Summer at the Castle Café
by Donna Ashcroft
My rating: 4 Stars
Before Alice Appleton's mother died, she kept promising to join her in a triathlon. Now Alice it determined to participate in the town of Castle Cove's upcoming triathlon. This will be especially difficult, as she has a morbid fear of the sea. Once she meets her goal, and settles her mother's house, she plans on spending time with her father, and then traveling. Meanwhile, Jay O'Donnell sees her at water's edge during an impending storm, and as a volunteer lifeboat skipper, shows great concern. She then runs into Jay at her job, the Castle Café, as he is the carpenter hired to do repairs.
Alice and Jay like each other just fine, but they both have issues facing them. For starters, Castle Cove is only a pit stop for Alice. Also, Jay's previous girlfriend up and moved, so, although he'd really like to date Alice, the fact that she will be moving is enough for him to try and resist her. Each of them have other serious issues facing them that could derail their relationship before it even gets off the ground..
I so loved this fantastic romance! It was a quick, very emotional and engaging read. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this story. Their trials were real, and this kept me drawn to this wonderful story. It is not all sweet love, however. There are some serious issues addressed here, and you will read of those in the pages of this book. This provided a wonderful balance that was executed perfectly in Summer at the Castle Café. This is an utterly remarkable debut novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Donna Ashcroft's writing style and I look forward to reading more of her in the future.