My second review of the day is on the blog tour for The Bench by Cromer Beach by R J Gould; a   wonderful heartwarming and thought provoking novel following the lives of five people in a sleep seaside town…..

book blurb & info

Five people in a sleepy English coastal town. One year that changes everything. 

They seem to have it all. They’re in good health and are financially secure. They live in a pleasant and comfortable town. But as their lives intertwine, cracks emerge and restlessness grows.  

For Clive, is retirement the beginning of the end? Can fun-loving Saskia break free from her adulterous husband? Will Andy marry his childhood sweetheart? Is Jamie prepared to change his dishonest ways? Might Ellie’s happy marriage be shattered by temptation?

Heart-warming and heart-breaking collide in this novel about aspirations, expectations and the realities of everyday life.

Formats available: Paperback & eBook.  Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US


Visit   for a free copy of R J Gould’s award-winning short story The Kiosk.

my thoughts

I have to say that this isn’t the sort of book that I would usually pick for myself but I’m so glad I got to read it; I adored it!

Following five people in Cromer, we meet Clive, Saskia, Ellie, Andy and Jamie.  Clive has recently retired to Cromer with his wife Rosemary; Saskia has moved from London with her adulterous and thoughtless Husband; Ellie lives with her perfect Husband Sean and their two young children, but with Sean working away a lot, Ellie feels discontent and temptation; Andy and Sharon have been together since school and are planning their wedding but with lots of bumps in the road; and Jamie who works in house clearance, and antiques has made a life of ripping people off, but when he nearly loses the one thing that’s important to him, will he be able to change his ways?

The chapters alternate between the different characters and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about, and getting to know them.  Each of them has their own troubles and challenges, and it’s heartwarming to see how they deal with these – they don’t always make the right decisions, but then who does in life? The story sets you on a mini rollercoaster with each character, with lots of little twists that keep you engaged.  I fell in love with all the characters; even the one’s that I wasn’t sure of ended up sucking me in and making me just want the best for them.

This story got my really thinking about relationships, and how challenges come up unexpectedly throughout life, and it’s the way we deal with them that matters.  Even the person with the most perfect marriage will come across challenges, making this a really relatable story.  It deals with doubt, infidelity, friendship, love, happiness, family and more.

The setting of Cromer is beautiful.  A little sleepy seaside town where walks along the cliffs and runs on the beach are a daily occurrence.  Being a small town, it’s also lovely to see how each of the five characters lives intertwine, and for me that really added something special to the story.

Overall, I really did enjoy this.  The characters are so real and relatable you can’t not be invested in them; the setting is beautiful; the challenges real and the outcomes mainly satisfying (although not all of the stories come to a set resolution, but then it’s only a year in their lives).  This book will warm you, make you smile, get you thinking and make you happy.  Don’t be fooled – if you think this isn’t for you then I challenge you to check it out.  A delightful, warm and enjoyable read that is highly recommended by me.



about the author

R J Gould is published by Lume Books and Headline Accent and is the author of five novels: A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life follies and The bench by Cromer beach. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. ​​Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Where to find R J Gould online: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

tour hosted by

Rachel’s Random Resources

Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to the author for gifting me with a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Have a wonderful day, another scorching one here in Kent (32 degrees!!).  I’ll be back tomorrow…

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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