Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal blogtour book review

Sweet_Home_Summer_01_New

Sweet Home Summer written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/bKXcTQ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sometimes, home really is where the heart is…
Leaving behind her hi-flying career in London, Isla Brookes has had enough. Burnt out and tired of an unfulfilling profession and lousy boyfriends, it’s time for her to go home.
Arriving back in cosy Bibury to stay with her grandmother, Bridget, everything is charmingly familiar. Even her childhood sweetheart, Ben, is as handsome as she remembered…
And when she discovers a stack of long-forgotten Valentine’s Day cards, Isla, with the help of Ben, begins to realise exactly what is most important in life.

Sweet Home Summer Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Michelle Vernal’s latest novel: Sweet Home Summer.

This was a lovely family saga, a story of two halves and told in two voices; gran Bridget’s coming of age and falling in love story set in 1957 and forward to the present day grandaughter Isla moving back home after 10 years in London following her burn-out professionally and personally.

After 10 years in London Isla Brookes was ready for a change, exhausted from work and her love life strains a new work-life balance was needed and Isla felt like the place to reflect on her future was back home in New Zealand.  Moving back in with her beloved gran Isla was ready to start again looking for a certain something to inspire her.  However, when she left home years ago she broke not only her own heart but another.  Seeing Ben again after so long has ignited a slow burning for her old flame but the timing is not right now as Ben has moved on.  Inspiration comes from an unlikely location but Isla feels a pull and feels totally reinvigorated with this new dream that is building inside her.

Living with her gran has given Isla some wonderful moments of nostalgia and when she unearths a secret her gran has kept hidden for so long Bridget soon starts reminiscing about the past.  A past that held a beautiful, touching blossoming love that was sadly thwarted by prejudices and tragedy.  Once Bridget starts unravelling her past she vows to make things right and sets a plan in action with the help of her granddaughter and her new friends.

I loved Isla’s relationship with her gran they were quite similar in personality and their love of baking I felt opened up the emotions from both gran and granddaughter.  Isla’s mother and father were a great pairing, her mum was so vivacious and young spirited, I loved the sound of the new keep-fit class NLNL.  Isla’s dad loved his hobbies and liked to spread this love to all around him.  The author, Michelle Vernal, has woven some humorous scenes in the storyline bringing much charm and character.  I also loved the sense of community spirit involvement helping out one of their own and also to a local cause that was an essential place to all in the village.  The secrets that started unravelling brought many mixed emotions and gave all those concerned reflection to what was important in the whole scheme of life.

A charming time-slip story filled with nostalgia, love, tragedy, inspiration and warmth.

To learn more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MichelleVernal

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist

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The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal book review

the travellers daughter

The Traveller’s Daughter written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2el7paJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

Join Kitty as she follows in her mother’s footsteps from the South of France to Ireland, discovering who she is along the way in this beautiful tale of forbidden love and fancy cupcakes!

french macarons

This was a stunning emotive journey of discovering your heritage, a heritage that has been kept hidden from you since you were born 31 years ago.  A journey that opens up old wounds from a past that has never been forgotten, a journey that evokes so many emotions from newly felt wounds.  A journey of self-discovery.  A journey that starts healing the hurt and feuds from a past that almost felt lifetimes ago.  A beautiful love story in two parts spanning generations.  Michelle Vernal has written an intoxicating story filled with wonderful Irish dialect, charm and traditions surrounding the folklore and heritage of the travellers of Ireland.  I do love it when an author expresses her characters using a regional accent it brings the personas to life and you can feel their emotions more.

This story of a time slip romance and family saga is set in the current day with Kitty grieving for her recently deceased mother.  She is contacted by a stranger, a man that knew her mother who wishes for Kitty to travel to the south of France to retrace her mother’s steps in a pivotal moment in the man’s career and also one that was momentous for her mother.  A jpeg of a photo of her mother is attached with this message and Kitty is literally spellbound by the image of her mother as a young woman and the look of utter adoration at the young man aside of her.  As Kitty knew nothing of her mother’s past from before she married Kitty’s father she is intrigued to learn more.  She sets off on an unknown adventure to the south of France hoping to learn more of her mother’s upbringing and young adult life.

I adored this story from the present day of Kitty being flown to France and to the story of Rosa her mother growing up as a traveller in Ireland and falling in love with a young man from a family that held a longstanding feud with her own.  Hearing about the lifestyle of the travellers was fascinating and felt a little idealistic with their simple attitudes to life and moving along when the time felt right.  Life was ultimately very hard for the travellers but was faced with a strength and love to survive.

An evocative, emotive romance that I didn’t want to end.  This was my first introduction to the work of Michelle Vernal and I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

To find out more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MichelleVernal

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist