Blog Tour | Sweet Home Summer #review

To round off the week I have a review of Sweet Home Summer before we get to my thoughts here is what it’s about.


What’s a Matchmaker? I’m thinking a really, really old Irish version of Tinder…

Isla Brookes was terrified of leading a little life in the small New Zealand town where she was born and where her gran and mum were also born and bred. To escape their fate, she breaks it off with her teenage sweetheart and runs away to London. She’s spent the last ten years climbing the interior design career ladder and meeting the wrong kind of man until one day she wakes up and wonders what it’s all been for. Leaving her latest unsuitable man and job for dust Isla winds up sitting on a beanbag in therapy at a Californian retreat, where she realises it’s time to go home.

They breed em tough on New Zealand’s West Coast. A fact Isla’s grandmother, Bridget prides herself on. Her heart was broken once, and she won’t let it happen again, but now ever since her husband passed away, someone’s been sending her Valentine’s Day cards.

When the dance hall, the scene for this heartbreak, falls into decline, Bridget decides the link to her first love must be restored even if the events of long ago can’t be put right. She’s never heard of dating apps, so in a nod to her Irish ancestry, she decides to hold a fundraising Matchmaker Festival.

Then Rohan Sullivan blows into town on a strange wind offering his services as a bona fide matchmaker; suddenly it’s time for both women to remedy the mistakes of their past.


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It actually took me a long time to get into this book, I don’t know what it was exactly but I found that for the first part of the book I was waiting for things to get going. I mean there is plenty happening but for some reason it didn’t quite capture my interest the way I thought it would in the beginning.

However, once I got past the halfway point things seemed to click and I felt a lot more involved in what was going on. I felt like I whizzed through the last bit and really enjoyed it.

I liked all the characters in this book but the one that really stood out was Bridget, she’s been through a lot but has such a can-do attitude and always seems to have a club or meeting to go to. I laughed at some of the words she mispronounced or misheard. Getting to see a little into her childhood was interesting as well and I liked how it revealed a different side to her.

Of course Isla was lovely too and I was rooting for her and Ben from the start but actually her relationship with Annie was the hidden gem, I loved how they were together and how they supported each other.

The setting of Bibury was brilliant, I love the small town dynamic in this book and the fact that it is a coal mining town with lots of history really added to the atmosphere. I won’t say too much about it but was really looking forward to seeing what trouble would be caused by the matchmaker festival.

Whilst it was a bit of a slow start for me, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book, it’s a very light and fun way of exploring complex relationships and the writing flows, I would recommend it.



Here are the other stops that you should check out.

Sweet Home Summer Full Banner

Hello, my name is Michelle Vernal, and by way of introduction, I’m Mum to Josh and Daniel and am married to the super supportive Paul. We live in the garden city of Christchurch, New Zealand with our three-legged, black cat called Blue. BC (before children) Paul and I lived and worked in Ireland, the experiences we had there have flavoured my books.

I’ve always written, but it was only after my first son was born that I decided to attend a creative writing course at Canterbury University. Oh the guilt dropping him at pre-school so I could learn the basics of story writing, but oh the joy of having conversation to contribute other than the price of nappies that week!  The first piece I ever penned post course was published by a New Zealand parenting magazine. I went on to write humorous; opinion styled pieces of my take on parenting, but when the necessity for being politically correct got too much, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel. Six books later and a publishing deal with Harper Impulse here I am. These days I write for a lifestyle magazine and my latest book Sweet Home Summer has just been released by Harper Impulse.

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