Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses

By Becky Gulc

Bestselling author Carole Matthews is back again with a beautiful looking book for the spring/summer. What’s it all about?

‘Christie Chapman is a single mum who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It's not an easy life but Christie finds comfort in her love of crafting, and spends her spare time working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed cards to personalised gifts, Christie's flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it's not long before opportunity comes knocking.

Christie can see a future full of hope and possibility for her and Finn - and if the handsome Max is to be believed, one full of love too. It's all there for the taking. And then, all of sudden, her world is turned upside down.

Christie knows that something has to give, but can she really give up her dreams and the chance of real love? Will Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

I’ve read a few of Carole’s books now, so I am familiar with her style of writing and the books are always warm and engaging. They often make me want to take up a new hobby or vocation, and this one is no exception! Whilst I read the book quite quickly, there were several times I became completely side-tracked by googling die-cutting machines, leading me on to all sorts of crafting goodies and videos (this year’s Christmas list is sorted already, thanks Carole!). I used to enjoy making my own cards, and this book has stirred a passion for getting back on with it. There is rich description of crafting and Christie is very passionate about it. I enjoyed following her story and seeing whether she can turn a hobby into a livelihood and all the ups and downs involved.

A really strong part of this story was the family. Christie is a single parent to her teenage son Finn and they get a lot of support from her lovely parents who go above and beyond for them on a daily basis. With Christie commuting to London every day for work from Milton Keynes, she needs all the support she can get. I just loved Finn, such a lovely character, loves his mum and grandparents, which is so nice to see for a teenage character. He doesn’t have the easiest ride and his story pulls at your heartstrings.

I thought the commute Christie withstands every day to work lent itself to some interesting scenes that were quite vivid in my mind, and I enjoyed the friendships Christie developed on her commute and through her crafting. The ‘love interest’ element of the story didn’t go the way I thought it would, but it was quite nice to have that as a surprise really rather than be predictable. I didn’t, however, feel the warmth to one of the characters that I felt I should perhaps have done by the end, so I didn’t feel as invested in that element of the story as the rest, but that didn’t stop me enjoying it.

Overall a nice easy read with a lovely central character who is trying to provide for her small family and juggle lots of plates. When life throws opportunities at her at the same time she is faced with one of the hardest periods of her life, it’s an interesting story to follow.

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for the book in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on Carol's tour:


Janine said...

I enjoyed the review. I now have this book on my "must read" list.

dstoutholcomb said...

sounds lovely