About this Book
Katie is desperate to leave her stressful job, so she doesn’t think too hard about moving to Devon to run a B&B, even if it means uprooting her family. She is certain she and Jason have a strong and loving relationship that can weather any storm.
Hooked by the beauty of Torringham with its quaint harbour and stunning coastline, they purchase Flotsam Guesthouse which needs more than a lick of paint to keep it afloat. Soon, Katie finds that renovating and running a guesthouse is taking its toll, especially when dealing with challenging guests and madcap neighbours, Shona and Kim. Katie comes to learn that trouble is afoot whenever Shona begs a favour.
However, when her adored daughter moves back to their old hometown, she wonders if they’ve made a huge mistake, especially when cracks begin to show in her marriage.
Her seaside idyll is crumbling along with her relationship. Should she let Flotsam Guesthouse founder while she salvages her marriage? Katie needs to decide where her priorities lie. The only issue is, she doesn’t know.
What I thought
It was the cover of this book that first attracted my attention. A pretty harbour with rows of seaside cottages looking down over it. It had a familiarity about it. The book turned up in my Facebook newsfeed as a promoted post. I couldn’t resist the cover or the title so I downloaded a sample from Amazon. It turned out that the author Sharley Scott owns a B & B in Devon and the book is loosely based on the fishing harbour town of Brixham which forms part of Torbay in South Devon – ah, I thought that picture was familiar.
After reading the first couple of chapters in the sample I was intrigued to know what happened next so bought the whole book. At the beginning Katie and Jason have moved to the B & B with their grown up daughter. However it’s not long before she starts to miss her friends back home and coupled with the fact she doesn’t like the job she’s found in Torringham, with a bit of encouragement from her dad Jason she decides to move back and live with her step-sister.
The rest of the book mainly covers the catalogue of calamities and odd assortment of guests that arrive at Flotsam Guest House for their holidays. If it’s ever been your dream to run a seaside guest house then I would definitely recommend you read this book first. If you’re still game once you’ve finished it then you’re either mad as a box of frogs or you would make an amazing success of it and obviously have the patience of a saint.
The author does point out that although she does run a B & B herself (how she manages to find the time to write a book as well I’m not quite sure) most of her guests are nothing like the ones in this book. They’re in the main lovely people and the events in this book are either completely fictitious or are loosely based on stories she’s heard from other B&B’ers. Nevertheless I can imagine each and every one of the scenarios happening in real life and we all know that the average Joe Public can be a real awkward customer when they put their mind to it, so I always thought it to be very realistic and never far fetched.
As well as the guests, there are other characters who come and go throughout the story as well as their next door neighbours at Jetsam Cottage. Flotsam and Jetsam, I hope I’ve recalled this correctly, were originally run by the same owner hence their complimentary names. Shona and Kim run Jetsam Cottage, also a guesthouse and Shona is certainly a force to be reckoned with, I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of her. Despite her pushiness and often some of the favours she asks of Katie verge on taking the mick, she is nothing if not loyal and whenever Katie and Jason have a problem with a guest Shona is always supportive and steps in to help.
It was a funny and entertaining read and at times certainly lived up to it’s title of bedlam. I’m not so sure I’d put it under the genre of romance as apart from Katie and Jason sometimes letting their business come between them, I couldn’t really see the romance in the book. That’s ok though as I’m not a big fan of romantic fiction anyway.
I understand there’s a further book in the pipeline and I’d definitely give it a go. I’m hoping perhaps the next book might go more in-depth with regard to their family life, as it was only lightly touched on in this book. Who knows, perhaps the next book might see them employ some help as they certainly could have done with it, giving an opportunity for more madcap tales. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Bedlam and Breakfast is available on Amazon Kindle