Starting Over in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen


Earlier this year, I read Summer in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen, which I really enjoyed, so I was excited to return to Bellbird Bay for more adventures in the series.

This book tells the story of Cleo Johansen. Cleo moved to Bellbird Bay after the death of her husband five years before and is now manager of a cafe. She has a daughter, Hannah, who is 21 and a teacher at Bellbird Bay Primary School. Hannah moves out and begins sharing with Owen (the local surf champion, who is 21) and Nate.

Will Rankin is Owen’s dad and has been single since his wife died. He was also a surf champion in his younger days and now owns a surf school. He is being stalked by an annoying woman called Joy, so a plan is hatched for Will and Cleo to pretend to be a couple to deter Joy’s affections. But could a real romantic involvement be brewing?

I always enjoy novels where the main characters are around my age. Obviously, at 52, I’m going to have more in common with someone in their fifties than someone in their twenties. I thought Cleo and Will were great characters.

Although it’s set in Australia, so you get the gorgeous beach setting, Bellbird Bay is still a small community so you get that “village feel” that I love in a book, because it feels like you get to know everyone, almost as if you’re living there yourself.

There’s a bit of everything in here – grief, romance, new beginnings, strong female friendships, kids growing up, empty nesters, there’s even a worrying spate of girls going missing.

Highly recommended.


Starting Over in Bellbird Bay

Following the death of her husband, Cleo Johansen and her daughter moved to Bellbird Bay determined to make a new start. Having carved out a new life, Cleo is shattered when a shadow from her husband’s past throws their lives into disarray.

Will Rankin has lived in Bellbird Bay all his life. Now widowed, the former surf champion runs the local surf school and enjoys a close relationship with his son. Content to lead a single life, the appearance of an undesirable stranger is quick to upset his peaceful existence.

While neither Will nor Cleo is interested in forming a new relationship, an unexpected attraction surfaces when a mutual friend suggests they spend more time together.

Set against a background of sun, sea and sand, can Cleo and Will find a way to move forward together?

A heart-warming tale of family, friends, and how a second chance at love can happen when you least expect it.

Purchase Link –

Author Bio –

After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Maggie has been called the queen of mature age fiction and her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call to ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!

Social Media Links –

Published by karenlouisehollis

53, lives in Lincoln, England. Published writer, book blogger and reviewer, mum, grandma, cat owner, vegetarian. Loves reading and sewing. My second novel is out now - a second chance romance set at the seaside - STARTING AGAIN IN SILVER SANDS BAY.

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