Coming Home by Fern Britton

Coming Home by Fern Britton

When the only place you want to be is home…
When Ella’s beloved grandmother dies, she comes back to the beautiful Cornish coast to heal her heart. There she finds her home again and discovers a new life, and new love … But she also opens a treasure trove of secrets.
Sennen left Cornwall a young single mum but unable to cope. She left her children, her family and part of her. She’s spent the years hiding from her past, hiding from herself.
Now it’s time to come back. To Cornwall. To face her mistakes. To pray for forgiveness. To hope for a future with her daughter.

Review: Fern Britton has created another great read. Fern has a way that as she writes her good-natured personality just falls onto the page and into her characters surrounding you in a warm embrace. 

We are back in Cornwall and in the lives of three women, grandmother, mother and daughter. As one door closes another opens for Ella (the daughter) and she finds love and a new life in Cornwall. However, there are secrets surrounding the family that need solving. This creates a suspense as a reader and I loved reading about Ella and how resilient she is despite growing up with her grandparents.

My favourite character Sennen (the mother) is a very complex character and has many layers to her. She has made many mistakes but by coming home when she learns of the death of her mum (the grandmother) can she fix them.

The setting of Cornwall is a lovely setting for a home-coming and a difficult one at that. Through Fern’s words you feel like you are right there in the Cornwall Villages featured. As a reader I was transported to holidays with the warm sun on my face and the waves rolling onto the shores or pounding on the cliffs.

Fern has created three very strong women that are perfect for this modern world. They are real complex characters. All I wanted was a happy ending for them.

Coming home is a moving and emotional read, with some funny moments throughout, beautifully written, a perfect book to escape these winter months.

I adored Coming Home.

Link to the book: 

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Extract from Coming Home by Fern Britton

Extract from Coming Home by Fern Britton

About Coming Home:
When the only place you want to be is home…
When Ella’s beloved grandmother dies, she comes back to the beautiful Cornish coast to heal her heart. There she finds her home again and discovers a new life, and new love … But she also opens a treasure trove of secrets.
Sennen left Cornwall a young single mum but unable to cope. She left her children, her family and part of her. She’s spent the years hiding from her past, hiding from herself.
Now it’s time to come back. To Cornwall. To face her mistakes. To pray for forgiveness. To hope for a future with her daughter.

Here is the special extract I have been given by Harper Publishers.

It will give you a real insight into the book and what to expect from Fern Britton. 


Trevay, 1993

The house was still.

Her heart was hammering – she could hear it in her ears, hear her breath whistle in her nostrils.he house was still.The house was still.

She tried to quieten both.

In the dark of her bedroom, she strained her ears to listen for any noise in the house.

The church bell rang the half hour. Half past eleven.

She’d gone up to bed early, her mother asking her if she was feeling all right.

‘Yeah. I’m fine.’ She’d shrugged off the caring hand her mother had placed in the small of her back.

‘If you’re sure?’ Her mother let her hand rest by her hip. ‘Is it your period?’

She had hunched her shoulders and scowled at that. ‘I’m just tired.’

‘Ella and Henry had a lovely day with you on the beach,’ said her mother, bending her head to look up into her daughter’s downcast eyes. ‘You’re doing so well.’

Sennen shrugged and turned to head for the stairs. Her father came out of the kitchen. ‘Those little ’uns of yours asleep, are they?’

‘She’s tired, Bill,’ replied her mother.

‘An early night.’ Her father smiled. ‘Good for you.’ She could feel her father’s loving gaze on her back, as she ascended the stairs. She wouldn’t turn around.

‘Goodnight, Sennen,’ chirped her mother. ‘Sleep tight.’

Her parents had finally gone to bed almost an hour ago and now she picked up the heavy rucksack she’d got for her fifteenth birthday. It had been used once, on a disastrous first weekend of camping for the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. Even now the bone-numbing cold of one night in a tent and the penetrating rain of the twenty-mile hike the following day made her stomach clench. Back home she refused to complete any more challenges and dropped out. She used Henry as an excuse. He had just started to walk and her mother expected her to come home from school every weekend and do the things a mother should do for her child. On top of that she was expected to work hard for her exams. Why the hell would she want to learn how to read a map and cook a chicken over a campfire as well?

And then Ella came along.

Sennen had sat in the summer heat of the exam hall, six weeks from her due date, hating the kicks of her unborn child, hating being pitied by her teachers.

She rubbed a hand across her eyes and tightened the straps on the rucksack. What a model daughter she had been. Two babies by a father unknown and now she was leaving. Leaving them, her A levels, her over-indulgent liberal leftie parents who had supported her through it all – and leaving Cornwall.

She hovered on the landing outside Henry and Ella’s room. She didn’t go in. She knew she would never leave if she saw them, smelt them . . . She kissed her hand and placed it on their nameplates on the door. Downstairs, she tiptoed through the hall. Bertie the cat ran from under the hall table with a mew. She put her hand to her mouth to stop her startled cry then bent down to tickle him. ‘Bye, Bert. Have a nice life.’

Slowly she turned the handle of the downstairs loo and edged in carefully, making sure that the rucksack didn’t knock over the earthenware plant pot with its flourishing spider plant. Bert came with her and she had to nudge him out with her boot before closing the door behind him. The front door was too noisy to leave by.

The loo window always stuck a little and the trick was to give it a little thump with your palm. She held her breath, listened for any noise from upstairs. Nothing. She wound the small linen hand towel around her fist. It took three good pushes, each stronger than the last before the window swung open, noiselessly.

She threw the rucksack out first and then carefully climbed out after it.

She pushed the window shut and stood in the moonlit, tiled courtyard. In a corner was Henry’s little trike and in another, Ella’s beach pushchair. She had meant to take both in in case of rain, but had forgotten. She looked up to the night sky. Cloudless. It would be a dry night.

She picked her way over the sandpit, held in a wooden box that her father had made for her when she was little and now given fresh life to with a coat of scarlet paint, and made her way to the gate. The hinge creaked a little, but before it had shut itself she was already gone. Around the corner, down the lane and out to the bus stop by the harbour.

About Fern Britton:

Fern Britton is the highly acclaimed author of six Sunday Times bestselling novels. Her books are cherished for their warmth, wit and wisdom, and have won her legions of loyal readers.

Fern is a judge for the Costa Book Awards and this year has supported the Reading Agency by writing a short novel to encourage less confident adult readers.

A hugely popular household name through iconic shows such as This Morning and Ready Steady Cook, Fern is a much sought-after presenter most recently presenting, The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2), For What It’s Worth (BBC1), Culinary Genius with Gordon Ramsay (ITV) and her advent series Fern Britton Meets (BBC1). Fern has now also turned her talents to acting, with her new role in the stage musical Calendar Girls, which is directed by Gary Barlow.

Fern lives with her husband, Phil Vickery, and her four children in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall. To find out more, connect with her on twitter @Fern_Britton and


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Christmas under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

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Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away. 

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace. 

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home? 

Review: Holly Martin is able to create the most amazing stories. If you like a good romance, a really good girl meets boy then she is an author for you. I would compare her to Sarah Morgan.

The setting is unbelievable in this book. It is so magical, pure Christmas. Holly describes the setting in such a way that you are transported to Juniper island. I would love to live and work there. However, at the start of the story Piper doesn’t feel the same although she loves the place. Gabe reads like the handsome man he is. As I read the story you just could not hope but want these two to get there happy ever after. It is a tale of letting the past go to move on. 

Loved this and have got the next story based here ready to read.  

Miracle on Regent Street and A Vintage Christmas by Ali Harris

Faded Fall

Miracle on Regent Street

For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. 

Hidden away in the basement of Hardy’s – once London’s most elegant department store – Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. 

When Evie overhears that Hardy’s is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store’s fortunes by December 26th- three weeks away – and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she’s going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she’s going to need a miracle.

A Vintage Christmas

Evie has the perfect job and the perfect man, but keeping both in her life has become a serious balancing act… 

With the sales coming to a close at Hardy’s, Evie must source new stock for the season ahead. Her mind is constantly buzzing with ideas and layouts, so much so that she is forgetting all about Sam. 

Can she learn to keep her work separate from her home life? Or will she lose everything…

Review: Ali Harris has written magic between the pages of these books.

These two books are incredible. I read them in early December and they have stayed with me. I adore the main character Evie. She is incredible sensitive, caring and strong. She now’s what she wants but wont put people down to get there. This is about her journey to becoming all that she wants in life and finding love.

I also love the setting. Hardy’s at Christmas is magic and is a character on its own. Its pure magical.

The second book A Vintage Christmas continues right own from the first and it just as good. You get to find out what happens to all the characters that are in the first.

Both these books are beautifully written and pure escapism. These books are ones I could read again and again.


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Secrets of the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell

Sunderland, 1941
As the world war continues the shipyard girls face hardships at home, but work and friendship give them strength to carry on.

Gloria is smitten with her newly arrived bundle of joy, but baby Hope’s first weeks are bittersweet. Hope’s father is missing at sea, and with their future as a family so uncertain, Gloria must lean on her girls for support.

Meanwhile, head welder Rosie has turned her back on love to keep her double life secret. But her persistent beau is determined to find out the truth and if he does, it could ruin her.

And there is finally a glimmer of hope for Polly and her family when Bel and Joe fall in love. But it isn’t long before a scandalous revelation threatens to pull them all apart.

Review: A really good historical saga. It was delightful from the start. It has some really strong female characters and you get a really good feel for how it was for the women during this period. I did find it a little difficult to find my way at the start but once in it got better. I will be reading the rest in this series. 

A Christmas Candle by Katie Flynn

Will she find love in her wartime home?

1939. All over Britain children are being evacuated, and Eve Armstrong is headed for Devon. As the train pulls out of London she takes a last look at the crowded platform, the shabbily dressed evacuees, and a rude little boy sticking his tongue out. She’s looking forward to a change of scene.

And at first Eve is happier than ever at Drake’s Farm. Not even her daily chores dampen her spirits. It’s a different world that invites fresh starts, and so when Eve runs into the boy from the station, Johnny Durrell, they call a truce and soon become firm friends.

The war might be a distant reality, but the arrival of new evacuee Connie Hale makes every day a battle. Connie is lazy, stuck up and spiteful – and Johnny’s new best friend. As the conflict grows and Eve with it, will she fight for Johnny or concede defeat?

Review: I used to read loads of Katie Flynn’s books when I was younger and loved them. So when I saw this come up on NetGalley I was excited to read it. However, it is not as good as her older books, but it is good. The plot doesn’t seem to come together for parts of the story. The characters are lovely though and it got better as the story went on. I just prefer her older stories. I would still read another book by Katie Flynn as no story is the same.  

A Second Christmas Wish by Kathryn Freeman

Do you believe in Father Christmas?
For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.
And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.
But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true …

Review: The is a book about a very real and modern tale. A mother’s past is affecting the now and how she overcomes this. It is a story with family values at the heart of it with a romance all set at Christmas time. It is a lovely book full of Christmas spirit. I enjoyed it.  

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles: The Driftwood Inn by Phillipa Ashley

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Review: This is a tale about returning home, trying to move on from the past and hoping for a happy ever after. Set around Christmas and in the wonderful setting of Cornwall one of my favourite places. This is a warm cosy read and I am looking forward to find out more in the series.

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse  

What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

Review: This is lovely book. Our man character has to face reality when she loses her husband. It is family drama at its best and very character driven. I enjoyed it. 

Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman

Do nice guys stand a chance? 

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move.  But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side. 

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

Review: Here is another book by Kathryn Freeman. I am really enjoying her books. This one is a romance and is about that saying the one that got away and is the boy to nice. It has a great build to the plot and keeps you reading but it has a flat ending to it which is a shame. A good book if you want an easy feel good read.   

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins – the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the efforts of one reckless act still echo – but how long will it be until their past returns?

Review: This is war story based around two sisters. This is my first book I have read by Liz and it was good. It is a busy book with lots going on but that does not take anything away from the reading experience. It is beautiful written and you would like this if you like a tale about loss and reconciliation and family. 

A Very Vintage Christmas by Tilly Tennant

The fairy lights are up and shoppers are flooding the snowy seaside promenade. It’s going to be a busy month at Forget-Me-Not Vintage, a magical shop with a warm heart where every item has a story to be told.

With bright red hair and an infectious smile, Dodie is a hopeless romantic and absolutely one of a kind, just like the pieces in her shop.

When Dodie finds a love letter in the pocket of an old woollen coat, she makes it her mission to deliver it to its rightful owner. Following the address, she manages to persuade the handsome but reluctant new tenant, Edward, to help her with her search.

As the story of the letter unfolds, Dodie is there, as always, to pick up the pieces and make things right. But who will be there for her when her own love story needs a helping hand?

Is it too much to dream of a happy ending like the ones in the black and white movies she adores? 

Review: Tilly Tennant has done it again a lovely Christmas story. It is well written and draws the reader in. It is a cute romantic tale perfect for a cosy read at Christmas.

Holly and Ivy by Fern Michaels

The flames of memory always seem to glow a little brighter during the holidays. Perhaps that’s why this time of year is so difficult for airline heiress Ivy Macintosh, as she faces thoughts of yet another festive season alone. Since the plane crash that claimed the lives of her husband and two children eight years ago, she’s been submerged in grief. 
When eleven-year-old Holly Greenwood knocks on her door, lost and frightened after a forbidden visit to her singing teacher, Ivy’s self-imposed exile is shattered. Holly has an extraordinary voice, and wants nothing more than to perform in an upcoming Christmas musical. Holly’s father, Daniel, doesn’t allow music in their home, refusing to give a good reason why—just as he refuses to talk about Holly’s mother. Ivy has no idea how closely she and Daniel are linked by their tragic pasts, yet she’s drawn to the warmth she senses beneath his gruff exterior. And as Christmas nears, their shared concern for Holly begins to draw Ivy back into the world again . . . and toward a family who may need her just as much as she needs them . . .

Review: I have not read a book by Fern Michaels before. This is a about a tragic event that happens at Christmas Time. Despite it having a tragedy at the heart of the plot the author manages to draw positives out of it. If you want to read about a miracle at Christmas this is defiantly one for you.

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen 

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream. 

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets. 

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye. 

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family… 

Review: Louise Jensen is one of the queens of a good psychological thriller. This blurb gives you only a little in site into the story and you are in for a treat. This is not predictable none of her books are.  It is full of suspense and shock that keeps the pagers turning. I literally good not stop reading this book. Loved this and cant wait to read more from Louise.

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

 The Stolen Marriage is a compelling novel from Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, Pretending to Dance and The Midwife’s Confession. In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out. The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed for the death. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift in a hostile town, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her – a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on. When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, including a boy well known to the Kraft family, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital in less than three days. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

Review: I have read a few of Diane’s books so knew a little of what to expect. This was a good read once into it. It is written well with depth that turns the pages. The plot just keeps on giving and is full of interesting knowledge. A good historical women’s fiction. 

Falling-A Love Story

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Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life – and rather dull boyfriend – and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn’t want.

Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work – lots of work. But it’s the perfect project to satisfy Emma’s passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.

To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he’s a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he’s comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.

From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn’t come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .

Review: This is, as the title suggests a love story, full of romance, family and hope. I adore Jane Green’s books. She has a way with her writing that makes you feel at home and comfortable. Her plots are detailed but easy to follow and her characters are vert strong and real. She is able to capture the very essence of a setting. 

This book I have read several times. Yes, it is really that good. It is about a relationship starting out and growing and falling in love. It is set between America and England. I love Emma how independent she is yet believes in love. It is a lovely story of love and all the aspects involved with falling in love.

Falling is a firm favourite of mine.

The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.

From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.

With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.

The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?

Review: I adore Caroline Robert’s books. 

The Cosy Tea Shop series by Caroline Roberts.

The Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts

This new one by her was no exception.  I imagine that Caroline had a great time researching this book. Emma owns a Chocolate shop and we follow her journey to try to expand the shop and make a profit trying to overcome the problems that come with running a shop. Alongside this there is a lovely romantic element.

It is beautiful written and makes you feel all cosy inside. The setting is lovely and you feel like you are right there as the story unfolds.

If you love a Christmas romance and a strong heroine then this is a book for you.

Caroline Roberts is one of my top favourite authors and I cannot wait for her next book.