovery.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
There is nothing fluffy about this romantic comedy. It is romantic and humorous, but it explores what happens after ‘The Happy Ever After’, and deals with addiction, self-belief and jealousy.
I haven’t read the first book in this series, but there is sufficient backstory, on events and characters, to make this one enjoyable as a standalone read. However, I do think I’ve missed out and want to read the first one too.
The setting of Cockleberrybay is authentic and lovely. The beauty of the setting hides a myriad of emotions, relationships and secrets you would never be aware of. The village setting is realistic, with the usual do-gooders, gossips and sense of community that is nearly always there and unique to this type of setting.
The story covers Rosa’s personal struggle with self-esteem and addiction, catalysed by her new marriage to Josh, which flounders when they are separated by distance. Titch needs to find her baby’s father, and her desperation adds emotional depth to this story.
Contemporary social issues are explored through flawed characters, who are easy to empathise. They are believable and you root for them. This story draws you into its picture-perfect setting and lovely, quirky real characters.
A story of real-life relationships, extraordinary friendship and community in a lovely coastal setting,
extract from Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay
where Rosa and Mary are still finding their feet in their relationship
‘Keep your sense of identity, Rosa.’ Mary took her daughter’s hand as they walked down the steep street to the beach. ‘“Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping. For the pillars of the temple stand apart and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”.’
‘Mary! Enough of Kahlil now, thanks.’
‘All he means is that space is good in a relationship.’
‘Says the woman who’s never had one,’ Rosa tutted.
Hurt, Mary released her hand. ‘You don’t know that.’
Rosa felt a sudden anger rising. ‘And anyway, I don’t need your advice,’ she said bitterly. ‘Thanks to you, I’ve been on my own in many ways and for many years.’
Mary squeezed her daughter’s shoulder. ‘And for that, I am truly sorry.’
Rosa softened. ‘Oh, I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean . . . I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve found love now, with Josh – and with you, of course. And I want to spend as much time as possible living and breathing it. It’s all so bloody confusing.’
‘There is no rush, let it all happen naturally. Although Josh is thirty-one now, isn’t he?’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Rosa reared up again.
‘I know you had a miscarriage, love.’ Rosa flinched as Mary promised, ‘If you ever want to talk about it, you know you can.’
Rosa thought back to the painful and ongoing period she had suffered not long after the wedding.
‘In sickness and in health, my dear,’ Mary said gently.
‘I was just late, that’s all,’ Rosa lied, ‘and I tell Josh everything normally. I was just so happy about the wedding. Didn’t want to make a fuss and spoil things.’
They reached the beach and Rosa bent down to let Hot off his lead. The excitable dachshund immediately tore down the beach towards a group of unsuspecting seagulls.
Mary stuttered, ‘I d-do love you, Rosa.’
Giving her mother a watery half-smile, Rosa turned and started to run over the sand towards the sea’s edge and away from the mutual affection they both struggled to accept and convey.
Award-winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.
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