Summer of Hopes and Dreams by Sue McDonagh

Posted August 13, 2021 by Marsha in Author ARC, Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Series / 1 Comment


Can “Dozy Rosie” spice up her life and prove she’s not boring?

Rosie Bunting has spent her life caring for others, often at the expense of her own hopes and dreams. But when she overhears somebody describing her as “boring”, she decides it’s time for a change.

Little does she realize that the outdoor pursuits weekend brochure handed to her at the local Art Café will kick start a summer that will see her abseiling down a Welsh cliff face in “eye-watering” leggings, rediscovering her artistic side, and unexpectedly inheriting an old fire engine. It also involves meeting hunky outdoor instructor, Gareth Merwyn-Jones – although of course, he’d never be interested in Dozy Rosie Bunting … would he?

One thing’s for certain: Rosie’s path to achieving her hopes and dreams might not be smooth, but it’s definitely not boring.

Titles in the Art Café connecting series include — Summer at the Art Café – Meet Me at the Art Café – Escape to the Art Café – Summer of Hopes and Dreams –

Title:  Summer of Hopes and Dreams
Series:  Art Cafe #4
Author:  Sue McDonagh
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  June 29, 2021
Publisher:  ChocLit/Ruby Fiction
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I always enjoy returning to the Art Café connecting series, and Summer of Hopes and Dreams simply continues that sense of returning to a familiar, beloved place with a new story of discovery and romance to dive into.  If you haven’t experienced this series before, no worries for Rosie’s and Gareth’s story can stand on its own easily but we will run into some familiar faces to those who have followed the series.  Besides, it’s a great story and an equally enjoyable introduction to this world.

This time we’re about to meet Rosie who probably isn’t the most socially active person around, but neither is she totally “boring” as she overheard someone she loves voice that opinion and even more hurtful things about her.  She might be in what many consider midlife but that does not mean she’s completely boring and ready to be put out to pasture… right?  Right.  As Rosie lets her emotions out to Lucy at the Art Cafe she’s about to discover that life never, ever is predictable and that she is definitely not as boring as she fears.  Rosie is about to let her inner adventurer out to play, maybe with trepidation but determination as well, and her life is about to get very interesting.

I adored Rosie – loved Gareth, too, but for me, this one was all about Rosie finding the courage to step outside of her comfort zone and take on those challenges of things she’s never done – and she does them in Rosie style, often screaming at the top of her lungs and totally afraid… but she still takes the chance to prove something to others but more importantly to herself.  Summer of Hopes and Dreams is very much a self-discovery story of a woman who has been put down, stepped upon, and overlooked by those who should have loved and encouraged her throughout her life.  Unfortunately, we can pick our friends or leave them behind, but not so much family.  There were some characters that I loathed, simply for their cruelness toward Rosie.  But fortunately, we don’t need to run into those folks for long before Rosie sets out to experience life, maybe change her life a bit, and it is an exciting, enjoyable, relatable journey.

I had a great time back in this world once again.  I’d encourage you to visit the Art Café series for yourself if you haven’t had the pleasure yet.  You’ll meet believable people facing their own issues and coming out the other side better for the experience… and perhaps find love along the way.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in audio or for your favorite e-reader


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