Review: A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

Thursday 4 February 2016
Title: A Home in Sunset Bay
Author: Rebecca Pugh
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 9th February 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister…

Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?

Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!

I fell in love with Rebecca Pugh's writing in Return to Bluebell Hill and was eagerly awaiting her second book, A Home in Sunset Bay and it didn't disappoint. Luckily this time round I was lucky enough to receive a review copy and didn't have to wake up at stupid o'clock on release day to download it. Rebecca is an author to watch and I expect we'll be reading many more books from her in the years to come. Rebecca has a distinctive writing style, and it's reminiscent of her reviewing style on Becca's Books; enthusiastic, passionate, detailed and beautifully descriptive which means that every single thing you read about in the story is brought to life, and is vivid in your mind. It's evident when an author has put their all into what they have written and that makes the story so much more enjoyable. The rating for this book is based solely on my enjoyment of it, nothing else. I do hate disclaimers but I also know what some people are like. Also, just a warning, this book will make you hungry and will make you desperate to visit the fabulous Dolly's Diner.

A Home in Sunset Bay tells the story of two somewhat different sisters who, as the story progresses, we learn aren't all that different at all but are actually quite similar. Mia Chapman loves running Dolly's Diner in the picture-perfect Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Rebecca's wonderful descriptions really brought this town to life on the page and it sounded magical, the perfect place to go for a holiday, to enjoy the surroundings with beautiful shops, places to visit and most importantly, places to eat some delicious sounding food. Despite loving running the diner, Mia longs for adventure, and is full of wonderment about the world that exists outside of Sunset Bay, and it was early on in the story that I found myself relating to Mia. Seeing friends talking about or going off on their travels makes me jealous at times, and I wish I had the get up and go to do something like that too. Mia is an instantly likeable character, and I knew as the book progressed she was going to be a character I would be rooting for all the way.

A long way away from Sunset Bay is Laurie who is unhappy with her own life and also wants that something extra rather than just her job and relationship, a relationship which is about to end when Laurie finds her boyfriend cheating on her in her own bed. She soon makes the decision to take indefinite leave from work and finds herself heading back to Sunset Bay to visit her sister, Mia. Once upon a time the sisters were best friends, but now they no longer have that close bond and the time has finally come for the sisters to confront the past, find out whether they can move forward and, ultimately, rebuild that bond that they once had.

Laurie too is a likeable character, she's an intriguing character and it was fun to witness the differences between the sisters. It's clear that Laurie wants more from life, and has never really lived the way she wants to live, but the way her annoying and overbearing mother wanted her to. Watching events unfold and past secrets come out, I felt for Laurie and desperately wanted her to find the happiness that she craved and deserved. Intriguing too was trying to unravel the mystery, and I really wanted to learn more about what went on within the family. Families are a complicated thing and Rebecca, through various members of Mia and Laurie's family really portrays a believable image of what family is, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Rebecca creates believable and identifiable characters, each of them beautifully drawn and each of them not without their faults which is what makes them so real. Mia and Laurie both go on a journey of self-discovery throughout the story and that was great to witness. They are relateable characters. Female readers will recognise bits of their own personalities in Mia and Laurie because they are such believable characters and so richly developed, from start to finish the change in the sisters is clear to see. There's a fantastic cast of characters that make up the story, and I won't list them all but this is a romance book after all and so there are a couple of male characters for readers (and Mia and Laurie) to swoon over. Rebecca really captures the true essence of love in her books and you really invest in and believe what you are reading, despite it being a fictional tale. Rebecca's writing has progressed and matured from her debut novel and it's clear to see, and this is just from a reader's point of view, the potential she has as an author and I'm extremely excited to read whatever else she writes next.

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