The Little Shop of Happy Ever Afters - Jenny Colgan - sweet romance
Nina is a rather shy 29 year old librarian, living in Birmingham in a rather grotty flat share with her best mate Surinda. In a theme many readers will relate to she is facing the closure of the library where she works at the job she adores, helping other people find the perfect book, and possible redundancy.
This comes into her life like a bombshell, she is pretty devastated to say the least. Never one to takes risks or even do new things, she makes a sudden decision to try and act on her dream of owning a bookshop and thinks of using her redundancy money to buy a van to turn into a mobile bookshop. But the only van she sees which she can afford and might suit her purposes is up in the wilds of Scotland. Here begins the life changing stuff!
Her spontaneous trip to Scotland to view the run down old vehicle, introduces her to a more laid back way of life, tranquil scenery and a host of small villages and farming communities all crying out for access to books since their libraries have all closed.
Fate has a habit of intervening and this opportunity sees her relocate to a converted barn, meet some interesting folk and find the possibility of romance.
There are some really great characters, lots going on and a wonderful book themed setting and we see Nina grow and develop into a more determined character which is smashing, oh and there are several, romantic hunky fellas around, some of them in kilts!
It’s all just lovely, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. But I have 2 little niggles. She finds it SO darned easy to get this unrealistic and unlikely business up and running and customers come swarming at her, that just frankly couldn't happen in real life (or I'd be doing it by now) My second niggle is that nearly all the books she offers to people and talks about in her mobile bookshop aren't real! She describes in detail several books which I wanted to read only to look them up and find they don't exist!
My thanks go to Netgalley and the publisher Sphere books for my review copy.
Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books... not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing...