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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read in one sitting...GREAT!!!!
First off I need to admit I am a big Carole Matthews fans and a huge fan of the Chocolate Lovers series of books that she wrote. Having said that, I'm certainly not biased and if I don't
enjoy one of her books I will say. Her last release Wrapped Up In You I enjoyed but it wasn't my favourite.

Moving onto this latest Release Summer Daydreams, we are in a...
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Best Crime Books

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It's not as good as her others. I found the plot a bit contrived and some of the characters unconvincing.
Published 13 months ago by creative pupps


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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read in one sitting...GREAT!!!!, 2 Feb 2012
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Kindle Edition)
First off I need to admit I am a big Carole Matthews fans and a huge fan of the Chocolate Lovers series of books that she wrote. Having said that, I'm certainly not biased and if I don't
enjoy one of her books I will say. Her last release Wrapped Up In You I enjoyed but it wasn't my favourite.

Moving onto this latest Release Summer Daydreams, we are in a whole new ball park! Within the first two chapters I had fallen in love with the fabulous people. Nell McNamara works in
the chip shop and lives locally with her boyfriend Olly and her young daughter Petal. What starts as a makeover for the chippy, pushes Nell into a new line of work designing her own
handbags.

What caught my attention from the beginning are the people. Nell's boss Phil, her two work colleagues Constance and Jenny and Nell's partner Olly. They are all so readable and lovely. They all have their place in the story and before the first few chapters I couldn't get enough of them all.

Nell was likeable but frustrating as you see her try to juggle her home life with work and making something for herself and her family's future. As Nell realises that she may well have talent, you see her facing all the trials and tribulations that I imagine many people starting up on their own face. She has to work out how it all works, against the constant pressure of rising debt to fund her business.

While she is doing all this things start to go wrong, and once they start down that route they only seem to get worse! Towards the middle I realised that I had been reading it straight and had only picked it up that morning. I also realised that these were the first set of characters I had read since the Chocolate Lovers girls that I wanted to see more of (although they still remain my absolute favourites).

Having worked my normal day job I excitedly finished the rest of the book literally not being able to put it down, as I so desperately wanted things to work out well.
I finished this in one day and must say it is one of Carole's best books I have read in a long time. I devoured this and would love nothing more than to see these characters again in the future. Whether we will or not remains to be seen, all I know is that her Carole's latest release is a true testament to why she is a very successful author. Highly recommended!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer Daydreams, 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Hardcover)
I am a huge fan of Carole's books and think I have read most if not all of them now. Aside from having a gorgeous cover what I liked about this book was the story and the characters featured throughout. Nell is the main character in the story, she's a mum that works hard to provide for her family in the local chip shop. However, when her friends and work colleagues see that she has so much more potential they encourage her to follow her dreams of making and selling her very own range of handbags.

From the very beginning I could see that all of the characters were going to be a joy to read about, and it was clear from fairly early on how much they cared for and wanted the best for Nell. Due to this I found them a joy to read, there were no ulterior motives and they were just all round good people. My favourite character in the book though had to be Nell's four-year-old daughter Petal who was a right little character. I thought she had some great little lines in the book, which at times made me chuckle and she was a character that really jumped off the page and came to life for me.

I found the story featured in the book interesting as it showed the various different sides of business, from the hard-work required to get one off the ground and the sacrifices people have to make to keep them afloat, to the feeling when things go well and the business starts to become a success.

Overall, this is a very good read and one that I'd highly recommend, along with Carole's previous books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!, 5 July 2012
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This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Paperback)
Fab and easy read. Loved the storyline and characters. Would recommend to anyone after something easy going and light hearted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 25 May 2012
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Paperback)
Carole Matthews has written another fantastic story that had me hooked from the start, my chores never seem to get done when I'm reading one of Carole's novels.

Nell McNamara and her boyfriend Olly are your typical everyday young couple trying to make ends meet and bring up their four-year-old daughter Petal. Nell works in a local fish and chip shop during the day and Olly works night shifts so they are often ships that pass in the night playing havoc with their desire to extend their family.

When Nell gives the fish and chip shop a bit of a makeover, her boss Phil sees that she has an eye for design and tells her that she ought to give up working in the shop and make the most of her talent. He lends her the money to enroll in art college but things don't go exactly to plan so she's soon asking for her job back but he refuses as he wants her to give designing another go.

Her lifelong passion is for handbags so she decides to set up her own business designing exclusive handbags but is worried that no-one would be interested. But she needn't have worried as the initial reaction is positive so she decides to go for broke and extend her business loan but this is when the problems start, and poor Nell has more than her fair share of obstacles to overcome.

It was so easy to fall in love with Nell and her dreams and wanting her to overcome everything that was thrown in her path, but I'm also pleased to see that the storyline included realistic everyday issues that we all have to overcome...trying to strike a work/family life balance with the added pressure of setting up a new business. As well as Nell, Olly and Petal there were a great mix of characters that all help to make the story what it is.

So what are you waiting for, grab your copy today and enjoy a lazy weekend reading it in the sun...

As with her previous book, Wrapped Up in You, Carole has written a follow up story which is available to subscribers to her newsletter, so make sure that you sign up, if you're not already, so that you can find out what's next for Nell, Olly and Petal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbags and glad rags - most definitely!, 13 Mar 2012
This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Hardcover)
Summer Daydreams is the latest of Carole Matthews' glorious, heart-stopping romp-through-life books - and I absolutely LOVED it!!

Summer Daydreams shares a tantalising tale about an everyday item - handbags, so dear to most women's hearts! - and the highs and lows as Nell McNamara makes huge changes to her life as she chases her dreams.

Carol, yet again, writes about the most delicious characters and brings them to life with such ease : Petal and Olly, Phil and Constance, Jenny, Betty and Tod - even Cruella Dev Vil's twin sister, Amelia - all make you feel as if you have known them for years and love them dearly, little quirks and all.

Summer Daydreams follows Nell's life as she makes many terrifying twists and triumphant turns; you cannot help but feel for her as she is torn between two very different worlds, and I often found myself pausing for breath inbetween chapters and wondering what I would do if I were Nell.

As with all of Carole's books, this is another great page-turner and a real keeper for lazy summer day reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another great read from Carole, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Hardcover)
Have finished this book FAR too quick, I just couldn't put it down. What a great story, well written as usual by Mrs Matthews. I have enjoyed all her books and always look forward to her new one coming out. Where does she get her ideas from? Each book is so very different. Her style of writing is so easy to read and all her characters totally believable.
I'm just sad that I've got anther year to wait for her next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 6 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Kindle Edition)
An entertaining story about Nell McNamara who re-evaluates her working life and leaves her humble wages at the local chippy to strike out in the world of fashion. Nell goes on to make designer handbags - something for which she has a talent and flair. The story is uplifting and believable (based on Helen Rochdale's success, so thoroughly researched!). It is also an inspiring tale for anybody thinking about being brave and following their dreams. Obviously the character has blows along the way - rip-offs and scams, not to mention a fledgling business impacting big time on her marriage, so there's plenty of tension in the will-they-stay-together-or-won't-they department.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!, 9 July 2012
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This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Paperback)
I have only just recently found Carole Matthews and I am loving all her books. I am working my way through all her books. This is only the 3rd book I have read and I loved it.

Nell McNamara works in her local chip shop. She lives with her boyfriend Olly and there their youg daughter Petal. The book starts with the chip shop not doing too well and Nell talks her boss Phil into letting her give it a makeover. After that the chip shop is picking up and business is back on track. Nell has a love for handbags and is very good with throwing things together with a sewing machine. Before long she is talked into going to college and learning about fashion and desgin. Things don't work out well at college so she has to leave.

Nell starts her own business making and selling her handbags. But not everything is plain sailing she has to juggle home life and the business.

Great book and I just could not put this book down. I fell in love with all the characters in the book. Great holiday read if you are going away or just for relaxing in the evening with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great late summer read!, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Paperback)
We follow Nell McNamara who is determined to make a better life for herself and her family. Nell works in the local chip shop and discovers her creative side when she gives it a makeover. She is encouraged to tap into her creative talent and after a few setbacks she embarks on starting up a handbag business. But nothing is easy or goes to plan all the time. Nell also has to remember her devoted boyfriend Olly and her little girl Petal and that normal life, bills to pay etc. still have to be dealt with.

Nell is a really likeable character who we want to succeed. Carole has created an inspirational character in this story as Nell has to juggle learning how to make handbags and understanding how business works along with looking after her family on a low income. Nell is a strong character as she has to have that determination to continue with the business despite the hard work involved and setbacks. Sometimes she is a bit nave but it is understandable as I think when it comes to setting up a new business there are people out there to take advantage and even a really clued up person can have issues. She also doesn’t think about things sometimes and is a little selfish. Everyone needs a work/life balance, even new business owners, but skipping Christmas day is unfair to Petal and her family and ruining their wedding day because her mentor shows up to take promo pics is really selfish. But one really selfish part where I lost some sympathy for Nell was when she had her depressed period. Mainly because despite what happened she had forgotten she had the love and support of her family which some people don’t have. Communication in any relationship is key and I really was urging Nell to talk to Olly and for them to keep their relationship strong as it was clear that they really loved each other.

Olly seems lovely and his heart is in the right place but in a way he is a bit selfish too. Yes he wants the best for his family and has been scarred by what happened to his workaholic dad but what is so wrong with wanting better for his family. He works 2 jobs and he seems to have taken on most of the childcare responsibilities to support Nell. But again Nell and Olly bottle things up, then they get annoyed at each other and don’t communicate properly. In some ways they are similar in personality and not talking to each other about things. Not having the time to see each other a lot due to working jobs at different times and being so busy hasn’t helped with this. Also at one point it is no wonder Nell’s friend starts to make a move on Olly as he feels left out. Sometimes Nell’s mentor Tod didn’t help either. For me I imagined Tod as a really arrogant, successful business man who was a bit creepy and dying to try it on with Nell. He never grew on me as a character but he did become more human as the story went on.

Overall the story was brilliant. Nell’s friends at the chip shop sounded like people we would like as friends. We wanted Nell to really make a difference for her family and succeed. It is a story of taking a chance, hard work, using your talents to their best and believing in yourself. As I said it is an inspirational story but also funny, and endearing with loveable characters. We could believe that this story is a real-life story. For me there are a few bits in the story which I found a bit far fetched. For example Olly setting off on his own to deal with some criminals and not being stopped at airport security on the way back when carrying a lot of money. But despite these I would definitely recommend this book. For any girl it is perfect for a late summer read and if you love Carole Matthew’s books or have never read any of her work I am sure you will enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Summer Daydreams (Kindle Edition)
It's not as good as her others. I found the plot a bit contrived and some of the characters unconvincing.
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Summer Daydreams by Carole Matthews
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