on May 11th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives 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.
Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is a heart-warming and hilarious romance that will scoop you off your feet and prove it’s never too late for a fresh start. The ideal holiday read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.
What people are saying about Sue Watson:
‘At one point I choked on my coffee I was laughing so much! ... with characters you really care about Sue Watson has written a book that will keep you captivated until the very last page.' The Book Review Café
‘Oh guys, this book wowed me totally! … It’s going to warm your heart, break your heart as well, and make you laugh. It’s a perfect mix of every feeling possible. It’s a compelling, captivating, optimistic read and I highly recommend it!’ On My Bookshelf
‘The story is just wonderful … It truly is heart-warming and hilarious, but also connected with serious issues …’ Liina Reads
‘This book is a delight, perfect for curling up with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate or cupcake in hand. This was a fabulous, humorous, easy read which I devoured in two sittings.’ Shaz’s Book Blog
‘Sue Watson did it again! Every single word in her stories is sweetened with chocolate, vanilla and cupcakes and there is no way you'll feel down after reading them… Totally recommended!’ Chick Library Cat
‘Heartfelt and warm, and perfect for the holiday season. Highly recommended.’ Any Good Book
‘I never thought I'd laugh and cry as much as I did while reading this book. I wish I could give it 10 stars! I loved this story and hope others do too.’ The Final Chapter
‘I genuinely laughed out loud reading Bella's Christmas Bake Off. It was a lovely, relaxing read, and one that really cheered me up. It has the perfect recipe of laughter, happiness and a little romance thrown in… I absolutely loved this book, it is a fab Christmas read and I highly recommend it. I give Bella’s Christmas Bake Off 5 Stars.’ Tea Lady Mumbles
‘This does exactly what it says on the tin. It's funny and heartwarming, sad and heart-breaking, all at the same time.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is the first book in The Ice-Cream Café series by Sue Watson.
Ella is divorced with two teenage children and a mother who lives with her. The children respectively are about to embark on a gap year in Thailand, and a summer in Nepal, leaving Ella with her first taste of empty nest syndrome. Before they leave Ella has to attend her favourite aunt’s funeral back home in Devon. A family falling out means that she hasn’t been able to have contact with her aunt since she was 12, but she has many fond memories of the years before that, especially of her aunt’s ice cream cafe. Her aunt and mother are from Italy, and along with Italian tempers, they also brought with them delightful Italian ice cream recipes. Flavours that had customers queuing for ages to buy in the cafe and at the ice cream van that they used to park on the beach. Such happy memories for Ella. The funeral was a quiet affair, and her aunt’s will was a bit of a surprise for her. Ella was now the proud owner of a very run down ice cream truck. The cafe, which was now just a run down diner, had been left to Ella’s cousin, a movie star, Gina. Ella was surprised she was given the truck, and even more surprised when the gorgeous solicitor Ben told her he thought she could spend the summer in Devon selling ice cream again. She didn’t have any intention of doing that, not then anyway!
As it turns out, Ella’s boss has become bankrupt and so Ella loses her job. Her ex husband decides to put the house on the market now the children are grown up, and Ella realises that at least for the summer she can have a bit or respite, and maybe earn a bit of money. She decides to go to Devon, and sell ice cream just as Ben suggested. Maybe while she is there she can get hold of Gina and see if she is going to keep the cafe, maybe persuade her to partner with herself and get the cafe back to the way it used to be? In the mean time she needs to get the truck up to scratch and just enjoy a summer without children or responsibilities. Her mother won’t be happy, but for once, Ella wants to put herself first. She doesn’t know why there was such a terrible family falling out, but she always loved her aunt Sophia, and cousin Gina, and she wouldn’t let her mother stop her from going back to Devon for the summer.
What follows is the delightfully funny, sometimes serious, but always interesting story of Ella’s summer. Secrets unfold, romance is on the cards, and always there are the delicious sounding ice cream flavours that Ella comes up with. It’s a very sweet story, almost like a coming of age story, but for a woman in her 40s. Ella really comes into her own in this story. I enjoyed it very much, and despite a tear or two in places, the story had me smiling, and yes laughing a lot. I am not a big fan of contemporary fiction, but find myself wanting to read the next book in this series, so that’s got to be a good indication of how much I enjoyed this book.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.