This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Moving to a coastal town in Cornwall was the best thing Polly Waterford ever did. She ended up dating a gorgeous American man called Huckle; she got a job managing a bakery and moved into a lighthouse. Enjoying a modest, hard-working life, Polly is grateful for her lot. When the owner of the bakery passes away and her ambitious nephew is put in charge of increasing profits, Polly suspects there might be trouble ahead and she’s right. She needs Huckle’s support more than ever, but responsibilities from his past have called him back to America. Her new friend, the recently widowed Selina, is supportive, but Polly is forced to keep a secret that could destroy their fragile friendship. To make matters worse, Polly’s beloved adopted puffin, Neil, is fast growing up and the local vet is putting pressure on her to take him to a wildlife sanctuary.
Polly and Mount Polbearne were first introduced in Little Beach Street Bakery and, while Colgan does give a brief catch-up and this can be read as a stand-alone novel, I would advise reading the previous installment first. It really does lay the path for this one, explaining how Polly ended up in Mount Polbearne with a puffin for a pet. Having loved the first novel, I was really excited when this arrived on the doorstep and it was just as much fun as the first. Many of the old characters are back: the wonderfully eccentric millionaire, Reuben, along with Kerenza, Polly’s best friend and now Reuben’s wife. Jayden, the young man who gave up fishing to work in the bakery also plays a role along with a variety of other characters from Mount Polbearne. I was especially pleased to encounter Neil again, possibly the most important and loveable animal I have come across in this genre. We are introduced to the villainous Malcolm, too, who is determined to change Little Beach Street Bakery into a profit-making machine, even if it means losing the personal touch and quality products.The novel begins with the sad news that Mrs Manse has died, leaving the bakery in the less-than-capable hands of her money-mad nephew. From there, the plot is like a rollercoaster with numerous ups and downs for Polly as she struggles to stay in the baking business and keep her relationship with Huckle healthy despite the new long-distance arrangement. You’ll find yourself firmly on Polly’s side, hoping that everything will right itself for her. She really is a lovely character who cares so much for her community.
This is, as is usual for Colgan, women’s fiction at it’s very best. There are plenty of emotional moments and enough cliffhangers to keep you reading through the night. Although the weather is inconsistent and the Cornwall coast is attacked by storms, the novel is full of warmth. Prepare to be swept away.