Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ella's Ice Cream Summer - Sue Watson

About the book… 

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.

Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is a heart-warming and hilarious romance that will scoop you off your feet and prove it’s never too late for a fresh start. The ideal holiday read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

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UK 🇬🇧  
About the author… 

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write.  After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes Sue signed with Bookouture.

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My thoughts…

I was offered an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Kim at Bookouture as part of the blog tour for Ella's Ice Cream Summer.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.  

Sue Watson is one of my most favourite authors, her books are go to books when I want a pick-me-up, much cheaper than a prescription and better than any tonic you can buy across the counter.  They are books that will have you drooling in one way or another - either from the more than lovely lead men or the very delicious cake they usually feature.  I guessed this one would be different, the clue is in the title 'Ice-Cream' would I still get my fix?  Absolutely, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt YES!!!

Ella's Ice Cream dream had me smiling and grinning like an idiot from the very first page. In the first few chapters we meet Ella and her family and friends - an eclectic bunch of characters that I could relate to straight away. Each and every person, just slightly more bonkers than the next. My favourite being her mother, Roberta who is loud, opinionated and on a different page in life to everyone else, leaving total chaos in her wake as she plays up to her Italian heritage and gets the wrong end of pretty much every situation.

The story begins with Ella losing her job, her children have finished university and are off to spread their wings leaving Ella feeling like a redundant mum home alone with no purpose or direction - she only has her slightly bonkers mother to care for. To add to that she finds out that her ex husband wants to sell the family home in order to keep wife number two in the manner she has become accustomed to.

News that her mothers sister, her aunt Sophia has died brings back memories of happy, sunny, summers spent in Appledore in Devon. Of time spent helping out at her aunts Italian, ice-cream parlour and enjoying endless days of sunshine playing alongside her older cousin Gina - a girl that Ella has always looked up to and aspired to be like.

Roberta, Ella's mother refuses to attend the funeral and begs Ella not to go either. The two sisters had fallen out many years before and Ella's mum obviously holds a deep seated grudge as she refuses to reveal why - something that Ella finds difficult to reconcile and can't understand why she refuses to share the reasons behind the fall-out. Ella goes alone and after the funeral Ella attends her aunts will reading and finds herself the proud owner of Reginaldo, an old ice cream van owned by her aunt, this evokes many happy memories of summers spent on the beach, something Ella is eager to recreate.

Sue Watson takes us down the motorway to Devon with Delilah - Delilah being Josh her sons girlfriends dog, a dog with a better wardrobe than you or me I hasten to add. Ella decides that she'd quite like to take some time out and the opportunity to re-live one last summer of her childhood is too hard to resist. She's also secretly hoping she can find out what is behind the family feud.

Ella's Ice Cream summer was a delicious read, a journey with mouth watering descriptions as I followed Ella to Devon and totally bought into Ella's dream. It's a story with more than a little romance, a story steeped in mystery and secrets that were revealed slowly throughout the book.. There's more than one love interest and Roberta and Delilah are for me the stars of the show. Sue's ability to create multi-faceted characters is second to none - polishing them just a little more with each chapter until they shine and can stand alone - I totally loved this book. The descriptions of the various ice-creams and sorbets had me drooling, oh how I wish my 'fat club' was based in Appledore.

Another thumbs up for me - Sue has done it again and got the recipe just perfect! A totally uplifting read, with all the glitz and glamour of the Italian Riviera. Sue is an author I'll never tire of reading, each and every book delivers what it says on the tin - escapism, laced with pure indulgence - in this case ice-cream - mmmmmmm!

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