Sample if you will dear reader, this vintage wine. Close your eyes and get lost in the taste, smell and texture as it dances upon your tongue. Feel the gentle summer breeze whisper through your hair as you listen to the laughter and voices of loved ones basking in the warmth of this glorious day. As you take another sip you sigh and feel at ease. You are finally where you are meant to be. Home.
Today is my stop for the wonderful blog tour for A Vintage Summer By Cathy Bramley. As always thank you for my copy to review and to the outstanding Anne for the invitation. You make this community such a pleasure to be a part of. Thank you.
About The Author
Cathy Bramley is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of THE LEMON TREE CAFE. Her other romantic comedies include Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food and White Lies and Wishes. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.
Cathy turned to writing after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. She has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!
A Vintage Summer
London has not been kind to Lottie Allbright. Realising it’s time to cut and run, she packs up and moves back home – but finds her family in disarray. In need of a new place to stay, Lottie takes up the offer of a live-in job managing a local vineyard. There’s a lot to learn – she didn’t even know grapes could grow so far north!
Butterworth Wines in the rolling Derbyshire hills has always been run on love and passion but a tragic death has left everyone at a loss. Widowed Betsy is trying to keep the place afloat but is harbouring a debilitating secret. Meanwhile her handsome but interfering grandson, Jensen, is trying to convince her to sell up and move into a home.
Lottie’s determined to save Butterworth Wines, but with all this and an unpredictable English summer to deal with, it’ll be a challenge.
And that’s before she discovers something that will turn her summer – and her world – upside down . . .
I couldn’t help but love Lottie, especially when she is compared to the all time loveable bear that is Paddington. Bramley has a spectacular talent for bringing her characters to life. They are so much more than words written on the page. They are alive with real, raw emotions that make you feel as if you have known them your whole life. What I enjoyed reading the most about Lottie was her kindness. She instantly restored my faith in humanity when she made a lollipop grave for a little boy’s hamster called Biscuit. Her passion and determination is infectious and makes you want to be a better person. It’s inspiring.
Lottie is intriguing to read because Bramley writes her with so much depth. Her mother’s death affected her deeply and Lottie quickly lost her way, her identity. The reality of living in London and feeling isolated while missing home life swallowed her up. Every time her boyfriend Harvey appeared on the scene I felt suffocated. He made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Bramley traps the reader with this controlling character and you want nothing more than to escape from him. It was only once she bravely left London I saw more of the real Lottie. The ever-present shadow of doubt that had been stalking her slowly disappeared as she began to enjoy life again. The journey she takes to rediscover herself was captivating to read. I loved discovering more about her and witnessing the silly moments she has with Jensen; like doing snow angels and passing it off as yoga. I found myself smiling at her happiness and rooting for her to succeed throughout the book. With every new challenge she faces, you find yourself right there beside her, supporting her all the way fist pumping the air.
Bramley’s writing style is like a big warm, cosy hug. She wraps you up in her words like a blanket. The reader feels nurtured and loved. I also adored the strong sense of family, being there and supporting each other. The passion that the characters feel about not only the Butterworth vineyard but the memories it has created. The vineyard itself is an essential character in the book. The way Bramley writes about how it has brought people together and is well-tended to is much like how you speak of loved ones. And indeed it is loved. It’s poetic to read and really pulls at your heartstrings. I’m getting a little teary just writing this bit. It’s such a charming experience that I honestly didn’t want to leave. I felt happy and connected to such an enchanting place that had brought so much joy into peoples’ hearts. Ah, I’m starting up again, I need to grab a tissue.
I give A Vintage Summer By Cathy Bramley a Four out of Five paw rating.
A beautiful, charming read that you need to discover this summer. Never a dull moment, I was a mix of emotions from uncontrollably giggling to a mess of running mascara dripping down my face. Everyone needs to meet Lottie Allbright this summer over a bottle of only the finest Butterworth’s wine. This book is full of surprises. Just when you think you know everything there is to know, Bramley artfully adds a little more chaos and shocks to the plot. It will leave you thirsty for more of that moreish taste that is a vintage summer. Cheers!
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