The small Welsh village of Penmorfa is the main setting of the story which revolves around Coralie Casey and Gethin Lewis. Coralie is a newcomer to the village, she has left behind her busy corporate life to set up a small business selling her own range of natural beauty and cleaning products - inspired by her late Grandmother. Gethin, on the other hand, is a native of Penmorfa. He left the village many years before and is now a successful artist based in New York. Gethin has returned to refurbish and sell his childhood home after the recent death of his father. Gethin doesn't have happy memories of the village, and many of the residents seem to resent his success, especially as they feel that his most famous painting does his home village no favours.
Christine Stovell gradually introduces other characters into the story, and although they do not take centre stage, their personalities and complex lives are just as entertaining and often as intriguing as the two main players. The essence of village life is captured very well, from the gossipy old women, to the handsome young surfer and the modern-day worries of marriages, business and how to raise funds for the much needed new Community Centre.
As the story unfolds and the reader gets to know both Coralie and Gethin, my initial impressions of them changed. Gethin starts out as something of a cold and distant character, often appearing arrogant and uncaring. Coralie has an air of mystery to her, and at times appears quite vulnerable. As their relationship with each other develops, so does the relationship between their characters and the reader.
My thanks to Jane from Choc Lit for sending a copy for review, and the added bonus of a Walnut Whip to go with it!
You can visit the Choc Lit website here, for details of their other books, and follow them on Twitter here.
Christine Stovell's web site is here, she is also on Twitter here.