I’m reviewing these two together even though I suspect a third will come along to make up a trilogy (and hope so!) because I won “A Perfect Cornish Christmas” through NetGalley so picked up a copy of “A Perfect Cornish Summer” second-hand to read first – God forbid I read books in a series in the wrong order!

Phillipa Ashley – “A Perfect Cornish Summer”

(11 October 2019)

A nice Cornwall-set novel featuring an ensemble of characters, all in the West Penwith town of Porthallow (which I think is a sort of amalgam of Newlyn and other bits and bobs) for its Food Festival’s tenth iteration. Sam with her Stargazy Pies pie company has done well since the first festival, but then discovers a figure from her past, who tore her family apart, is returning for the festival. Gabe is coming home but has a secret. Bubbly Welsh-Chinese Chloe isn’t talking about the troubles that brought her fleeing to this small town – but she really needs to. A lovely idea to set it around the food festival and some good supporting characters: a nice, fun novel with a heart.

Phillipa Ashley – “A Perfect Cornish Christmas”

(07 October 2019)

We’re in Porthmellow again but slightly sadly we don’t really get more than a glimpse of the characters from Summer (this does make it work as a standalone; maybe having a plot arc that stretched across the books in the “Cornish Cafe” series didn’t work for people in that way, although I very much liked that). We have Ellie and Scarlett, sisters in their 30s caretaking their late aunt’s house just outside Porthmellow, whose family abruptly fractures on the Christmas Day that opens the book with Scarlett crashing into a pub that offers a welcome to the lonely at Christmas. They try to pull their lives together, though Scarlett pines for Birmingham (hooray!) and there’s a nice foraging subplot and of course romances. There’s not so much casual diversity as in the Cafe novels, which I missed, but still a good and engaging read and a nice study of a family trying to re-make itself. A few issues with it being an ARC which I hope were ironed out before publication.

Thank you for NetGalley and Avon Books for choosing me to read this in return for an honest review.