The Bookshop On The Corner by Rebecca Raisin

So what if I lived in a fictional world ninety-five per cent of the time? He'd just have to meet me there. 


Title - The Bookshop On The Corner 
Author - Rebecca Raisin 
Publication Date - June 17th 2014
Publisher - Carina UK (Harlequin) 
Format - eBook 

The blurb

Who said that only real heroes could be found in fiction? 

Sarah Smith had an addiction - she was addicted to romance novels. The meet-cute, the passion, the drama and the gorgeous men! Now this wouldn't have been such an issue if she hadn't been the owner of the only bookshop in Ashford, Connecticut. 

Ever since her close friend Lil, from The Gingerbread Cafe, had become engaged she had been yearning for a little love to turn up in her life. Except Sarah knew a good man was hard to find - especially in a tiny town like Ashford. That was until New York journalist, Ridge Warner stepped into her bookshop...

Love could be just around the corner for Sarah, but will she be able to truly believe that happy-ever-after can happen in real-life too! 

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, a very smiley thank you to the fabulous publishers Carina UK! I'm already auto-accepted for their gorgeous titles via Net Galley (not bragging, promise) so it was a case of clicking to request. Seconds later, this beautiful title was waiting for me on my shelf and of course, completely unable to deny myself this sort of temptation, I went ahead and sent it straight to my Kindle. Well, once I saw it on my Kindle screen, just sitting there waiting to be read, I instantly bumped it right to the top of my to-read list because honestly, I just could not wait a single second longer. 

Secondly, an even bigger thank you to the lovely author who is also a  fabulous friend of mine, Rebecca Raisin. After reading Rebecca's previous titles Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe and Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe I was just so excited when I heard that she was working on a new addition to her already stunning collection. Fortunately, I have grown rather close to Rebecca and swap emails with her regularly. Like the gorgeous woman that she is, Rebecca kept me up-to-date with everything to do with The Bookshop on the Corner and I also took part in her cover reveal, which again, is just breathtakingly beautiful. My words are running away with me here. Rebecca, thank you so much. Not only for the magic that is The Bookshop On The Corner but for the constant friendship that you give. 

 In The Bookshop On The Corner, Rebecca first introduces the reader to Sarah Smith, owner of the only bookshop in her tiny little town Ashford, Connecticut. I instantly took a liking to Sarah, not only for her obsessive passion and love for all things books but because I could relate to her in so many wonderful ways. Sarah has always stayed in Ashford, never daring to venture too far out into the big, wide world, completely happy with her nose stuck in a good romance book, her eyes flirting with the dreamy words printed onto the pages. Sarah looked upon her bookshop with a maternal and affectionate love, often referring to the books inside as her 'babies', which is something that I do on a day-to-day basis! At any time when the talk of adventure or change would crop up, Sarah would retreat back into her fictional world, perfectly happy with her lot. 

"Change was so alien to me, it was almost another language. I was a staunch fan of the 'if it's not broke - don't fix it' mentality." ~ Sarah 

It was hard for me to not read about Sarah and not see myself in her personality and characteristics. I guess you could say that she was a little child-like in some aspects, again, like myself. Sarah found the fictional world within the pages of a book a million times better than anything that reality had to offer. She dreamed of the dashing, heroic men that she read about in the piles and piles of books stacked up in her bookshop, she dreamed of the passionate, heart-pounding love that only fictional characters would ever be lucky enough to have. Put simply, Sarah Smith was a dreamer, living in her fictional world, drinking coffee and just living her (albeit fairy-tale like) never-changing life. I do believe that Sarah and I would be the best of friends if she was a real person. We're so alike it's uncanny. Another point that I feel I need to touch upon is that Sarah decides to start up a blog. Yes! A real, true-to-life blog. HOW AMAZING IS THAT? See?! We've got to be related! I absolutely LOVED the added blog aspect, it gave me a little thrill to know that I was also a blogger. Rebecca thought of everything, she really truly did. I was just astounded.  

Another character that I took a particular liking to in The Bookshop On The Corner was one of Sarah's closest friends Missy. One word came to my mind when Rebecca first introduced Missy to me and that word was 'diva'. Not diva in a bad way, but diva in a sassy, curvaceous, exhilarating way. I just loved the way that Rebecca described Missy. 

"Her form-fitting scarlet dress lit up the sepia-toned shop. She was all bouffant auburn curls, and thick Hollywood-esque make-up, and the type of person that made you smile just by setting eyes on her." 

Missy is also the owner of The Sassy Salon that sat on the corner just opposite The Bookshop On The Corner, so I was instantly given an image of this chatty, gorgeous woman who was loved by everyone and always had something exciting to talk about, no matter how dreary or grey the weather was outside. I really adored the way Missy seemed to brighten up Sarah's life. I mean, Sarah was clearly not depressed or sad about her lot in life, but whenever Missy entered the shop she seemed to leave a ray of sunshine and sparkle in her wake, and Sarah seemed to smile constantly. The relationship between these two was what every girl should have. Missy was Sarah's go-to when she needed advice, and a lot of the time Missy would hand out advice and comments whether Sarah asked her to or not, but not in an over-bearing way. Just in a way that said, "I'm your girl, and I'll be here for you no matter what." Missy was bursting to the brim with personality and goodness, and such a wonderful addition to Rebecca's characters. 

Rebecca also uses one of my favourite techniques in The Bookshop On The Corner. If you have read any of her previous novels and met Lil and CeeCee then you will see more of them when you read The Bookshop On The Corner. I absolutely LOVE when authors do this. I don't know about you but when you read a fantastic book and then have to say goodbye to the characters it can sometimes leave you feeling a little lost and sad. I find myself with an urge to catch up with them and see what's going on in their lives. In The Bookshop On The Corner, this is the perfect chance to do that. Lil and CeeCee from the Gingerbread Cafe appear in the story on more than one occasion and I was delighted when I heard their names being mentioned. In The Bookshop On The Corner, The Gingerbread Cafe is right opposite Sarah's haven and every now and again, she'll glimpse through the window and catch Lil and Damon canoodling. Sarah, Missy, CeeCee and Lil are a close, tight-knit bunch of friends and their chats over gingerbread milkshakes and all matters of yumminess really warmed my heart. Seeing characters from previous novels getting on with their lives just makes it all seem so much more real and magical, and I enjoyed it to no end. 

Another thing that I felt a strong desire to comment on was Sarah's bookshop itself. I want to work there so badly. It's like a book lover's paradise. Its not one of those pristine, modern, grey interiors, but aged, enchanted and sprinkled with fairy dust. That is honestly how I felt about Sarah's bookshop. Rebecca's descriptions of the book shop were impeccable, describing to me a place that I have always wanted to visit but never knew existed. 

"I turned back to the inside of the shop to watch shards of muted sunlight settle on piles of books, as if it were slowly waking them. The haphazard stacks seemed straighter, as if they'd decided when I wasn't looking to neaten themselves up, dust their jackets off, and stand to attention." 

Never before have I seen books be brought to life like this. Rebecca instilled a true fascination within Sarah's character that made her look upon the hundreds of books in her shop as though they were real people. I felt like I was in a dream-like state because of the way Rebecca drew me in with her delicate and quaint descriptions. Everything about Sarah's bookshop sang to me. It's exactly how I would choose to have my own bookshop if I ever had that opportunity. Books stacked to heights taller than me, books lying gracefully here and there. It was a pure delight to be invited inside of such a beautiful, ethereal place.  

Rebecca could not have chosen a more perfect moment to introduce Ridge to Sarah. Ridge Warner was heavenly in every sense of the word. Tall, dark and brooding, Ridge is a New York reporter sent to do a piece on Sarah's tiny little town of Ashford after he visited during the Chocolate Festival. (You can read about the chocolate festival in Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe) Bizarrely, Ridge was exactly how Sarah imagined her book-heroes to be; absolutely delectable, just like the sweet treats from The Gingerbread Cafe. I loved him. Loved, loved, loved him! He was charming, very dashing and every inch the disarming fictional book-boyfriend. Rebecca kept me guessing from the moment that Ridge entered the scene. I was excited to see where the story was going to go from here, and I was not disappointed. 

The Bookshop On The Corner is written with the same fluidity that can be found in all of Rebecca's previous titles. Her smooth, perfectly structured sentences allow for a pleasurable read. No hitches, no plot-holes and not a single thing that I would change, The Bookshop On The Corner is a staggering addition to Rebecca's creations. Every nook and cranny was brought to life in Sarah's little bookshop, every fleck of dust commented upon, every book alive and breathing. I am gob-smacked at the amount of creativity and phenomenal imagery that I have found in this title. Rebecca has left no stone un-turned, creating the perfect small-town woman just dreaming of her own happy-ever-after. I found an immense amount of pleasure in reading The Bookshop On The Corner. In fact, I read it in one sitting and slept peacefully once I was finished. Rebecca sprinkles her stories with such charm and delicacy that I feel like I'm bouncing on big, fluffy clouds. 

Becca's Books is giving The Bookshop On The Corner a befitting rating of five glorious cupcakes. This story is every book lovers dream. Rebecca has brought the hidden depths of a book lovers mind to the surface and unearthed all of our bookish secrets that normally we would keep to ourselves. This story couldn't be anymore perfect if it tried. I am in love with Rebecca's characters, the heart-warming connection between them all and the intertwined lives within the tiny town of Ashford. Rebecca, a huge well done to you! The Bookshop On The Corner was remarkable. 


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3 comments :

  1. I can't wait to read this! I love these books! Lucky you that the author is your friend! Great review as usual :)

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  2. Thanks so much, lovely Lavender. I cannot wait for you to read it either, it's just beautiful!

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  3. I love this book. I'm convinced Sarah is my book soul-sister. It's nice to know someone else relates to her as well!
    xx Helena
    PS. In a round-about way I discovered your blog via Rebecca Raisin and can I say - I think you are just wonderful!

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