I am so happy to be on this blog tour today, as I loved, loved, loved the first book in this series! (You can read my review of Summer at the Highland Coral Beach here.) My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to take part, and to the author and publisher for providing me with a digital copy of the book for the purposes of review. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially.
Beatrice Halliday has been working hard at the Princess and The Pea Inn, loved up with landlord Atholl and enjoying planning events for the locals. But at Christmas there’s a kick – as she realises she’s expecting.
Despite being fearful of the future, Beatrice is graced with a distraction: the prospects of helping a romance flourish when a married couple spend their first child-free holiday at the Inn – and it becomes clear they need some help rediscovering each other. In true Beatrice fashion, she can’t help meddling.
I couldn’t wait to get back to Port Willow and find out what was happening to Beatrice and Atholl after the end of Summer at the Highland Coral Beach, as I had fallen in love with all of the characters and the setting in the last book. Beatrice’s story is particularly close to my heart, having been through a similar experience myself, so I have a real soft spot for this couple and I wanted to see what Kiley had in store for their future, hoping it was a happy one. Sure enough, they are still loved up and working on improving and building up the business at The Princess and the Pea Inn, and Beatrice has lots of ideas about how to bring in new customers, including trying to find other people the happy-ever-afters she has discovered with Atholl. But, of course, life is never plain sailing and, when Beatrice gets some unexpected news, it stirs up the past and lots of emotion. I can’t say much more without spoiling the story for people who are new to the series but, suffice it to say, Kiley’s handling of this sensitive storyline continues to be delicate and true and I thought it was beautifully done.
And then we have a new character to bring new drama to Port Willow. Poor Nina, she’s like a fish out of water. Transported from a life of glamour in New York to this tiny Scottish village, recently dumped, demoted and spending Christmas amongst strangers, she can probably be forgiven for being a bit miserable and unpleasant, but she is definitely a hard character to like at the beginning. She doesn’t even try and endear herself to the locals, so intent is she on her own misery, but Port Willow and its inhabitants creep under skin anyway. Especially Mutt. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Mutt? (Anyone else got pictures from the first few seasons of Schitt’s Creek in their heads when they hear this name, which isn’t in any way a bad thing as you’ll know if you’ve watched it. I wonder if Kiley is a fan?) Surely Nina can’t be immune to his charms for long? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
There are other guests that arrive in need to Beatrice’s matchmaking skills, the return of my favourite character, Seth, and plenty of and lots of fun going on that feels uniquely Port Willow. If you enjoy Kiley’s writing, all of her usual trademarks are here – gentle humour, great characterisation, a rolling good plot, and serious topics handled with care and charm. I haven’t yet read a book by this author that I didn’t love, and this is no exception. In fact, her writing feels to me like it is getting better and better and I can’t wait to read more. I particularly hope that we will be coming back to Port Willow in the future because I am not ready to leave these characters or this place behind yet. And here I will make my persistent plea to the publisher, please, please, please can we have paperback copies of Kiley’s books for our bookshelves (or just a single copy of each for me will do!) I am determined to wear them down on this issue eventually because these novels really need to exist in physical format for posterity!
Matchmaking at Port Willow is out now in ebook format, and you can buy a copy here.
Make sure to visit some of the other blogs taking part in the tour:
About the Author
Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.
Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).
Connect with Kiley:
Facebook: Kiley Dunbar Author