Friday, 4 September 2015

Stirred With Love - Marcie Steele

About the book...
Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them … 

Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left. 

After the end of her fairytale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart. 

Chloe, a young woman with the world at her feet, is struggling to know what to do with her life. 

When Lily embarks on a new venture in the picturesque town of Somerley, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around. 

But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add neighbouring competition, local heart throbs and heartbreak to the mix. 

When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds? 

As comforting as a cappuccino and a better pick-me-up than a grande Americano, Stirred with Love will captivate readers of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Jenny Colgan. 

About the Author...
Hi, I'm Marcie Steele and I can be found hanging around any good coffee shop, drinking copious amounts of coffee and nibbling on double chocolate muffins. Whilst doing this I'll be discreetly people watching or not so discreetly enjoying good gossip with my friends.

My thoughts...
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Marcie Steele's publishers Bookouture which I am more than happy to do.

Stirred with Love was such a beautiful read.  Three, un-related ladies, each at a crossroads in their lives.   Lily wants to re-open her coffee shop which closed after her husband died but  knows to do this she needs help.  An advert placed in a local paper attraction the attention of Kate and Chloe - both wanting to escape their current life.  Kate from a marriage that she feels is dead, clashing painfully with her husband Nick almost daily.  Chloe a teenager at odds with her stepmother and with education, feeling a bit inadequate compared to her brother.  Both felt they were being pulled along through life and both saw the job advert as a way to step away from the day to day, gain some much needed breathing space and to re-assess their future.

This is a story about hope and friendship with a helping of love stirred in for good measure. Who wouldn't love a book set in a coffee shop - I could literally taste the coffee and gained pounds virtually eating all of the cake.  This is a book that will wrap itself around you like a soft blanket - comforting and warm, leaving you with a cosy glow.   It's not all hearts and flowers though, there are some emotional chapters that will touch your heart - Lily's story in particular had me shedding a tear.  It really is a feel good book that will make you smile although there was times when I could cheerfully have rung Chloe's neck - she appeared at first a teenager with thoughts only of herself, quite thoughtless and hurtful at times but Marcie rubbed at her character until her insecurities were revealed giving an understanding to her behaviour and showing a sensitive, thoughtful young lady underneath it all.

As Chloe and Kate work together with Lily to find a vision and a way to re-open the cafe, Marcie slowly peals back the layers to reveal the true characters underneath each of their facades.  Each has their own problems and histories with age differences that wouldn't automatically make for friendships.  But, as the project to open the cafe progresses bonds are formed that were initially built on weak foundations but strengthen day by day as each individual makes peace with themselves and their friendship strengthens.  Helping each other over obstacles as they appear. Chloe pushing and prodding like a thorn in Kate's side at times, her youthful exuberance giving her licence to do so without too much come back.

Lily being the ears, a still tongue in a wise head allowing the girls to make their own way, knowing they had her support, but taking more from them than they ever realised.  This was a real feel good book that delivered exactly what I expected, huge thanks to Marcie for enforcing how important friends are - both to have and to be!

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