Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop | By Kiley Dunbar
Book Review | NetGalley e-ARC | Contemporary Romance
A fairytale ending isn’t just for fiction…
The Borrow-a-Bookshop is recovering, seven months on from the winter flood that destroyed all its stock, and the latest temporary bookseller, Joy Foley, arrives in Clove Lore with her daughter, five-year-old Radia Pearl. As a tech expert, she’ll be working on dragging the Bookshop into the twenty-first century.
But what no one knows is that Joy is running from Radia Pearl’s father. She can’t settle down here or anywhere … moving on is how she stays safe. So when Radia befriends Monty Bickleigh, ex-fisherman and the new cook at The Siren’s Tail pub, despite herself, Joy finds herself growing closer to him, and the quirky community of Clove Lore.
While Joy settles in to the bookshop, Araminta Clove-Congreve, local lady of the Manor, is finding running her new wedding business harder than anticipated. She needs to hire a chief wedding planner, and fast – and Joy’s family may have the answer.
As Joy finds her heart softening by the magic of Clove Lore, can her new friends – and Monty – be enough to convince Joy to stop running and find a new life?
Once again, we are back to the cozy world of Clove Lore, where you can own a bookshop for two weeks and run it. This very idea was the reason I picked up the e-ARC of the first book in the series, The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday. I missed the second book, but it didn’t feel like I missed much. However, I would strongly suggest you go through the first book before reading this one, just so, you would be familiar with the world and the characters in it.
Narrative and Plot
This is my fourth Kiley Dunbar book and I can definitely see the signature in the style of writing. The story is told mostly from Joy’s perspective, but we get Monty’s point of view when necessary.
The tone of the book in general is wholesome and adorable, particularly when it comes to Radia, so much so that it made me want to read more.
The plot of the book is quite straightforward. Yet, as wholesome and cozy as the premise is, the story explores some difficult topics and executes them brilliantly.
Characters and Conflicts
Joyce is the central character, and honestly, she is a frustrating woman. I understand where she is coming from and what her apprehensions are and how deep-rooted they are. It is an essential and important part of the story. Which is why it is all the more sweeter, when we get to root for her.
Monty, on the other hand, is the kindest and sweetest person you could ever imagine meet. He is not perfect, but he is a shoo-in for those “fictional men who don’t exist” category. His budding relationship with Radia was endearing and heartwarming.
Radia is just a darling. It is adorable to see her reaction to the things around her over which she had no control. And she even drops some gems in between like, “No one likes fruit cakes anyway.” Or my favorite “Does Auntie Patti cut her own hair?” The one character that irked me was Minty. I am unfamiliar with her character as I missed the second book in the series and she comes off as way too intense.
The book had several relevant conflicts to explore and it never shied away from them. It went into detail about Joyce’s traumatic and toxic relationship, which is the core conflict of the story. Unlike most rom-coms, the story even explores situations where you don’t always get closure and that’s ok too.
The ensemble cast did a splendid job of creating a cozy community vibe.
I enjoyed this book just like I had expected it to. It is a cozy, comfort read that uplifts your spirit on a weary day. It did exactly that for me.
I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.