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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Book Review & Guest Post - The New Beginnings Coffee Club by Samantha Tonge

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Review by Suze

Jenny thinks she's lucky. She's still in love with her husband Zak, they live in a mansion, she can be there for their daughter April fulltime, they have plenty of help so she doesn't have to do much, and she doesn't have to worry about money. Unfortunately Zak isn't as enthusiastic as he used to be earlier in their relationship and this makes Jenny feel uneasy. He's been keeping secrets from her and when he finally tells Jenny about his plans for the future she's deeply shocked. Jenny is about to lose everything she loves and there's no way she can stop it.

Together with April Jenny has to start rebuilding her life. Fortunately Noah, the owner of a cozy and successful coffee shop, offers her a job and a place to stay. She will share a house with both Noah and his colleague and housemate Elle. Celebrity fan April isn't happy to lose all the luxuries she's used to, but Jenny is determined to convince her daughter that life without unlimited amounts of spending money is just as good, or maybe even better. Will she succeed and will Jenny and April find happiness again after everything they've been through?

The New Beginnings Coffee Club is a heartwarming story about a woman who loses the life she loved so much and needs to start over. Jenny is stronger than she thinks. When Zak gives her his news she's devastated, but she has April to take care of. I loved Jenny's self respect and restraint, she always manages to control herself because she loves her daughter more than anything else in the world. That makes her a real sweetheart and a great example for April. Jenny even manages to find the silver lining in this difficult time and teaches April that she can also have fun without spending plenty of money. Jenny is trying to discover who she really is inside and encourages April to do the same. I loved the connection between mother and daughter, which for me was one of the best things about the book.

Samantha Tonge has a lovely writing style that flows easily. She writes about a broad range of topics in an empathic way and her main characters are realistic. They all have their struggles, but by being there for each other they make life a lot more bearable. I really liked that message. Jenny's new life is wonderful and more fun than the old one and it was fabulous to see her grow. I absolutely loved The New Beginnings Coffee Club, it's a fantastic story about second chances, friendship and love. Samantha Tonge shows her readers what really matters in life and that's something I enjoyed very much. She combines this thought-provoking subject with delicious descriptions of cake, hot chocolate and coffee, which makes the story warm and welcoming. I highly recommend The New Beginnings Coffee Club, it's a fantastic charming story.


If you love small towns, romantic stories and wonderful main characters combined with coffee and delicious cake you should definitely read The New Beginnings Coffee Club.

About Samantha Tonge

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it's a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women's magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from HarperCollins (CarinaUK), bestselling "Doubting Abbey", was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Romantic Ebook award, 2014. The bestselling summer novel, Game of Scones, won the Love Stories Awards 2015 Best Romantic Ebook category.

Author links


Guest post

“You can choose your friends, but not your family"
By Samantha Tonge

Now and again I’ve fantasized about having a group of friends like Carrie’s, in Sex and the City. That is, girlfriends you meet up with on a regular basis, and share everything with, from your sex life to your career challenges. But it’s not really worked out like that, for me - perhaps as I’ve moved around in my life. University was far from my childhood pals and I’ve travelled and worked abroad. Then finally I put down roots in the north of England, having grown up in the south.

And I think there’s another reason – I happened to marry my best friend. My husband knows everything about me. He was going out with someone else when we first met, and then just became a mate for several years, before we dated. He’s seen all my faults firsthand. He’s watched me grow in to a mother and writer. Witnessed me give birth. Hugged me through the authorly rejections. He’s shared his personal secrets, along with his dreams and hopes. So even if I had super close female friends, it would feel disloyal to share details about our intimate life or mouth off on the occasional day we’d had a marital fall-out.

And then, you know that phrase “You can choose your friends, but not your family’? Thing is, I consider myself very lucky with the unit I grew up in, and the unit I’ve created, with my husband. Of course, like any relatives, we have disagreements, but we stand by each other. My close relatives have supported my aspirations, laughed with me, listened to and shared worries, taken my advice and given some back, let me care... basically given me all the ingredients you’d find in a perfect friendship.

Don’t get me wrong... my unrelated friends mean a great deal to me as well. I would have given up writing years ago if it wasn’t for my understanding author mates and the super support readers and bloggers have shown me online. Plus lately I’ve found friends in like-minded people as I’ve followed my interest in holistic health and meditation. And fellow mums have been crucial to my existence when my kids went through everything from colic to GCSE exams.

But for longevity in a friendship – a longevity that withstands geography and the slight character changes we all undergo, as time passes? For me that’s just happened to be family. Yet I know not everyone is as fortunate with their domestic set-up and I don’t think it really matters where you find those soul mates in life, as long as the following is true:

I remember, at school, a chaplain asked a group of us to define “love”. I said it was someone accepting you for exactly who you are. And for me, that must be the underlying backbone of any meaningful friendship. The other person must like you for your true self - that person inside you don’t always show to the whole world. They must be non judgmental of your faults. Not competitive. They must care for you and allow you to care back. So as long as that holds, I reckon your best friend can be whoever you want them to be... your lover, mum, colleague, child, neighbour – or even your cat.


  1. I actually reading still book. Samantha is a wonderful author.

  2. This Book is absolutely a must read to add to my tbr list :)

  3. I love your definition of Love! That is exactly what it is :)

  4. What an adorable cover! Love that title font.

  5. I am loving the cover and I am so excited to read this books. Sounds so great.

  6. Looks good thanks for the review!

  7. sounds interesting

  8. Thank you for the review. I like the sound of the book.

  9. I think this would be a good book for my mom to read.

  10. Great definition of love Samantha :)

  11. Yes I agree: your best friend can be whoever you want them to be... your lover, mum, colleague, child, neighbour – or even your cat :)

  12. I definitely think family, like love, is a wider-ranging word than people think!


  13. What a lovely guest post. Thank you, Samantha.

  14. i didn't know this author so it's a complete novelty for me but it sound lovely. thank you for the discovery