Monday 4 July 2022


Book review: The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday by Cressida McLaughlin [blog tour]

For years I read little besides contemporary women's fiction novels. The cute and cosy kind, set in the idyllic English countryside with a woman looking for a drastic change in her life and moving next-door to a gruff but dashing man. Hilarity – and romance – ensued. But over time my reading tastes changed (perhaps a case of too much of a good thing). Thankfully, after a break of a few years, the romcom bug has finally hit me again. I've been on the look-out for the perfect read and Cressida McLaughlin managed to fill that hole in my life (and then some) with her latest Cornish adventure.

Thea is a librarian in Bristol, where she has lived all of her life. But ever since visiting Port Karadow in Cornwall as a child, she's been dreaming of going back there – and opening her own bookshop. For years she has been saving up and making a business plan, and she feels the time is right at last. Together with her best friend, Esme, she books a three-week trip to Port Karadow. The perfect opportunity to scope out the town, commercial properties for sale, and actually tell her best friend about her plans to move to the other side of the country. 

But when Esme is roped into a work emergency, Thea is forced to go alone. And when she arrives at her rental property, she has a not so pleasant encounter with the man that will be her neighbour for the next three weeks. This is the first in a series of unfortunate events that makes Thea wonders if, perhaps, her dream of a book shop by the sea isn't meant to be...

My goodness. I absolutely loved this book and its characters! I could totally relate to Thea's dream of something more, especially a bookshop by the sea (let's be honest, who cannot?!), and I immediately fell head over heels in love with her grumpy neighbour Ben (again, who did not?!). Sure, he may seem distant the first team we meet him, but beneath that stand-offish exterior is a kind and generous man (and a six-pack to boot).  

I loved joining Thea on her Cornish adventures, especially the ones that didn't quite go to plan. I  went to Cornwall for the first time myself last summer, and I've been wanting to go back ever since. And while I've not quite managed this physically yet, mentally author Cressida McLaughlin took me on a much-needed holiday, filled with beach barbeques, hikes along the rugged coastline, pasties in the sunshine, and picture-perfect Cornish towns. I want more of this please. Immediately.

In addition to her wonderful descriptions of Cornwall, Cressida has created a heart-warming and uplifting story for readers to get swept away with. The main romance was not hugely surprising, but it's the journey to get there that made this one hell of a ride. I especially adored the wonderful cast of characters surrounding our two loved-up leads, from favourites from past books to brand-new ones to fall in love with. A wonderful mixture for both old and new readers of The Cornish Cream Tea series. 

(And, while I completely understand why the book's title made this story a part of an already well-known and loved series, I hope it's sparked a brand-new one with a more apt title, such as The Cornish Book Shop by the Sea.) 

As if the Cornish setting, wonderful characters, and heart-fluttering romance wasn't enough already to make readers pick up this novel immediately, it's also a love letter to books within itself. Thea's joy for the written word providing the perfect opportunity for Cressida to throw in lots of fantastic book titles and authors within her story. So after turning the final page on this one, the reader is left with a big summer reading list to dive into. An absolute joy. 

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday by Cressida McLaughlin is published by HarperCollins and you can buy your copy now from your favourite book shop.

Blog tour stops for The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday by Cressida McLaughlin

This review for The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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