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The Bookshop by The Sea series

A Summer of Surprises and An Unexpected Affair

Entertaining, feel-good, funny and fun
"This book came recommended by a friend, so I read it - but I didn't expect to laugh out loud."
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An Unexpected Affair


Newly divorced Eleanor Mace has a bookshop, a campervan, grown-up twins and a widowed mother who has recently rediscovered the joys of sex. As invisible middle age approaches, Eleanor seems destined for a quiet life in a small seaside town enlivened by occasional visits from eccentric authors or her livewire sister, Jenna.


Life takes an unexpected turn when the discovery of an old flame catapults Eleanor back into the past, sending her on a journey across France in search of a love she thought was lost forever.


This is a warm and witty tale which shows that love, friendship and adventure are never that far away, if you only know where to look.


Read A Summer of Surprises to find out what happens next!


Read reviews and extracts here.

A Summer of Surprises

It is two years since Eleanor Mace said a poignant farewell to her lover Christophe and returned to Devon and her bookshop. Everything is going well in the small seaside town until an ageing rock star turns up and makes waves with his outsize plans for a marina and theme park featuring a gigantic naked woman nicknamed 'Busty Bertha'.

Outraged, Eleanor mounts a protest against the scheme – helped by some local wildlife, a few chaps in frocks and her over-enthusiastic mother Connie – which gets her noticed by the world’s media.


Invited to Spain to talk about the campaign, Eleanor makes a startling discovery and has a romantic encounter that throws her into a spin.

The settings

An Unexpected Affair is set in two places: a fictitious seaside town called Combemouth in Devon and a city in the South of France that I call Chevandier. (Chevandier also makes an appearance in French Kisses.) A Summer of Surprises begins in Eleanor's bookshop in the West of England, but events there lead her to the island of Mallorca where she has a life-changing encounter – and some fun!

Enjoyed these stories? Don't miss The Bookshop Detective,
book 2 in The Bookshop by The Sea series.
Jan Ellis, writer of romcom and contemporary women's fiction
Jan Ellis, writer of romcom and contemporary women's fiction
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