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Release Date: 5th February 2019 / Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.

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My Review

My first book by this author, but she has written so many that I wonder how I ever missed them!  This is the emotional story of three friends who have drifted apart.  Harriet organises a summer away in an old priory on the Somerset coast for herself, Audrey and Lisa.  With secrets to share and friendships to rekindle, can they face what the future holds?

What an emotional story this was!  Reading between the lines on the blurb, it was obvious it was going to be, but I didn’t expect how much it would bring me to tears and tug at my heartstrings.  It does have a cancer storyline, so if you prefer not to read storylines which involve this illness then perhaps this isn’t the book for you.  I have to admit, I’m not very good with stories of terminal illness and whilst I knew it was going to be a tearjerker, I may have chosen not to read it if I had realised the complete story.

But I was brave and did read it!  Whilst it is a book which will have you reaching for your tissues, it is also a heart-warming story of three friends who are bought together for the summer after finding that they had drifted apart for years.  Whilst the storyline is a sad one, it does have its happier moments watching the friends revive their fragile relationships and reminisce about past times.  The characters are so likeable and you get drawn into their stories right from the very beginning.

The setting of the beautiful Somerset coast was wonderful, and the other characters which they meet during their stay at the Priory add extra depth to the storyline.  It was a sympathetic and well-written story and the author has done a fabulous job of keeping it from being too depressing.  I did struggle with parts of the book but only because of my own memories and emotions that resurfaced – it was in no way because of how the author had written it.

A sad story with a beautifully enlightening theme of friendships and love running all the way through it.  Be prepared for tears, but also expect moments of laughter and fun.  The moral of the story – keep your friends close and live for today, as you never know when it may be your last. 

The Author

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Her website is http://www.victoriaconnelly.com, and readers can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and on Instagram @VictoriaConnellyAuthor.