Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart?
When life hands you lemons … make ice-cream! Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her. Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business : a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets. There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor Ben, who sees things differently : with a little bit of TLC, he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.
This is not normally the kind of read I go for. The cover is what drew my attention first, with its beautiful colours and that summery beach feel. And really, who can deny the lure of ice-cream? It promised to be a feel-good story with chuckles a plenty and after a particularly crappy week, I desperately needed something maybe a little light-hearted. Since I’d never read anything by this author before, I was pleasantly surprised and not at all disappointed.
Ella’s in a bit of a slump. Her life didn’t exactly pan out the way she thought it would have. She’s a divorced mother of two sullen teenagers and if that wasn’t bad enough, her mother moved in for what was to be a temporary solution, but is making no moves to leave. Then Ella’s aunt passes away and leaves Ella a portion of her ice-cream business in Appledore, a place Ella has very fond memories of. You’ll have to discover yourself what happens next.
Yes, there are some chuckle moments. There are even some laugh-out-loud moments. Ella’s mother, Roberta, for instance, is an absolute hoot! But at the base of the story is a family secret that’s quite heartbreaking which will reveal itself as Ella tries to get her life back on track.
Of course there’s also a dash of romance which is also not something I normally go for. Not a romantic bone in my body, me. I’ll take a grisly murder scene over a smooching session any time. However, I found myself being completely swept away by the blossoming relationship in Ella’s life.
This book came at the perfect time for me. It made me a little emotional, it made me smile, it made me laugh and if offered me the escape I needed. I’m looking forward to the second book in this series!
Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my advanced copy, which I chose to review.
Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer will be published on May 11th.