I'm really not sure how I've missed Lucy Diamond before now, this is the first of her books that I've read and I will definitely now be looking out for her back catalogue and her next novel.
Set in Cornwall, the heroine of the story is Evie - a thirty-something woman whose life is in a bit of a rut. She's the black sheep of the family, her sisters are both successful, gorgeous, well-groomed, married with children and have great careers.
Evie goes from one temp job to another, not really knowing what she wants to do, her long-term relationship with geeky Matthew has gone a bit stale - the only great thing in her life is Saul, Matthew's young son who Evie adores.
Evie is devastated when her aunt Jo is killed in a car accident. Jo always believed in Evie, never criticised her and allowed her to be herself. Evie spent many happy holidays at Jo's beach cafe in Cornwall. The whole family are shocked and surprised to learn that Jo has left the cafe to Evie. Everyone expects Evie to sell up - after all when has she ever made a success of anything? Evie is determined to prove them wrong.
This is a fabulous read. Evie is one of those really likeable characters that you soon grow to love, she reminded me a little of Bridget Jones - daft, funny but very caring. Sometimes she makes huge mistakes, sometimes she does things that are incredibly annoying, but you can't help but love her!
Lucy Diamond is very good at creating some great characters, really human and believable and her descriptions of the Cornwall village and beach were fabulous.
Ok, there may be a smidgeon of predictability along the way, but I'm not complaining - everyone needs a little romance in their lives and Evie deserves it more than most.
I enjoyed every page of The Beach Cafe, it has all the ingredients for the perfect summer read and I can't wait to read more of Lucy Diamond's novels.
Lucy Diamond also writes books for children under her real name Sue Mongredien, you can follow her on Twitter @SueMongredien