Summer at the Cornish Cafe – Phillipa Ashley

CfIvMh2XEAA9ibQSummer at the Cornish Café is basically Poldark fanfiction, but it’s great. We follow Demi, who loses her job at a local café and is sleeping rough with her dog, Mitch. She then meets Cal, who takes a chance on her by offering a job at Kilhallon – the land his family owns – and together they attempt to turn the place into an eco-resort. Cal himself has recently returned from the middle east doing some kind of charity aid (what he experienced out there is left a mystery) only to find the woman he loves is engaged to his (ex)best friend (the similarities to Poldark rapidly become clear). Demi and Cal face many obstacles in their attempt to restore Kilhallon, including a rival local family, and their own ever increasingly complicated relationship.

The characters are very likeable. Demi is headstrong and bold, while Cal is moody and suffering from a broken heart, but also quite cheeky so you’ll find yourself rooting for them as a couple (it’s been while since I’ve read a book where the leading man wasn’t a complete arse, so this was a refreshing change). Unfortunately, Cal is clearly still in love with his ex, Isla, but really what love story is complete without a love triangle?

Summer at the Cornish Café is beautifully written, in a lovely setting. I spent multiple nights reading (instead of sleeping) because I really couldn’t put it down. It’s a light and enjoyable romance story, and I’m looking forward to starting the second book in the Penwith trilogy.

Necroville – Daniel Parsons

Necroville3-1In this short story, a group of friends visit Necroville – a kind of theme park where the aim is to survive the night while actors dressed as zombies try to ‘kill’ you. All is well, until an actual zombie outbreak happens and the game turns into a real fight to the death.

Daniel Parsons has a nice writing style and the premise is great. It’s a shame the story is so short because it would be nice to have more development of the plot, characters and reasons behind the zombie outbreak. A fun quick read.

Look Behind You – Sibel Hodge

22645249Exciting from the word go: Chloe Bensen wakes up in an underground tomb, her hands and feet bound, with no memory of how she got there. She manages to escape, only to discover a whole seven weeks are missing from her memory. Because of a recent breakdown involving hallucinations, no one believes her story. The police, her doctors and her husband all believe she had another episode, but for Chloe it was all too real. On her own, she pieces together the puzzle of what really happened. Was it another mental breakdown, or did someone kidnap her?

*CAUTION: CONTAINS SPOILERS*

This story is great because it really makes you wonder what actually happened. The outcome was, sadly, quite predictable (if in doubt, always blame the husband) but the uncertainty as to whether she was really kidnapped was very effective. The writing was smooth and fast-paced, while Chloe’s erratic personality was very believable.

The only problem I had with Look Behind You was that I had absolutely no idea why Chloe married her husband. He’s awful and cruel, and it was fairly clear who the villain was going to be from the first moment we met him. The real mystery wasn’t ‘whodunit’, but whether it happened at all, and why Chloe was married to this dreadful man.