Nicola May’s The Hub and Mark David Green’s The Travel Truth are both entertaining, warm-hearted reads that blend romance, humour and mystery. Read on to learn more about each novel.
The Hub Book Synopsis
^ Now republished as Escape to Futtingbrook Farm
ONE TURKEY FARM, FIVE WILD COLLEAGUES AND A BARN FULL OF MYSTERY
When jilted crime writer August Saunders returns from London to her roots in rural Wiltshire, she feels lost and lacking in inspiration. Determined to reignite her writing mojo, she responds to an advert for a shared workspace in a converted barn.
At the Hub, with its ill-equipped gym, inedible catering and motley array of fellow users, including a matchmaker more interested in her own conquests and a TikToker with a dodgy nocturnal sideline, August is confronted with a real-life mystery to solve.
Why is Max Ronson, the handsome but volatile owner of the Hub, so evasive about his past? And who or what is he hiding on the premises? She is determined to find out – but will her curiosity snuff out the spark of romance?
Nicola May mixes mischief with mystery in a fast-paced rural romp which will make Futtingbrook Farm as beloved a location as Ferry Lane Market or Cockleberry Bay.
Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary, Sarah Morgan, Jill Mansell and Cathy Bramley.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
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I was charmed by Nicola May’s The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, or more specifically the eclectic character ensemble it contained. And so The Hub‘s setup – a modern take on the office rom-com – sounded like fertile ground for this author’s creativity in character development. On that score, May does not disappoint. I found it refreshing too that most of this novel’s character set have already blown out 35 candles; some decades more.
Wiltshire’s small-rural village culture and the primary setting, a slick converted barn within a working turkey farm added humour, colour and intrigue, but also unexpected thematic depth. In terms of narrative though, the early chapters were a little exposition-heavy at times.
Those put off by profanity may want to give this one a pass. Most readers though are likely to be amused and entertained by The Hub occupant’s feisty, spiky, and at times, racy banter and ultimately warmed by this tale of life’s second-stories.
Get your copy of The Hub (aka Escape to Futtingbrook Farm) from:Amazon Book Depository
The Travel Auction Adventures Synopsis
In Book 1: The Travel Auction…
It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. But when Jonathan Cork discovers his girlfriend in a compromising position with the local plumber, he’s left with a broken heart, serious debts and a spare ticket in the name of Kate Thornley.
Unable to change the name on the spare ticket and fast running out of time, Jonathan decides to take desperate measures. He advertises on social media for a travel companion with the same name as his ex.
But Jonathan has no idea what he’s letting himself in for – certainly not a gorgeous nurse with a feisty attitude and plenty of her own baggage, a superman costume and a very determined camera crew…
In Book 2: The Travel Mate …
Twenty-six year old Maddie has it all. A fiancé with a well-paid job, a comfortable home and several exotic holidays a year. But when Rupert drops a bombshell six weeks before the big day, Maddie realises that her lifestyle security comes with a heavy price tag.
Taunted by Rupert on a Thailand holiday that she wouldn’t last a week living on a minuscule budget, Maddie rises to the challenge. On a hungover whim, she leaves him at Bangkok Airport, swapping her suitcase full of designer clothes for a pair of boots, a backpack and a four-week travel itinerary.
But Maddie hasn’t anticipated the rigours of life on the road, or the romantic alternatives on offer. She soon finds herself contending with the attentions of a charming and attractive humanitarian, and a crass, annoying Australian. As if these distractions aren’t enough of a complication, there’s the small matter of Rupert and a ruthless debt collector pursuing her around Cambodia, each intent on reclaiming something of enormous value …
Now in Book 3: The Travel Truth
Angel and JC return home to a frenzy of worldwide publicity, putting their fledgling romance under an intense media spotlight that threatens to destroy their feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Madge and Bozzer have baggage of their own to reclaim, which could have serious implications for their infamous eBay buddies.
Whilst Bozzer’s camera never lies, cries or sighs, the four friends soon discover that people often pry, lie and say goodbye …
Mark David Green’s The Travel Auction (Book 1 of this series) is an uncommonly memorable rom-com. It is entertaining escapism in a thought-provoking package that brims to overflowing with heart and good humour. And, this is a ‘must start from the beginning’ book series.
Why? The author develops one character couple in the first novel, a second character couple in the second novel, and then brings them back together in this third novel The Travel Truth.
In my review of Book 2 The Travel Mate, I said: “Whether sweet, amusing, frustrating, attitudinal or sarcastic… common to all his characters is a feeling of authenticity, born from dialogue that shines with humour and pathos.”
Green’s talents for character development and writing wonderful dialogue continue to shine bright in Book 3 The Travel Truth. There are both thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud moments aplenty. But in a plotting sense, the highly ambitious task of pulling the two couple’s stories back together while planting a handful more wonderful seeds of intrigue did tip the complexity scales into the red on occasion. As usual though, Green ultimately delivers a nuanced and depth-filled dose of the warm and fuzzies and a bonafide cliffhanger for his reading fanbase.
Will I be reading Book 4 The Travel Angel? Absolutely. I need to know what happens! And, how could I pass up more top-shelf banter from Jonathan and Kate (and her feisty Scottish mother). Honestly, this fictional couple will be hard to say goodbye to.
Find out more about The Travel Auction Adventures and get your copy from:Amazon
* My receipt of review copies from the authors did not impact the expression of my honest opinions above.