Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Review: The Second Chance Tea Shop (Little Somerby #1) by Fay Keenan

The Second Chance Tea Shop

 (Little Somerby #1)

by Fay Keenan 


Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde, and Cathy Bramley.

Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it's time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.

But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.

This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

That place is hotter than David Beckham’s boxers!… I’m so not joking – mere mortals like me would have to sell the family silver, if we hadn’t already, to get a table there. It’s worth going out with him just for the grub!

We’re not teenagers, Matthew –we both come with rather a lot of history… Like a second-hand car…

Christ, if it was me, I’d be sticking pins in a Chanel-dressed voodoo doll by now!

My Review:

I’m all about the indie’s and even more so when it is a first-time author, although sometimes it can be a gamble and I find myself holding my breath the book will be readable.  Thankfully that was not a concern for this debut performance and the first offering of a planned series featuring a small English village, although the author did have a head start advantage being an English teacher and all.  This was a sweet and gentle tale with a slowly building romance and side orders of humor, delicious sounding treats, and family drama until it took a turn for heavy angst and got a bit mired there a bit longer than I wished before those sweet scenes come back into focus.  The frequent food mentions seemed to spark copious snacking during reading, that is my current excuse anyway.  The premise was entertaining; the characters were endearing and appealing; and the writing was easy to follow, insightful, emotive, and relevant.  I already have the second book in this series loaded on my Kindle and ready for immediate perusal. 

I learned a few new Brit words and phrases, always a plus score for my day when I can add to my Brit word list – with the top new entries being “doorstep toast” which would be what Americans call Texas toast, and berk, which the Urban Dictionary tells me is the equivalent of an idiot, although the original slang origin was far more… earthy, and rhymes with hunt.  So of course, I immediately had to add it to the top of my list ;) 

Empress DJ

About the Author

Website   Twitter

Goodreads   Amazon

Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.


  1. I have been recently reading more Brit authors and have really enjoyed the books I have read!

  2. This sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing.
    Gemma @

  3. "Christ, if it was me, I’d be sticking pins in a Chanel-dressed voodoo doll by now!" This one is spit-takeable :)

  4. Oh no...another one I need. Great review :) This book looks like a great read!