Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Tremarnock Guest House by Emma Burstall

The Cornish Guest House (Tremarnock, #2)

The Cornish Guest House by Emma Burstall
Published: October 2016
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 384
Available in Paperback, Hardback and on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

A new couple have arrived in Tremarnock, but will these glamorous strangers fit into village life?
Tremarnock is a small fishing village, crowded with holidaymakers in the summer, but a sleepy Cornish backwater at other times of the year.
Here Liz has found refuge with her young daughter, Rosie, after her relationship with Rosie's father came unstuck. Now happily married, all seems set for a quiet autumn and merry Christmas. But strangers have bought the local guest house and seem to have big plans. Why is he so charming and confident, but she so frightened? Are they who they say they are? And what are they really doing with the guest house?

The Cornish Guesthouse by Emma Burstall is the second book in the Tremarnock series, in this book we meet new village residents Tabitha and Luke and learn more about one of Tremarnock’s more individual inhabitants Loveday.
Tabitha and Luke have moved from Manchester into The Stables which the plan to turn into a boutique guesthouse. Luke instantly wins the village over with his charisma and willingness to join in village life. Tabitha seems more reserved and reluctant to let her guard down. What could this mysterious beauty be hiding?
Charismatic Luke has soon won over Loveday who is swooning all over his despite just moving in with boyfriend Jesse. Luke offers Loveday a job, first as nanny to his young son Oscar but soon he’s whisking her away to help in his mysterious office in Plymouth. Has Loveday really found her dream job and is Luke as perfect as everyone thinks?
This is the second book from the Tremarnock series but I feel it could easily be read as a standalone as the main character from the previous book Liz is only a minor character in this book. If you’ve read the previous book then you will enjoy your return to Tremarnock and catching up with the lives of the villagers.
Tabitha initially comes across as a very reserved character who is definitely hiding something, which for me made her a much more interesting character than her husband Luke. I so wanted to know why Tabitha seemed so anxious all the time. As the story develops we learn of Tabitha’s background and how she came to be with Luke. Luke was not a character I warmed to and the more we learnt about Tabitha the less I felt I liked Luke. He seemed a man of two halves, with everyone else he is easy-going, captivating and has everyone completely charmed, even reserved Robert. But when he’s alone he seems controlling and even abusive towards Tabitha and I really didn’t like that.
I loved that in this book we learn more about Loveday as for me she was one of the more intriguing characters from the first book. Despite appearing all hard and standoffish she really is quite a vulnerable girl who just wants attention and when Luke gives her some it goes to her head and turns her world upside down.
In theory I liked the plotline of this book but I felt it was a little unrealistic in its delivery. Are the older generation so easily fooled out of all their money? Maybe some, but I disliked the way all old people seemed to be portrayed as weak and naïve. I also found the treatment of Jesse in the book very unjustified and unbelievable, how can a village of people who’ve known him forever suddenly make him out to be the biggest villain on practically just the assumptions of an outsider, it just didn’t seem to fit with what I knew of the community spirit among the village. I also felt Tabitha fears of her past catching up with her were a little unfounded, is she really that special that a gangster from Manchester would travel to Cornwall just to find her, I’m not so sure.
The Cornish Guest House is an enjoyable read and I enjoyed visiting Tremarnock once more, despite being a little frustrated at times with the plot. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next Tremarnock book takes us.

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