Book Review: Flip-Flops, Fiesta and Flamenco by Donna Hepburn


My latest book review is of Flip-Flops, Fiesta and Flamenco by Donna Hepburn – a novel full of sun, wine, animals and friendship. What a treat!

Flip Flops, Fiestas, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three books about two best friends, their lives, loves, and adventures after moving to a small village in the Andalusian hills.

Abby and Lou have been BFF’s since the first day at Uni. Despite being opposites in both looks and personality they were drawn to each other, sharing a flat, dreams and a love of animals.

Through the ensuing years despite heartache and divorce, they remain as close as ever.

Abby would be the first to admit her life needs an injection of fun. Middle-aged, divorced and slightly overweight, she’s a mother/general dogs-body to two lay-about sons, a pink-haired Amazonian on-off girlfriend and an incorrigible British Bulldog named Chester. Her lifelong dream of living in Spain’s glorious sunshine has been long forgotten or has it?

Lou was stuck in her own rut, never fully recovered from a tragedy in her past. A long list of online dating disasters had left her wondering if she will ever find love again. Her cool ice-maiden persona is shattered along with her cat’s eardrums when she wins £400,000 on an online bingo site.

Could this be the answer to both their prayers?

Flip-Flops packed, they embark on their adventure, but it isn’t all sun and sangria. Warring pets, new neighbours, cooking experiments, scary wildlife and an escapee Donkey named Santos combine to make it an unforgettable Summer.

Can their friendship survive or will the Mediterranean dream become a nightmare?

As we all know, I do enjoy a novel set abroad and Flips-Flops, Fiesta and Flamenco has only encouraged my love of them more.  Abby and Lou are two middle-aged best friends.  One has a divorce and two children behind her, whilst the other has never recovered from a past tragedy, something she has never quite been able to move on from.  They have both found themselves in the prime of their lives but significantly lacking.

An online bingo win suddenly opens up possibilities for them, and pushes them to consider what they really want from their lives.  With Abby’s two sons being grown up, there is very little responsibility that keeps Abby and Lou in the UK.  And so begins their adventure in Spain!

Firstly, I liked the fact that this novel is not about two twenty-somethings who are looking for some meaning in their lives.  Abby and Lou have both worked hard despite the pitfalls that have befallen them both in their lives, and in spite of these pitfalls they have come through them, together.  This unexpected windfall therefore seems all the more deserving.  In a womans life, her female relationships are often the ones that carry her through life and I was so pleased to see this celebrated in this novel.  Romance, of course, features in this novel but I really enjoyed watching Abby and Lou’s relationship.  Their years of friendship really shows, as they each know what the other wants and needs, often before they know themselves.  If we then add into the mix the locals, the beautiful climate, a stunning villa, a menagerie of animals and a spot of romance, what is not to love!  I am already looking forward to the next book in this series, to see how Abby and Lou progress in their new Spanish life!  Let me know if you have read Flip-Flops, Fiesta and Flamenco!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to the lovely Donna Hepburn who kindly provided me with a copy of her novel in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio

I live in the North East of England with my partner and two beautiful boxer dogs; Floyd and Freya.

From a very young age my head has always been full of stories and I’ve been wanting to write a book since way back when, well forever really but finances (running my own business,) procrastinating, and self-doubt have conspired to hold me back.

Dithering about what to write was another stumbling block, my reading taste is so eclectic; Vampires, Serial killers, Dystopia, Vikings, Witches, History, Travel, Autobiographies, the only genres I don’t really read are Spy Fiction, Westerns or Chick Lit Comedy.

Oh, I know I’ll write a Chick Lit Comedy!

Anyway, I digress. After my Eureka moment I decided to scrap all my almost finished, half-finished, ten chapters, first page attempts, concentrating on actually finishing my first novel.

Flip-Flops, Fiestas, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three novels, I am currently writing the second. I’m on a roll!

When I’m not writing I enjoy reading, travel and cooking I’m passionate about animals and consider myself a bit of a Gin connoisseur.

Social media Links

Twitter:  @DonnaHepburn66


*BLOG TOUR* Forever at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn


So today is my stop on the Forever at Conwenna Cove blog tour!  I have been a fan of Darcie Boleyn’s for a while, so was very pleased to be able to read and review this novel as part of her blog tour.

‘If you have never read a book by Darcie Boleyn you are definitely missing out.’ Rae Reads

Following heartbreak, Zoe Russell found a haven in Conwenna Cove. As the owner of the village diner and a volunteer for the local greyhound sanctuary, she’s happy with her peaceful life.

Local surfer Nate Bryson plans to leave Conwenna and see the world. He wants to shake off his reputation as a ladies man and start again somewhere new. Before departing, Nate decides to raise funds for the dog rescue home as a way of giving back to the community.

When Nate approaches Zoe to help with the charity event she sees there’s more to him than meets the eye. Nate can’t believe he’s failed to notice the kind and beautiful woman right before him. But can two such different people ever be together, especially if one of them is determined to leave?

Perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Sarah Bennett.

Firstly, I was so pleased to find myself back at Conwenna Cove.  I must confess to not having read Summer at Conwenna Cove (it’s still on my TBR list – oops!) but I have read Christmas at Conwenna Cove (feel free to check out my review) and I loved it.  I am a village girl, and Conwenna Cove has the same feel to it as my own beloved village.  It has a community that knows one another, helps each other, celebrates together and generally just supports each other.  This makes a winning combination in a novel, and it’s particularly good in a series such as this.  Throughout the series various characters pop up that you really want to know more about, so its lovely when you get that opportunity.  Forever at Conwenna Cove is no exception to this.

Zoe Russell is the sea-fearing owner of the village diner, and a woman who tends to keep to herself despite having such an open and welcoming business.  The hurt of her past stops her from making connections with people that she would clearly benefit from, but she is eager to protect herself from any further pain.

Nate Bryson could not be more different.  He is a local surfer who loves the sea, loves people and loves his close family and friends.  He has two aims: to run an amazing fundraising event for the local greyhound rescue home, and to finally travel, experiencing the world before he settles down.

Zoe and Nate find themselves working together as Nate throws himself into the planning of his big fundraising event, bringing together local businesses and the wider community.  Despite being wildly different people, Zoe and Nate must find a way to work together successfully, with hopefully a little fun and romance thrown in for good measure!

This is such a lovely romance.  Zoe has a past that she must learn to accept and move on from whilst Nate must juggle his work, love-life and family at an important time for them all.  I really enjoyed following how they dealt with their issues whilst learning more about each other and forming a beautiful friendship.  This is a perfect novel to read with a glass of wine, preferably on a beach over what will (hopefully) be a glorious bank holiday weekend.  So go and grab yourself a copy!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Darcie Boleyn, Canelo and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Title: Forever at Conwenna Cove

Author Name: Darcie Boleyn 

Previous Books (if applicable): A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas, Summer at Conwenna Cove, Christmas at Conwenna Cove and Love at the Italian Lake

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 23rd April 2017

Publisher: Canelo 

Links to Book: 

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:
Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Social Media Links:  


Twitter: @DarcieBoleyn