Here comes the bride…
Lucy Woods has always dreamed of running her very own wedding venue. After moving her eight-year-old son to the countryside she’s surprised to find the perfect location and her best friend, Abbie, eager to help make that dream a reality! Too bad Abbie’s older brother Dominic isn’t keen on Lucy or their big idea!
As a divorce lawyer Dominic doesn’t believe in love at first sight or wedding vows, he’s seen them broken more times than he can count. But when Lucy arrives back in town, his hardened heart begins to crack.
Making her dream come true is a huge undertaking, but Lucy knows that The Signal Box Café is her chance to finally make something of her life. If only the irritating (and oh-so-gorgeous) Dom didn’t make her imagine wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle…
Can Lucy and Dominic find a way to each other this summer or will the wedding bells chime for another couple?
You may have seen my earlier post on 15th June sharing the cover for Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe and today I’m delighted to share my review as part of the blog tour. As a fellow book blogger, I’ve known Annette for a few years now and I was so excited to be able to join in with this blog tour.
After a few months of reading mostly crime fiction and psychological thrillers, this debut novel was the perfect antidote. It is a wonderfully feel-good story that will make your heart swell to bursting point.
First – the characters. Lucy is a lovely protagonist. She’s determined, loyal, hardworking and a great mum. Her relationship with 8 year old Jackson is well-portrayed and he comes across as an adorable, fun-loving child. Jackson’s antics with their family dog, Baxter, did make me chuckle. I also enjoyed reading about Lucy’s love triangle with Greg and Dominic (I knew straightaway which man I would be championing!). However, my favourite character has to be Lucy’s grandfather, Dougie. I only hope that when I’m his age, I will be growing old just as disgracefully as Dougie, Violet and their friends from Sycamore Lodge. The author reminds us that just because someone is older in years, it does not mean that they have lost their ‘joie de vivre’, merely that they sometimes have more difficulty expressing it, or rather, being allowed to express it. The old folks’ escapades had me laughing out loud and provided a great element of humour to the book.
Second – the plot. In essence, this is a classic love story – boy meets girls, they are met with a few hurdles and hopefully get to live happily ever after. However, the author adds some originality with the idea of restoring the old signal box house and thereby giving the building and Dougie a new lease of life. I quickly found myself enthralled in the pages and I finished the book within one day. It really is a lovely and captivating story.
Third – the location. I loved the little village of Bramblewood. With the canal, Sycamore Lodge, Flossie’s Flowers, Davinci’s art gallery and Rosie’s riverboat cafe, Serendipity, it really does sound like such a glorious place to live. There is a real sense of community throughout.
Finally – the writing. There is a great flow to the story which draws the reader in and makes them feel as though part of the tale. I liked the points where the author wanders off into a descriptive paragraph, helping to set the scene and guide the reader’s imagination. I particularly liked the description of the different foods – I must ashamedly admit that I have never heard of scouse before. I’m not a huge stew fan, but I was intrigued enough to look up a few recipes for this Liverpudlian delight and I am now armed with new knowledge about scouse and Scousers in case the topic ever arises in a pub quiz!
Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe really is a delightful book; it’s heart-warming, touching and has a wonderful dash of humour running through it. The book takes a perceptive look at family relationships and the importance of feeling like you ‘belong’ both somewhere and to someone. If you’re looking for an uplifting and entertaining romantic novel then you really should pick up a copy of this book.
Huge thanks to Annette for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Orion and Netgalley UK for providing me with a review copy.
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour, details as follows:
About the Author
Annette Hannah is a Liver Bird who relocated to leafy Hertfordshire in the 80’s and now lives near a river with her husband, two of their three grown up children and a crazy black cocker spaniel. She writes Romantic comedies in settings inspired by the beautiful countryside around her and always with a nod to her hometown.
She worked in Marketing for many years as a qualified Marketeer which she loved as it tapped into her creative side.
As an avid reader, she began to review the books she read, became a book blogger and eventually plucked up the courage to fulfil her life long dream of writing a book.
For four years she was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s new writers’ scheme, during which time she wrote a book a year.
After signing a two book deal with Orion Dash in 2020 she graduated to full member of the organisation and is also their Press Officer.
She loves long walks along the river, travelling to far flung places, the odd glass of Pinot Blush and spending time with her friends and family.