Wednesday 21 October 2015


Book review: Pippa's Cornish Dream by Debbie Johnson

My edition: Paperback, published on 2 July 2015 by HarperImpulse, 208 pages.

Description: Since Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parent’s farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for love. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.

When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!

But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … even if you are in Cornwall.


Pippa Harte is just 21 years-old yet she carries the responsibility of a big farm with animals, a teenager always getting in trouble, twin girls that have their own secret language, and a little boy who is desperate for comfort and cuddles.

Why, you might ask? Pippa's parents died in a car accident a few years prior and the brood of children are her younger siblings. But being a single parent to four kids, managing a farm and the holiday cottages that belong to it, not to mention Harry Potter, SpongeBob, Ben 10, Phineas and Ferb, and the rest of the assorted animals, take up all of Pippa's time and energy, and so she doesn't have space for any distractions in her life or taking care of herself and her own needs.

When Ben Retallick arrives as a temporary guest to one of the cottages, Pippa's routine is turned upside down and she realises that perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad thing for a man to enter her life and crowded home. However, when the baggage from Ben's past comes back to haunt the both of them they each have a difficult choice to make.

I do love cute, countryside novels and the title and cover for Pippa's Cornish Dream was just the right type of twee for my liking. It was a shame then that the story within didn't live up to my expectations. One moment it was sweet yet the next almost crude, and for all the back-and-forth in Pippa's decisions it remained incredibly predictable until the very end.

That isn't to say that there wasn't anything to enjoy within the pages, because there certainly was. Pippa's little sisters and youngest brother were adorable, and every scene that involved one of their animals was an absolute joy. The storyline of Pippa's teenage brother Patrick was also a particular highlight as he went through his tortured journey within the novel.

Unfortunately it was Pippa's own story and that of love interest Ben that let this book down. It felt messy and all over the place, almost like a first draft rather than a finished novel, and because it was quite short to begin with there was little space for proper character growth; the reader couldn't really get to know these characters nor understand their motivations along the way.

For the most part Pippa's Cornish Dream was as cute and sweet as you'd expect, but there was little depth to the story and it read like a fantasy by Pippa rather than something more realistic and relatable.

You can purchase the novel from Waterstones, or your own preferred retailer.

Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:


Twitter: @debbiemjohnson


This review first appeared on Novelicious.

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