The Strictly Business Proposal (Freshwater Bay Novel Series Book 1) by Nell Grey #BookReview #Romance

Business Proposal

Is Beth Barnes a beautiful con artist or the genuine friend of Evan Morgan, an elderly Welsh chef?

When Evan dies, he hands talented London chef Beth her big break. She has the chance to realise her dream and run her very own restaurant in a village on the wild Welsh Celtic coast. But there are strings attached. Can she comply and gain her inheritance, her dream? Accused of being a gold digger by the family, Beth’s welcome to Wales is not quite as warm as she’d hoped for.

Burned from a recent divorce, the last thing on architect Gareth Morgan’s mind is another wedding. If he wants to realise his development dreams, he must marry.

It’s a strictly business proposal. But can Beth and Gareth really stick to the terms

My Review

My first impression of this novel was not good. Reading the first paragraph of a book by a British author I didn’t expect to read,” busting her ass,” and “snuck out,” but perhaps this was to appeal to readers across the pond. Certainly, the vocabulary soon settled into recognisable English and I began to enjoy following the story of chef Beth Barnes and the handsome Welsh architect Gareth Morgan with whom she agreed a business contract.

Both Beth and Gareth are passionate about their careers and neither intend to become entangled in a relationship but in order to achieve their dreams of a successful restaurant on the Welsh coast and an eco-holiday village they must agree to a partnership which involves marriage. Of course, there is misunderstanding, anger and disappointment but this is more than just chick-lit. Gareth’s family are well-rounded interesting people with their own back stories and Beth’s friendship with local girl, Ariana promises more about this artistic jewellery maker.

In addition to some torrid love scenes, we are treated to two complex but likeable characters and a fascinating location in Freshwater Bay. This is the first of four books in the Freshwater Bay series so I shall certainly be following it to learn more about the Morgan bothers. An easy, enjoyable read.

The Strictly Business Proposal on Amazon UK

The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher #amreading #bookreview

Silver Dark sea

“I heard that there is hope on a coastline, it was my own self, speaking – me, as my comfort, trying to keep myself afloat.”

“There were so many stories on that island that it felt like they came in on the tide.”

 “The Silver Dark Sea” is perhaps the most significant character in this novel. For the inhabitants of the island of Parla, the sea’s moods, sounds, harvest and destruction rule their lives. This is not an easy novel at first; written in the main as the stream of consciousness of the key protagonists, interspersed with folktales from Abigail’s book, it slips from third person to first person and only becomes comprehensible when the reader identifies that individual.

The location of Parla is unclear but the intermingled fates of the Bright family from the lighthouse and the Bundy family from the farm “Wind Rising” provide the background to this tale of love and loss. The roles of women and men in this simple old-fashioned community are separate and clearly defined and after a tragedy 4 years earlier many have lost their stability and focus. Maybe if the story of The Fishman of Sye comes true, they will be redeemed.

I want to give this beautiful atmospheric novel five stars, but the slow laborious plot development makes me award it 4.5 stars. I was unsure how the story should end but for me the conclusion was just right. Susan Fletcher is an author to seek out.

The Silver Dark Sea can be found on Amazon UK

Susan Fletcher

Susan Fletcher

Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling ‘Eve Green’ winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, ‘Oystercatchers’ and ‘Witch Light’.