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4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp

When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights – long enough to scatter her mother’s ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.

But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love. But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.

Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village – a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers…?

Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms…

Title:The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness
Author:Laura Kemp
Series:n/a
Pages:392
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Small Town Romance
Point of View:
Location:Love, Wales, UK
HEA:✔️
Release Date:1st December, 2017
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A light and uplifting story

This is a sweet and enjoyable tale that is more than a romance – it touches on subjects of grief, hope, love, friendship and belonging.

I really liked the character of Ceri although it did annoy me that she took such abuse from her sister in the first chapter. I mean, you’re not a bad person just because you make a lot of money and others around you are struggling. It wasn’t that Ceri didn’t try to help. This was just the explanation of why she took that first trip to Wales but it just irked me some. At least it made me root for Ceri, and become angry on her behalf, rather than put me off her.

The story meandered along nicely. It’s a sweet tale with lots of interesting characters and lots of little twists and turns. The random acts of kindness made me smile and gave a nice little happy buzz to the book. Very uplifting.

“This is a fun, light and easy-going book that I would recommend to chick-lit readers.”

The setting of a small, forgotten village in Wales is done nicely. I’m not sure if the author is Welsh but regardless, she clearly has a love of the country and people – but can make fun of them just as well. To be fair, I’m not Welsh, so I’m not sure if, for them, it would be as cringe as when I read a book set in Scotland or with Scottish people.

I could have done with things being wrapped up a little bit earlier than 5 bloomin’ pages before the end of the book – enough to give me anxiety. But by the end, I was smiling – and closed the book with a happy sigh.

This is a fun, light and easy-going book that I would recommend to chick-lit readers. It’s uncomplicated, not too deep but gives you enough story to get your teeth into. An enjoyable 4 star read.

Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman.

Her uplifting message – based on the notion that everything is research apart from the rude bits – is ‘You Don’t Know How Brilliant You Are!’.

A journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun amongst others, she is married with a son in Cardiff, where she pretends to be a domestic revolutionary so she doesn’t have to do the ironing. Runs to eat crisps and drink wine, adores her mates and loves her dog, Lego and sweary cross-stitch.

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