The Penwith Trilogy, (1) – Summer at the Cornish Café, Phillipa Ashley,

The Penwith Trilogy, (1) – Summer at the Cornish Café,   Phillipa Ashley, perfect for fans of Poldark

Genre: women’s fiction, general fiction. ,

I loved the Poldark TV series in the 70’s, was pregnant with our eldest child and the poor boy narrowly escaped being called Ross. A great name but not so good with the surname Zelos!!

I love the way Phillipa has connected this book loosely to those novels, ( I’ve read all the Poldark books) but kept her story very original, so of course Cal and Demelza bear a fleeting character resemblance to Ross and Demelza of the series, and the events of Ross, Isla and Luke share the same issues and problems as Ross, Elizabeth and Francis, but don’t mimic the storyline. There’s just enough with the type of person each is and the way the events play out to remind the reader of the Poldark books, but the actual story is very differently drawn.

I’ve read books where the authors stay so close to the originals that the story is dull, like  a rehash and never as good.  Phillipa has stayed away from that trap and made her story fresh, unique and so easy to read, reminiscing in parts – the tin mine for instance, the issues Cal’s cousin had with her love life, the conniving by the Cades that reminded me of the Warleggans, that it became I story I was engrossed in and the similarities just made me smile and not annoyed me as with those that stay slavishly to originals and yet pretend to be a “new” story. I’m thinking of one here based around the Pretty Woman film, that’s also based around a classic romance read – when I read the “new” story, rather than getting pulled into a lovely, historical romance I just kept rolling my eyes when yet again events played out far too closely to be called an original story.


I hadn’t realised that Phillipa also writes under the name Pippa Croft, and of course I adore her Oxford Blue novels, have reread them as they’re for me the perfect mix of romance and story, and packed with drama. This story is a kind of lighter feel than those, a lot less intense drama, but still peopled with characters that feel very real, and act as “real” people do, get angry, act impulsively, get  irritated, make mistakes.

I loved “Wish You Were Here” – written as Phillipa Ashley, and this book feels very similar in type, light and full of humour, but with people that act and feel genuine, with problems that everyday folk have. Its a story that’s easy to read, put down and pick up later without having to double back to get on track again. It doesn’t have the intensity of the Oxford reads, and that drama and angst is what I really love and what makes a five star read for me. Towards the end when inevitably things go awry there is some sadness, but for me it was a bit light and soon over – I like to wallow in that bit, feel the characters have really reached rock bottom, so that when things work out its such a fabulous contrast and I’m so happy for them.

Stars: Four, a great, summery romance

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher


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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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