Monday, 17 August 2015

Sunshine and Spaniels- Cressida McLaughlin

The Blurb
Hilarious, touching and fun, Primrose Terrace will appeal to dog lovers everywhere and fans of Lucy Diamond, Cathy Bramley and Trisha Ashley.

Cat Palmer’s dog-walking business, Pooch Promenade is taking off. It hasn’t been plain sailing but with the help of her flatmate Joe, she’s taken on some more new clients from Primrose Terrace. But when she meets boisterous puppy Olaf, who is owned by harassed single mum Frankie, she wonders if she has bitten off more than she can chew! Cat’s also getting to know her sexy neighbour Mark and his Collie, Chips, a little better, but is there more to him than meets the eye? Perhaps sorting out her best friend Polly’s love life will be easier than her own…

Sunshine and Spaniels is the second part of a serialized novel told in four parts – all set in Primrose Terrace.

The Review

I read and reviewed part one of the Primrose Terrace series earlier this year- you can see that review here.  I mentioned then how I wasn't always a fan of serialised novels, and that still holds true.  Personally, I find it takes a while to reengage with the characters when there's been a while between release dates, and then the first few pages are spent reintroducing the protagonists and the setting.  However, that's just my taste, and although I still feel I'd rather be reading this in one lovely chunky book than in shorter novella-style snippets, I can only review on what's in front of me at the time.

And what was in front of me was some fabulous writing!  Cressida McLaughlin has created such a warm and friendly place in Primrose Terrace, somewhere it is a delight to visit, even if that is only through the pages of a book. 

Cat, the cheery optimist who runs a dog-walking business, organises a puppy picnic at the local park.  Here we are introduced to lively puppy Olaf and his family, and Cat, always keen to help, offers her support to struggling young Mum, Frankie.  I loved this storyline.  It had the cosy, community feel I always adore, and without giving too much away, never have I so coveted a fictional bedroom!

I liked that Cat's friend Polly was given her own love interest this time around too- as a veterinary nurse with a kind, caring nature, she deserves some happiness.  I hope that by the next instalment things will still be on an upward trajectory for her (and her beau has the most perfect job!)

The love triangle for Cat still smoulders on- should she pick enigmatic Mark or her reliable housemate Joe? (Pick Joe, pick Joe!)  I have less of a bad feeling about Mark after this one, but there's still an element of distrust.  He's just so unreliable, which is never good.  Plus Joe sounds so lovely- if she doesn't end up with him, he can be my next book boyfriend instead.  Some of the things he does are incredibly thoughtful and that always makes me swoon.

Overall, I really enjoyed reacquainting myself with these characters.  I hope Cressida McLaughlin is writing fast, because I'm gagging for a full length novel full of the heart and humour that this series has.  Sunshine and Spaniels is another winner!

Sunshine and Spaniels is out now, published by Harper Collins.

With thanks to the publisher who gave me a copy of this book in return for my unbiased opinion.

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