Turning the Tide by Christine Stovell

To quote the jacket ‘Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father’s boat yard afloat.  Now all she wants to do is enjoy the peace and quiet of her sleepy backwater.  So when businessman Matthew Corrigan announces he wants to redevelop the boat yard, it’s like declaring war.  Harry has to fight not just his plans but also her feelings for the man himself.  Then a family secret from the past changes everthing’.

Set in the sleepy village of Spitmarsh Turning the Tide brings you the story of Harry, or Harriet, Watling.  Harry took over the boat yard after her father died and her mother remarried and moved to France and has struggled since to keep the business alive.  George, almost an old family retainer who previously worked for her father, has stuck around to help and keep a fatherly eye over things.  Then along comes suave, good looking Matthew Corrigan to turn everything on its head with ideas for developing the sleepy town kickstarting it all with a fancy pants new restaurant.

Of course Harry is set against this and stubbornly resists all Matthews attempts to get on board (sorry, not a very good pun).  I must admit I did think Harry was a little bit unwilling to listen to anybody else and was a little dogmatic.  As it turns out the restaurant had a positive effect on the rest of the town giving the residents a welcome injection of life and pride and inspiring them to rethink their own little businesses.  In fact Harry was alone in her resistance.

To be honest, I don’t think Turning the Tide brings anything new in terms of this type of novel but it is a nice, light hearted read.  Ideal to take on holiday and enjoy at the beach.  This is another Choc Lit novel so you already know that there’s going to be mind candy and set in the village there are a few eccentric characters to add to the amusement.  George is a funny and curmudgeonly character living grumpily away from everyone in his little caravan and keeping close guard over his tartan tin of biscuits.

In terms of the romance I think I the novel could have been improved with a little more interaction between the two main characters, to me it felt a little slow to get going and used a lot of time developing an alternative plot line – which was frankly a little bit predictable.

But, all in all I think this is a lovely debut novel with plenty of charm and a perfect book to take away. I would imagine that romance readers would enjoy.  If you like this you will probably also like Trade Winds which is another Choc Lit novel (on balance I probably preferred the latter because I enjoyed the historical aspect).

Rating -B

Turning the Tide

Turning the Tide

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