8 July 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: Summer at Tiffany's by Karen Swan

"A wedding to plan. A wedding to stop. What could go wrong?

Cassie loves Henry. Henry loves Cassie. With a Tiffany ring on her finger, all that Cassie has left to do is plan the wedding. It should be so simple but when Henry pushes for a date, Cassie pulls back.

Henry's wild, young cousin, Gem, has no such hesitations and is racing to the aisle at a sprint, determined to marry in the Cornish church where her parents were wed. But the family is set against it, and Cassie resolves to stop the wedding from going ahead.

When Henry lands an expedition sailing the Pacific for the summer, Cassie decamps to Cornwall, hoping to find the peace of mind she needs to move forwards. But in the dunes and coves of the northern Cornish coast, she soon discovers the past isn't finished with her yet?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Summer at Tiffany's as a hardback or an eBook now.

Karen Swan's latest book Summer at Tiffany's is the second book in her 'Tiffany's' series, and while I did read the first book Christmas At Tiffany's when it was released a few years ago, I will admit that I had mainly forgotten that book and had to go back and reread my review in order to remind me a bit more of the book! However, it is definitely a book that can most certainly be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel as there's nothing major that will be missed if you don't read the first that isn't covered in this book. The cover for this book is very eye-catching, a gorgeous summery sunset, and this is definitely a book to curl up with on a warm summer's evening.

The book follows on from before, following Henry and Cassie and their relationship. Cassie is still getting over her divorce from her ex-husband Gil, but Henry is still determined to get his woman to marry him, even though she is less than keen on the idea. When their best friend Archie suffers a medical emergency, the two couples decide to flee London to Cornwall where he can convalesce, and hopefully have some down time. What they don't count on is the rather loud arrival of Suze and Henry's cousin Gem, who is planning her own quick wedding to her Aussie beau Laird... is their peaceful getaway set to be ruined before it's even begun?

As I said, I honestly didn't remember much about these characters at all, but that didn't matter once I got into the book. I quickly became totally absorbed by the story, especially the shocking beginning involving Archie's sudden illness - that was quite the opener! But I found it easy to follow the relationships of the couples within the book, and liked them all, even annoying Gem - she was just a damaged child desperately trying to find some security in her life.

The main part of the book obviously focuses on the relationship between Cassie and her fiancé Henry. She's still deeply damaged by her former marriage, and Henry is getting frustrated she still seems to be unkeen on pinning down a date for their wedding. This story was interesting because it wasn't your usual girl-meets-boy, fall in love and marry. You can see they are both adults wanting what is right for them, but each has a reason to feel the way they do. Henry obviously wants to marry the woman he loves, but Cassie's reasons for being reluctant are more than valid - she's been there and has the t-shirt - and she doesn't want another to add to her collection thank you very much. I liked both Cassie and Henry and found it hard to take sides in this book, both were equally likeable and I felt a lot of sympathy for both of their plights!

The other characters in the book were very realistic too, and again I enjoyed reading about them. Archie and Suze were a great couple, in love and supportive of each other through the ups and downs, and I felt horrible for Suze when Archie becomes so ill, it was lovely to read how close they became as he got better. Gem and Laird, the younger couple of the book (and the gatecrashers!), were very sweet, and I felt they got a bit of a hard time from Suze and Cassie - they are just young and in love! Yes, I can see they were interfering for the right reasons, but I did feel a tad sorry for Gem. There is also the reappearance of Cassie's friends Anouk and Kelly from the previous novel.

I really enjoyed Karen Swan's writing in this book, and found it to be a really enjoyable read from beginning to end. The characters were fun, and I actually cared about what happened to them - I wanted Cassie and Henry to get on the same page about a wedding, and I wanted Archie to get better - it was nice to be able to invest some emotion in the characters I was reading about. Swan describes the Cornish setting beautifully, from the lovely house they stay in, to the walks Cassie goes on, even to the surfing on the beach! I'm determined that one day I will visit Cornwall after reading about it in so many books! I have to confess I still don't really get the title of the book - it doesn't seem to fit at all as there's barely anything about Tiffany's in the book, but there you go, a minor niggle from me! Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed this summer read, and it's recommended from me.

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