Welcome to The Flower Seller blog tour!
I kindly received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. Thank you to the author, and Brook Cottage Books.
About the book:
Published: 2nd June 2016 (whitefox)
All she wanted was a love she could BELIEVE IN.
Jessie Martin believes that when it comes to love there are three types of people: the skimmers, the bottom dwellers and the ones who dive for pearls. Jessie is a pearl diver. She had thought her husband William was a pearl diver too. But when William leaves her for a younger woman, it’s not just Jessie’s heart that is broken, her ability to trust is shattered too.
Refusing to retire from the battlefield of life, Jessie resolves to put her heartache behind her. She doesn’t want to be that woman who was too scared to love again. There has to be another pearl diver out there; all she has to do is find him.
When fate brings handsome flower seller Owen Phillips into her life, Jessie believes he may be the one but is her fragile trust about to be shattered all over again?
The Flower Seller is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.
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I really enjoyed this book, Ellie Holmes’ writing is fantastic which brings the characters to life and I felt like I was part of the Abbeyleigh community.
Jessie Martin has recently separated from her husband of 20 years William who has left her for a younger woman. They have a daughter, Hannah who has encouraged Jessie to put an ‘lonely hearts’ add in the local paper. The book opens with her first date with Barry Sturridge which goes ok but he doesn’t whisk her off her feet. However he does take her to a family wedding where she meets the handsome Owen Phillips, a newcomer to the town who has a flower stall.
Jessie is charmed by Owen and his gentlemanly ways; walking her to her door through the snow, sending her a rose on Valentine’s Day so she receives something on her first Valentine’s Day as a single woman. A flirtatious friendship turns into a romantic relationship – one in which Owen declares his love for Jessie early on which scares her because of her past however he is patient with her and her broken heart.
The Flower Seller is much more than a romance, alongside the new found love between Jessie and Owen is the divorce – both William and Jessie work for the same law firm, William as a criminal lawyer and equity partner; Jessie works as a conveyancer working towards becoming a salaried partner. Given their law experience, the divorce settlement becomes quite drawn out and both sides being stubborn as to what they want. I loved how feisty Jessie was, knowing what she was entitled to and taking advantage of William’s position with Chelsea because she was pushing for a settlement and subsequent divorce. Also all it not what it seems with William’s new relationship and his fascination with Owen – simply a case of jealous soon-to-be ex husband or something else? The tension really ramps up towards the end of the book as things start to unravel and I couldn’t stop reading as I just wanted to find out what happened.
A great book with an enjoyable plot line and realistic, likeable characters, even William!
It had been her daughter Hannah’s idea to put an advert in the Abbeyleigh Gazette. ‘It’s time to take yourself out of your comfort zone, Mum. Why don’t you get Anne to give you a hand with the ad?’
Sucked into the vortex of her daughter’s enthusiasm, Jessie had agreed before she could talk herself out of it.
‘So, what have you got so far?’ Anne had asked over margaritas in Spike’s Bar.
‘Newly single brunette, slim, attractive, early forties, non-smoker, good sense of humour, would like to meet man thirties/forties for friendship and maybe more,’ Jessie read aloud.
Anne pretended to fall asleep and Jessie slapped her arm.
‘Bit dull, sweetie!’ Anne said with a smile. ‘For starters, you should put early thirties. Everyone knocks a few years off. And do you really want to say slim? It’s practically shorthand for flat-chested and you’re not. How about “great figure” instead?’
‘That’s a bit conceited, isn’t it?’
Anne threw her a look. ‘It’s an advert, Jessie. You’re meant to be selling yourself.’
‘Blimey! I’ll just get some fishnets and a red light, shall I?’
‘You know what I mean. You should put something in there about being outgoing. That usually leads to some interesting propositions.’
‘But I’m not outgoing,’ Jessie said.
‘For goodness’ sake, outgoing just means you’re up for a bit of fun. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you put “open-minded”. Now that would lead to some replies that would make your hair stand on end. And obviously your WLTM has to be a man in his late twenties or early thirties.’
‘Has to be? This is my advert, remember? Not yours!’
Anne smirked. ‘So you’d prefer “Recently dumped flat-chested brunette, early forties, lives life with the handbrake on, would like to meet man forties/fifties for visits to the library”?’
‘I’d prefer not to be doing it at all.’
Anne squeezed her hand. ‘I know, sweetie. And you can stick another pin in your effigy of William when you get home but right now we need to get you back out there before life passes you by.’
About the author:
Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic suspense. She takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s first full-length novel. Ellie is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. To find out more please visit www.ellieholmesauthor.com
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