blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Family Affair – Julie Houston*

Read my review of A Village Vacancy

Joining the family business was never going to be easy…
Frankie Piccione is done running away from her responsibilities, well for now anyway. Having escaped Westenbury after suffering a shattered heart, it’s time to take up her place on the family board. Piccione’s Pickles and Preserves needs Frankie. Frankie knows she can make the business work. But with her brother Luca and the new, rather attractive, Cameron Mancini watching her every move, she’s going to have to come up with something special to get them off her back and
recognising she belongs on the board just as much as they do.
With the help of her Aunt Pam and best friend, Daisy, Frankie is thriving with her new sense of purpose. Until someone from her past walks right back into it…
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Julie lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where her novels are set, and her only claims to fame are that she teaches part-time at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old junior school and her neighbour is ‘Chocolat’ author, Joanne Harris. After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified
teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country. She now
teaches just two days a week, and still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the past nineteen years, and, when not distracted by Ebay, Twitter and Ancestry, spends much of her time writing. Julie is married, has a twenty-four-year-old son and twenty-one- year-old daughter and a ridiculous Cockerpoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s
been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book – preferably with Matthew Mcconaughay in attendance.

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My thoughts: I love this series of books, all set in the fictional village of Westenbury, they’re comforting and funny, and this latest is no exception. Frankie’s heart was broken when she left but she’s come back to take up her responsibilities at the family firm.

The most important relationships in this book, as with the series as a whole, is between the female characters. Their bonds and support keep the plot moving as they laugh and cry and hold each other up. In Frankie’s case it’s her best friend Daisy and Aunt Pam, and these women help her find her confidence and assert herself in the face of male opposition. As always, there’s life lessons to learn and some bumps in the road to happily ever after. Another hugely enjoyable read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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