Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop – Kiley Dunbar

Published By: Hera
Pages: 336
Released On: 23/03/2023

The Borrow-a-Bookshop is recovering, seven months on from the winter flood that destroyed all its stock, and the latest temporary bookseller, Joy Foley, arrives in Clove Lore with her daughter, five-year-old Radia Pearl. As a tech expert, she’ll be working on dragging the Bookshop into the twenty-first century.

But what no one knows is that Joy is running from Radia Pearl’s father. She can’t settle down here or anywhere … moving on is how she stays safe. So when Radia befriends Monty Bickleigh, ex-fisherman and the new cook at The Siren’s Tail pub, despite herself, Joy finds herself growing closer to him, and the quirky community of Clove Lore.

While Joy settles in to the bookshop, Araminta Clove-Congreve, local lady of the Manor, is finding running her new wedding business harder than anticipated. She needs to hire a chief wedding planner, and fast – and Joy’s family may have the answer.

As Joy finds her heart softening by the magic of Clove Lore, can her new friends – and Monty – be enough to convince Joy to stop running and find a new life?


Thanks to NetGalley and Hera for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

When I read number two in the series – Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop – I didn’t realise it was linked, and so hadn’t read number one, and to be honest, I still haven’t. But it doesn’t really matter. It might have given you a few links to the previous story, but I found it a completely acceptable standalone book. And I can say the same about this one. It’s completely fine to read it on it’s one, but it’s fun to spot some of the connections to the previous one.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Joy as a main character. She was well written, don’t get me wrong, great character creation, but as a person, she didn’t really endear herself to me, but I think that was to do with her gold, guarded nature, she didn’t let me in. She started to win me round by the end, once you know the reasons for her standoffish behaviour. She still wouldn’t be my best friend, but she got there in the end.

But Monty is a gorgeous character. That’s all I have to say on him. 😘

And Joy’s daughter Radia is a wonderful character. She’s so innocent, which is great to see, but privy to an adult situation. She’s excited about everything, warm and friendly, and I think she’s the magic key to opening Joy up.

There are lots of characters left from the previous books such as Minty and Bovis. Like I say you don’t need to have read about them to appreciate them, but it does add a little extra touch when you start recognising people.

I am most certainly still up for a borrow-a-bookshop scheme. Although I’d sign up every week, you’d never get rid of me.

There is something very powerful about books and stories, that not everyone realises, but it’s novels like these that really show that power, especially to people who may not be huge readers.

I slightly preferred book number two, but that’s only because of the Christmas connection – that will always win me round.

Like any good feel-good novel, there are some hard parts. Some adult themes. Some obstacles you have to overcome. And that’s what makes the happy bits even happier, as you know what’s come before.

This series is all I want from life. To live in a small community village, within a bookshop and a handsome man. Is there anything better than that? We’re in 2023 now, surely someone can invent a way to put us into books, because I need to experience Clove Lore for myself.

I’m glad to see this isn’t the end of the series. I did wonder whether it would start getting repetitive, focussing on the same group of people and the same shop, but it’s anything but. It lures you in. You feel a part of this community, this story, this family, and it just keeps getting better and better.

It’s warming and cosy and hopeful and joyful and easy reading. Exactly what you want to lose yourself in after a busy day.

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