26 July 2014

Book Review: Two Weddings and A Baby by Scarlett Bailey

"Tamsyn Thorne has not been back to her home town of Poldore for five long years.

But now her brother, Ruan, is about to get married and she has no excuses left.

Her plans to arrive in Cornwall looking chic and successful are dashed when a huge storm turns her from fashion goddess to a drowned rat. Worse, she ends up insulting the local hunky vicar - and then finds a tiny baby abandoned in his churchyard..."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Two Weddings and a Baby as a paperback or an eBook now.

Scarlett Bailey is quickly flying up my must-read list, so when she released a summer this year, as opposed to her usual festive novel, I was really excited to read it and see what she would do with this one. I didn't realise before I started reading that it's sort of a follow up to her 2013 Christmas book Just for Christmas, which was a fantastic story. We go back to the fictional town of Poldore, catch up with the characters there and meet some new ones too. This book has just solidified Scarlett Bailey's place on my top 10 authors list, and makes me look forward to more from her!

Tamysn Thorne has stayed away from he home town for 5 long years, but now her brother Ruan is getting married to Alex, she knows she can't put off the inevitable any longer. She's got a successful career working in the fashion industry in Paris, and is sure returning to Cornwall is like a step backwards again. But as Tamsyn returns, a massive storm hits Poldore, and the town is left in ruins, as well as Tamysn utterly drenched. She manages to insult the local vicar Jed as she makes Poldore her home once more, and ends up finding a baby in the churchyard in the pouring rain. Tamsyn's life takes a massive turn as Poldore starts to pick itself up again, and maybe returning home wasn't the mistake Tamsyn thought it would be...

It actually doesn't matter if you haven't read Just for Christmas when you start this book - everything you need to know is explained well enough in this book, but I would personally recommend you read the previous novel, it was Christmas read of the year 2013 and was a superb story. The characters of Alex and Ruan, who were the main characters in that book, appear quite a lot in this book too, so it was lovely to catch up with them, as well as the other residents of Poldore. It was good to see them through Tamsyn's eyes too, someone who didn't know some of them and hasn't been around for a while. so it was good to re-meet these characters again.

Tamsyn's name had cropped up in Just for Christmas, but we didn't know too much about her. Therefore I enjoyed reading much more about her in this book. I found her quite unlikeable at first, she seemed snobby and rude to the locals, thinking she was to good to be back in Poldore after her luxurious life in Paris working in fashion. However, as the book goes on and more is revealed about Tamsyn, we realise perhaps she is different to the facade she puts on. I did warm to her, especially as she grows ever closer to the baby she rescued from the churchyard. Seeing her adapt to being a substitute mother for baby Mo was touching, and really enjoyed this, along with the scenes with Tamsyn and vicar Jed. The two had chemistry for sure, and I loved how Scarlett was able to weave the light-hearted side of their friendship with Jed's more serious past, it was so well written, it all just came together perfectly in the book.

The town of Poldore, although battered and broken, sounded as wonderful as ever. It has the sense of real community about it, everyone looking out for each other and caring for each other, especially in the aftermath of the storm. I loved everything about this book, from the return of Tamsyn and her transformation thanks to baby Mo, to Jed and his personal story, and all the other stories in between. I whizzed my way through the book because it was so enjoyable, and I felt so invested in the story, wanting to find out what Tamsyn would do, who Baby Mo's mum was and what would happen to Poldore. Bailey has a real talent for writing, and although it isn't overly summery due to the massive storm, it's a great beach read and one you'll want to devour once you start it! This is one of my favourite books by Scarlett Bailey so far, and I was especially pleased it was a follow-up to the brilliant Just for Christmas! Definitely a must-read from me.

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