The perfect summer read. Continuing the light-hearted, uplifting dramas around the 'The Dog&Duck' pub and the life of its landlady Ellie Browne.
Ellie Browne has found happiness running The Dog and Duck pub in the idyllic village of Little Leyton, and her blossoming romance with tall, handsome property developer, Max Golding, is going swimmingly. With her new best friend, Digby, the black Labrador at her side, life just couldn't be sweeter.
But their peace is shattered when Max's younger sister, Katy, turns up unannounced with a whole heap of attitude. And Max's loyalties are stretched further when his glamorous ex, Sasha, re-appears with her own burgeoning secret.
With the master of the manor preoccupied with the demands of his 'other women', Ellie's forced to consider if she has any role to play in Max's life or in the village of Little Leyton.
Can Ellie get her life and relationship back on track in time for the summer charity ball at Braithwaite Manor?
About the Author
Jill Steeples lives in a small market town in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, baking cakes, eating them and drinking wine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The perfect summer beach read that is sure to leave you smiling, happy and ready to head to England for your own slice of village life. Jill Steeples should be writing tourism brochures for village councils in need of new blood – every moment of this book was steeped in atmosphere. Ellie decided to move back to her hometown after a successful but unfulfilled life in London, the early exposure to a village where everyone knows your name, your history and your business is a transition not easily left behind. When her best friend’s father decided he wanted to give up landlording the town’s pub for travel, Ellie stepped in and has taken over: small changes that mark the Dog & Duck as a community gathering point. News, information, meetings, romances and even a few tiffs occur regularly, and the presence of Digby the Labrador makes for a homey atmosphere. But, pulled twelve ways from Tuesday, it seems as if Ellie is never wanting to say ‘no’ to anyone, from welcoming her parent’s tenant, to spending time with her best friends and carving out time with her new-ish boyfriend Max, there’s rarely time for Ellie to just move forward without worrying about something. And when you add Max’s teenaged sister Katy to the mix, complete with stroppy behavior, attitude and a bone-deep sadness that he doesn’t seem to know how to handle, one more person has been added to Ellie’s to sort out list. With plans for the summer fete, concerns about her own management style for the pub with surprise inspectors prone to dropping in, her own insecurities about her relationship, the limited time they spend together and now Max’s pregnant ex-girlfriend turning up to rent one of his cottages, the constant barrage of elements continues. And yet, with good grace, only a few minor meltdowns and the communication breakdowns between Max and Ellie occurring with regularity, while I could see the possible ending coming, the actual pathway was as twisty as a maze. But, despite the back and forth and Ellie’s occasional moments of insecurity and second guessing, the characters were real, present, flawed and likable. Secondary characters, including dogs, pensioner regulars, and the seemingly endless well of good humor that Ellie draws from to keep herself balanced, it was hard to put this story down. With a super surprise at the end that was only a surprise to Ellie (I figured it out quite early) and a wonderful sense of family, friends and community – this is a story that will make you contemplate your own relocation to a small community if only to get those welcomes. A favorite for the writing and the feel-good endorphins that have run wild for the hours since I finished the last page, I’m curious to see what the next season at the Dog & Duck will bring. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Favorite Quotes: It’s that feeling of being left behind. As if life is something that’s happening to everyone else, while I’m still waiting to even get on the bus. He’s a bit full-on, isn’t he? He has this sort of wild energy that fills all the air in a room, and then when he leaves, it’s like you can breathe again. ‘I’m on my way,’ he said, sounding so much like a proper all-round superhero that I half expected him to fly in through the window in his cape and knickers, although that was probably just wishful thinking on my part. For once he drove slowly and carefully. Usually he went at breakneck speed, throwing the Jeep around the bends in the lane like he was a rally driver while I hung onto the edges of the seat for grim death, but this time he was clearly mindful of Sasha and her special cargo. My Review: Summer at the Dog and Duck was a light, charming, and sweet British rom-com. I am new to the author and had not read the first book in the series although I did not need to as the book had strong legs and able to stand alone, although I enjoyed the writing and tale so much I would like to go back to read the origins of their story. The storyline was packed with amusing humor, colorful details, and insightful observations as well as a plethora of busy small village inhabitants and happenings. It held my attention and alternated between squeezing my heart and creasing my face with a smile. And I am happy to add a new word to my Brit vocab list that intrigued me and required Googling - “misog,” which for the uninformed like myself, was reported by Urban Dictionary to be an abbreviation for miserable old git and can be used to insult either sex. I do love learning new words, especially those of the more colorful variety.
Ellie is in her element at the Dog & Duck, her own village pub in Little Leyton. She's still together with the rich and handsome Max and finally everything is falling into place. Then Max's teenage sister Katy comes to stay with him. Katy's attitude makes it difficult for Max to get closer to her and find out why she's there. Maybe Ellie can help them out? Max is also spending time with his ex-girlfriend Sasha, a former city girl who wants to live in Little Leyton all of a sudden and Ellie isn't seeing much of him anymore. Max is slipping through her fingers and Ellie feels her relationship is under threat. Will they be able to patch things up or will it be a lonely summer for Ellie? Summer at the Dog & Duck is a wonderful heartwarming story. Ellie is matter-of-fact in a crisis and is able to solve a lot of problems this way. She's also capable, kind and helpful. I loved her sweet and open character. She's there for anyone who needs to talk and if something has to be organized she always get things done, she gladly gives her time to the village fête and charity events. She makes the guests of the pub feel welcome, but she can stand up for herself as well. I admired her strong personality and think it makes her a fantastic main character. Max has a lot on his mind and he doesn't always tell Ellie what's keeping him busy, so it's easy for misunderstandings to arise. Max is handsome, he has a good heart and he's a real gentleman. I liked that very much about him. He doesn't know how to handle Katy, they aren't close because Katy used to live in Spain and it's clear she is angry about something. I was really curious to find out what it was and it was lovely to learn more about Max's family and his background. I like books about siblings and Max and Katy have an interesting relationship. I enjoyed reading about each phase they're going through. Jill Steeples has a great warm writing style. Her descriptions of Little Leyton and the Dog & Duck are vivid and dynamic. I could easily picture the beautiful countryside, the cozy pub and the stately manor. I enjoyed finding out more about each of these settings. I loved reading about Ellie's walks too, because of her fabulous dog and the gorgeous surroundings. Jill Steeples makes her story come to life incredibly well. I absolutely loved this second book about the Dog & Duck and the story put a big smile on my face. It's entertaining, charming and enchanting.