Review Request Sign up for Newsletters Tips and ideas Write for us

Follow by Email

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Robin is back in her old hometown. Her parents own a guesthouse in Campion Bay, but are ready to retire. Robin left London after a heart shattering traumatic event and is now slowly healing. She finally feels she's ready for a new challenge. Her parents are moving to France and Robin will take over their guesthouse. It's time for a complete renovation and Robin has a special look and feel in mind that should make her business a unique place to stay. Together with the help of some friends she's ready for business in no time. What kind of guests will come to her place?

Robin's ex boyfriend still lives in Campion Bay. He's interested in dating again, but Robin hasn't forgotten the way he treated her when they were younger. Robin is still single, but that doesn't mean she automatically wants to rekindle their old flame. There's another handsome man around, her new neighbor Will. Will has the daunting task of clearing his late aunt's house and could use Robin's support. The two men certainly make Robin's life interesting. Will she find love and happiness while taking care of her guests?

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse is a wonderful heartwarming story. Robin is smart and creative. She knows what she wants and when she has a plan she makes it happen. I loved her determination and strong will. She's also incredibly friendly and genuinely cares about people. I liked the way she treats her guests, she makes them feel welcome and nothing is too much trouble. She makes something special of her guesthouse, not only because of the gorgeous rooms, but also because of her sparkling presence. This draws in a lot of fascinating people and I really enjoyed reading about all of Robin's guests and friends.

Cressida McLaughlin has written a great feelgood book. I love her vivid descriptions of Robin's journey and had fun seeing the world through her eyes. There's plenty of positivity and hope in The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse, anything is possible. I was mesmerized by the gorgeous setting and amazing main characters from the start and loved every single page of their story. Cressida McLaughlin has written a delicious charming story filled with unexpected twists and turns and entertaining misunderstandings.


If you love heartwarming stories set in small towns you should definitely read The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse.

About Cressida McLaughlin

I have published The Primrose Terrace series (2015), The Canal Boat Cafe series (2016), The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse series (2017), The Canal Boat Café Christmas series (2017), and The House of Birds and Butterflies series (2018), all with HarperFiction, an imprint of HarperCollins.

I live in Norwich with my husband David, and when I’m not daydreaming about my books, other people’s books or romantic heroes in general, I love exploring the windswept Norfolk coastline or returning to my home city of London. I’m a huge fan of ghosts stories, cups of tea, and Aidan Turner.


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

My inspiration for The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse
Guest post by Cressida McLaughlin

I wanted The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse to be a truly summery read, a big, joyful slice of British summer holiday: of days on the beach, the cry of seagulls and the smell of candyfloss, the hot sun and the sparkle on the water. Because of that, my inspiration came from my own holidays on the south coast.

The idea of setting a book in a guesthouse had been bubbling away for ages, ever since my husband and I went to Hastings for a few days, and stayed in a seafront boutique hotel where all the rooms were themed around different countries. We were in Japan, which had a futon, dark screens with cherry-tree designs and a square spa-bath in the corner of the room.

It was an enchanting place, a slice of luxury set against the cheerful seaside backdrop of Hastings. The idea of themed rooms really appealed to me, and I conjured up a story where my heroine renovated a guesthouse and themed the rooms around things that were important to her, connected to the people and events that had shaped her life. I had great fun inventing all the rooms, making them luxurious and giving them Robin’s unique, personal touches, imagining how guests would react to them.

When I was creating Campion Bay, the setting for The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse, I went further back in my memories, to childhood holidays in Dorset. I wanted the seafront community, the crazy golf course and the teashop, the ice cream hut near the beach, but I also wanted a sense of wildness, of the towering cliffs and those deserted expanses of sand that stretch out between towns.

Dorset had the beautiful beaches and ice cream kiosks – I made a fair few friends over sandcastles and paddling, and one day over the discovery of a huge, dead jellyfish washed up onto shore – but one of the things I remember most vividly is the huge, crumbling line of cliffs, the sense of being tiny compared to the vastness and history of the Jurassic coast. The path we took down to the beach from our pink holiday cottage was cut into the cliff, and the last time we went on that holiday it was no longer there, eroded by waves and weather. We walked in the grassland along the top, the pathway dotted with benches looking out over the endless expanse of sea, and I was acutely aware of how high up I was, how there was nothing between me and the edge. It was awe inspiring, and as much as I wanted to capture the cosy, seaside feel in my book, I also wanted to show the other side of the coastline, the power and ruthlessness of the sea.

These memories and ideas came together to form a story that is summery and escapist, but also has its dramatic moments. I wanted to create a fictional guesthouse that my readers would long to stay in, and a love story that they would be fully invested in, all wrapped up in a setting that, while idyllic, isn’t without challenges. I hope readers love Campion Bay as much as I do, and enjoy their stay in the Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Love the look of this book as I do with all of Cressida’s novels. Great giveaway

  2. Thank you for the wonderful guest post. I love reading stories that have settings in bed and breakfasts, inns, and guesthouses. This sounds like a super fun poolside read.

  3. Sounds like a delightful guesthouse! I'd love to renovate such a place!

  4. This novel sounds really captivating and will no doubt rekindle memories for me since every summer, as a teen, I travelled up to the Lake District to help my cousin out at her B&B and her husband on the farm. This will be a fun read for me.

  5. Sounds great! I used to help my mum run a B&B in Bath, England. Great fun!

  6. The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse sounds like a heart-warming story about family, love and friendships that will leave you with a happy feeling.

  7. Thanks for the great review and lovely guest post :)

  8. Would love to win this book for my Mum who reads a lot.

  9. How lovely. Definitely a book I will take with me on holiday. Such a beautiful cover.

  10. The cover is so bright and cheery, this looks like a fun read :)

  11. I would love to stay somewhere like this

  12. Sounds like a great read

  13. Sounds charming! And I love the blurb and the cover.

  14. Love the cover, makes me wanna dive in!

  15. Thanks for the great review and giveaway!

  16. I love to read books set at the seaside!

  17. Congrats! Love all your cover art!!!

  18. Can't wait to read it. I love watching Four In A Bed on Channel 4 and always wonder what stories the rooms could tell if they could speak. :) Really like the sound of the "coming home" and healing hearts and making new friends.

  19. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  20. Sounds like a really lovely read for the summer, would love to be transpoted back to my childhood holidays too - May be inspired by this to visit some of them again

  21. This sounds like a great read. Love the possible second chance at romance.

  22. This books sounds like a lovely read, and I love the artwork on the cover

  23. A very informative guest post. I love reading where authors get their ideas for a novel from. I have happy memories from down in the south of England and am usually down there every second year as I have friends down that way.