Book reviews – Jane Linfoot – “Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop”, “Summer at the Little Wedding Shop”, “Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop”


Back in January 2019, I bought some light reads from The Works, only to discover that they were all books in series. I’ve read all the Philippa Ashleys I bought then (and the third series, oops) and then I filled in the Jane Linfoot gaps towards the end of the year and read the first of them when I needed something light back in February, “The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea“. What with what I’m calling Circumstances, my reading called for some more lightness, so I gave up hanging onto the other three in the series until Christmas 2020 (two of them, as we will see, are Christmas-themed!) and devoured them, finishing the third early this month (I was kind of alternating them with Ada Leversons). So here are three reviews as they’re pretty short. Good escapism has been had!

Jane Linfoot – “Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop”

(January 2019)

In this second instalment of the series, we concentrate on Sera, who makes exquisite wedding dresses for the Shop but is sad and shy. When she’s thrown into organising the final details of her sister’s wedding (that’s the organised sister with the wedding manual and Requirements), she also has to contend with the two best men, both there to ostensibly help but really to joust with each other and mess things up (in one case). Worst still, one of them turns out to be someone she’d rather not see from her past? But will he or the arrogant posho from a local family who can’t concentrate on details (I love how this runs in the family) win out in the end, and will the wedding be saved?

This book starts the day after the last one finished, and it’s nice to have the characters from that one reappearing in this one, with their stories updated.

Jane Linfoot – “Summer at the Little Wedding Shop”

(17 December 2019)

Lily comes home after losing her job and is pounced on to be the shop’s stylist. But then she somehow also ends up working for Kip Penryn, another posho brother with an inability to concentrate on detail, who’s running a rival wedding venue to series favourites Poppy and Rafe’s slightly ramshackle farm. Meanwhile, her mum’s busy making an unsuitable second marriage with a cringey man and Nicole the bridezilla from book one is back and getting married on the same day as Immie and the man she jilted in that book. Who will win the battle of the weddings and the battle of the wedding venues?

Hat-tip number one of the week to Bookish Beck and her serendipity posts as we’ve only just had another unsuitable second marriage in “Does it Show”.

Jane Linfoot – “Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop”

(20 December 2019)

Those two were read in March, this was my first finish of this month. It’s Christmas again and Holly has come down to stay at the flat above the shop to escape Christmas, which she’s always loved in memory of the sister she lost as a child, until she fled a proposal last Christmas. She’s a food photographer and somehow gets roped in to do wedding photography through the season, helped, unwillingly for both of them at first, by Rory, the local bad boy who teased her on the school bus and is now a bit scatty and failing to cope with two small children.  All the ensemble cast are there with their own plot developments, which is nice, with even Jess, the shop owner, getting her bit of romance.

However, the bullying in this one about Holly’s blushing was a bit extreme and mean, and the gay characters in it are a bit clumsily stereotyped, which did blur my enthusiasm for this one. It does tie up the series well.

April readalong – care to join me?


On my state of the TBR April post, I shared a picture of the whole of my TBR and asked if anyone fancied reading along with me. Alongside plans hatched with a few friends outside blogging, I now have A Plan.

The books

Helen Lewis – “Difficult Women” – A history of feminism in 11 fights, my friends Linda and Emma have copies and are going to read along with me. I’ll be reviewing it both here and for Shiny New Books.

Diana Wynne Jones – “Howl’s Moving Castle” – Elle from Elle Thinks fancied a re-read of this one and it’s up next on the fiction front, after I’ve finished my Ada Leverson. ETA Lory was also considering reading this one.

Margot Lee Shetterly – “Hidden Figures” – Louise from my photo-a-day group felt like going for this one (I think on audio book) so I’ve pulled it off the shelf. The non-fiction story of the black women mathematicians of NASA on whom they based the film. ETA Wandering Cranes is looking at reading this one.

Willa Cather – “My Antonia” – Elle requested this one and Bill from The Australian Legend is also planning to join in (he’s reading the first two in her Pioneer series first so I hope I’m leaving him enough time to get those done!)

Simon Barnes – “Rewild Yourself” – about how you can get nature coming back into your garden and life. Emma has this one (I bought it for her!) so we’ll do that at some time nearer the end of the month. ETA Wandering Cranes and Claire are thinking about reading this one. Hope they get to join in!

The schedule

6-12 April – “Difficult Women” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”

13-19 April – “Hidden Figures” and “My Antonia”

27 April – 3 May – “Rewild Yourself”

How it will work

I don’t have the bandwith for anything fancy. So I’m proposing that I read and review on here, and people add their comments and links to their blogs, if they’re bloggers, and I will link to their reviews, too. That worked well for my Iris Murdoch readalong so fingers crossed it will work here, too.

If you’d like to join in with any of these, please say so in the comments – but there are no rules and no expectations, just a desire to draw people closer together, somehow. Happy reading!

State of the TBR April 2020


I was discussing with my best friend whether we fancied reading a book ‘together’ at this time of isolation, and decided to get it ALL out (and this isn’t even all of it actually as I’d put the Piles to one side. I’m not getting it all out again though!

and here’s the more usual view of it. In fact, it’s doing quite well (a bit well), because the books on the back aren’t all in horizontal piles any more, just two piles and a normal row of books.

That might be down to the fact that I read FIFTEEN books in March, although a lot of those were on Kindle on our holiday at the beginning of the month. FIFTEEN though. And I’m still working very much (very, very much) full time at the moment.

apr-2020-up-next.jpgComing up next are these four lovelies. I’m just finishing Jane Linfoot’s “Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop” (I’ll be reviewing the three in this series I read in March together next) and then it’ll be on to Ada Leverson’s “Love at Second Sight”, which is the third volume in the “Little Ottleys” trilogy. Volume two was a bit nail-biting as the Ottleys’ marriage is threatened, and I had a little change before going back to the third. I’ll be reviewing those together, too, and was reading them along with Heaven-Ali so we will try to link our reviews when they’re done.

Then it’s on to my Paul Magrs of the month: “Could it be Magic?” which is the third in the Phoenix Court series and features a man giving birth to a leopard-skin furry baby, as you do. After that comes Helen Lewis’ “Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights” for which I did the transcriptions; I want to read it anyway and am reviewing it for Shiny New Books. Hopefully I’ve persuaded a couple of other people to read it alongside me, too – hooray! And then Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing” for which I have seen both glowing and scathing reviews but which Matthew read recently on audio book and absolutely loved, so exhorted me to buy and read.

There have been some more incomings on the Kindle front, via NetGalley, which I am always forgetting to update on here.

Clare Pooley’s “The Authenticity Project” is a cafe-based random acts of kindness novel that appealed in January.

“Diary of a Confused Feminist” by Kate Weston is a YA book about trying to be a feminist as well as everything else in today’s times (well, not today’s actual times right now: that would involve sitting in your house being a feminist at Joe Wicks’ PE or something, wouldn’t it).

Catherine Sanderson’s “The Bystander Effect” is about the effect peers / crowds have on helping behaviour and will hopefully have hints on how to stand up for what is right, because that’s how it was advertised.

“Our House is on Fire” is by Greta Thunberg’s parents about what it’s like raising and living with a world icon in climate change activism.

Beth Moran’s “How not to be a Loser” is a novel about a come-back to running with an inspirational group, I saw it on another blog and requested it.

And Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half” is a novel about twin sisters who grow up together in a small southern American black community but then take wildly different paths, one remaining at home and the other moving away and passing as white.

That’s only the most recent ones but I am looking forward to everything there!

A readalong a readalong a readalong a readalong?

So I was wondering, does anyone have any of these lovely books coming up and would like to read along with me? I’m going to share the whole TBR now, apart from two really old 2nd hand books no one is going to have, and I managed to miss Madness’ “Before We Was We” off the photos below but am up for that one, too. I hope you can see these, let me know in the comments if you’d like to draw together and do a shared read of any of these in April/May. Something to look forward to.


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