I am absolutely thrilled to be closing this fabulous tour alongside Rae Reads so do stop by there when you are finished here 😉
Published: 22nd August 2017 (Harper Impulse)
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…
For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…
Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…
OMG….what a book, I read this in two sittings as was so disappointed when it was over, most definitely a book hangover with this one! I’ve not read any of Christie Barlow’s books before (although I have purchased them and they are sitting on the kindle waiting….the story of my TBR!) but I will definitely be rectifying that!
I warmed to Nell Andrews immediately; she has had a tough couple of years and the prologue gave me a lump in my throat from the emotion which connected me to her from the outset. Nell lives on ‘The Nollie’ on the Little Rock Marina which sounds like a fabulous canal boat to be living on. Her lifelong best friend Bea, owns the local deli, The Melting Pot, which Nell works in. As well as being best friends with Bea, Nell is extremely close to Bea’s husband Nathan and their five-year-old son Jacob – it is lovely how much they all look out and look after Nell. Working with Bea has helped Nell move forward during her tough couple of years but she wants more, a project to get her teeth into and to find herself, to truly live again.
The charming Irishman, Guy Cornish, arrives at Little Rock Marina and Nell literally bumps into his gorgeous red setter, Sam. From this moment on, Guy whisks Nell off her feet but there is something he’s not sharing. I loved Guy….actually I loved all the characters in this book…but have a soft spot for Guy as he was so genuine, caring and honest (despite his secret which I actually felt sorry for him for)! The Cosy Canal Boat Dream is so many different things; it’s about Nell moving on and following her dreams, friendship, family, secrets….all mixed together with a bit of humour. I absolutely adored this book and all its characters – I was most definitely rooting for Nell throughout.
Christie Barlow’s writing is fabulous, the setting of this book is beautiful and there is such attention to detail regarding locations and sub-characters. There is such a warmth to her writing with characters sharing their thoughts and emotions that felt very real and that could be easily related to. The characters felt like friends by the end – I’d love to live in the Little Rock Marina, work in one of the local establishments and hang out with Nell, Bea and the gang!
Whilst reading this book I laughed and I cried – I truly hope this is not the last we see of the Little Rock Marina as I am already missing the atmosphere and the fabulous characters that bring the marina alive.
Highly recommended – one of my favourites of 2017.
Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances and The Cosy Canal Boat Dream. She lives in Staffordshire with her husband, four kids, horses, chickens and a mad cocker spaniel.
Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA and Australia.
Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money and awareness and engaging with communities in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being. She is also Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co uk, bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.