BOOK REVIEW: SUMMER ON THE SEAFRONT BY KATIE GINGER

*Thank you to Netgalley, HQ Digital and Katie Ginger for the free copy of this book*

Oh, it feels so good to be back in Greenley-On-Sea for Katie’s second book following a wonderful bunch of characters, who we was introduced to in Katie’s debut novel, The Little Theatre on the Seafront. In Katie’s debut, we followed the story of Lottie, who made her late nan’s dreams come true by re-opening the theatre, whilst also falling in love with her best friend along the way.

This time, we get to follow and learn more about Sarah – a member of the Greenley Players theatre company and now, best friend to Lottie. After copious amounts of heartbreak with men in more ways than one, Sarah is ready to jump back on the dating wagon and what better way than trying to win Dr Finn MacDonald over? 

Dr Finn MacDonald is not the only man we meet in Sarah’s life, as famous actor, Nate, soon finds himself in her hometown, escaping a career-ruining scandal. With Nate having nothing to do until his name has been cleared up, he begins to support the Greenley Players on their next show and in the process, can’t seem to keep his eyes off of the leading lady. 

We learn quite quickly that Sarah’s family life has never been smooth-sailing, with her father in jail for seven years after stealing from his firm and her mother passing away from stomach cancer – Sarah had to grow up pretty quick and find some independence in life, because with both parents gone, she was all alone. That is, until she meets Lottie and the rest of the Greenley Players, of course! When not on stage, Sarah is a doctor’s receptionist, swooning over Dr Finn MacDonald, who doesn’t seem as interested as herself. I have very strong feelings and words that I do not want to put on my blog about Finn, so I will let you develop those strong feelings and words yourselves. 

After seven years of prison, Sarah’s father is released and back to make everything right again with his daughter, however after having to deal with her mother’s illness and death all by herself, Sarah is having none of it. I did really feel for Sarah’s father, but at the same time, he didn’t give her any time whatsoever to process the fact he was back in Greenley-On-Sea and lurked around wherever Sarah was. The process between Sarah and her father was heart-breaking and beautiful all at the same time. Sarah learnt that a lot of her anger towards men came from her father betraying her all those years ago and in order to allow the man she wanted in to her life and not letting her theatre cast down, she had to work on forgiving her father first.  

 From the second I knew Katie had named a character in this book, Nate, I rooted for him immediately because, if you didn’t know already, I’m so in love with that name! Nate’s introduction to the story was really overwhelming and realistic, Katie did such a fantastic job with the entire scandal reveal to the point where I felt like I was in the theatre with everyone else experiencing such shock and emotions for him. Nate definitely didn’t get it easy in this book and the scandals only seemed to worsen, leaving him no room to explore other possibilities of romance or life in general. 

The romance is very slow paced and careful between Nate and Sarah, especially with his reputation on the line, but it was lovely to kind of be within this little secret romance and watch the two develop strong feelings for one another. If Nate hadn’t had me sold from the very beginning, his big gesture at the end definitely would’ve got me and I was completely swooning over the two love birds! From seeing Sarah so guarded to finally finding happiness and allowing it to happen, it was a glorious moment.

Just a little shout-out to some of the OG characters – it was really exciting to get a little in depth look as to how Lottie and Sid’s relationship had grown since reading about them in the first. I enjoyed also getting to meet Gregory and Cecil on a much personal level this time round, as they took Nate in through his scandalous moment. They are such extravagant, cheeky characters, always wanting to be involved with everything, including the romance blossoming between Sarah and Nate – they really compliment each other so well and I’d love to read about them some more, whether that be a book dedicated to them or just sneaky peeks of them now and again!

Another wonderful story within the Greenley-On-Sea world that had me filled with so much joy regarding reconnecting with all of the characters once more and meeting new ones. You’ve done it again, Katie – well done! I can’t wait to see if Katie will continue this series for us to explore the story of another Greenley Player, but for now, I’m counting down the days until we get her new Christmas novel, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage

Read my review for The Little Theatre on the Seafront here.

Read my interview with Katie on The Little Theatre on the Seafront here

Shelby x

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