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The Summer of Serendipity

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  669 ratings  ·  116 reviews
'Wonderfully romantic, full of mystery and magic. I fell in love with Ballykiltara!' - Cathy Bramley

You'll find a warm welcome in the latest novel from Ali McNamara, bestselling author of The Little Flower Shop by the Sea and From Notting Hill with Love, Actually

One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting fo
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Sphere
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  669 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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2.5 stars

The promising combination of Ireland, romance & intrigue draw me to this book, but those promises were not really fulfilled.

The setting is lovely. The main character, Ren, goes house-hunting for a wealthy client, in County Kerry, near the Lakes of Killarney. As I travelled there a few years ago, it holds a special place in my heart and I was happy about all the reminders I found in the book.
However, I am sad to say that was the only aspect I could really respond to.

My like/dislike
Whispering Stories
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Serendipity, or Ren as she likes to be called, is a property seeker. Her job is to find homes for her clients, when they can’t find them for themselves.

When one of her clients wants a holiday/retirement home on the Emerald Isle, she sets off to find him that home with a list of requirements, oh and her assistant Kiki.

After days of searching and finding nothing remotely close to what she is looking for, she soon becomes aware of a property up on a hillside. On closer inspection the, ‘The Welcome
Nicola Clough
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book certainly never let me down and is a great magical read and really didn't want it to end. I've loved all of Ali's books and this has to be the best by far and had you entranced and wanting you to know what was going to happen and you really thought you were in the lovely island in Ireland. Serendipity finds the perfects houses for people for her job and she travels to Ireland with her friend in search of finding a perfect house. When she finds what is the perfect house she doesn't know ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

There is something just a bit magical about this book, and the legends surrounding the Welcome House in Ballykiltara. When Ren and Kiki first encounter the welcome house they are convinced they have found the property they are looking for, for their customer, so long as Ren can find the owner and persuade them to sell.

Just one small snag local folklore believe the house is magic and that it has now owner, or caretaker or anyone in charge of it at all. Then there are the legends that st
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
5 Words: Community, friendship, attraction, history, belief.

What a perfect summer read!

I have to admit, I wasn't feeling it when I started. It was miserable and raining outside, it felt like summer has disappeared, and I wasn't hooked from the start. But five chapters in that all changed. The weather outside was still awful, but it was summer in my head and I couldn't put the book down.

I loved the setting, although I did roll my eyes a wee bit at some of the stereotypes.

I didn't really like the
Karen Whittard
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley, Publisher and Ali McNamara for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book.

You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date.

Ali is one of my all time favourite authors. Ever since I read Breakfast at darcy's back in 2011 which is one of my all time favourite books. I have always wanted catch up with Darcy and De
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I generally do not get pulled into reading light reads, but occasionally such a book draws me in. This is my first book by the author, Ali McNamara, so I jumped right into the book with great gusto. The book did not disappoint me; there were plots and subplots and the entire setting was eerie and magical.
Serendipity or Ren as she is lovingly known as, is a property hunter for her clients and one such search leads her to the beautiful west coast of Ireland and to the perfect "Welcome House" which
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A lovely story about the magic of Ireland - unfortunately it lacked something for me.
Nice characters and scenery, also some interesting myth and legend tied in.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Summer of Serendipity was a great read that I didn't want to end! I fell in love with Ballykiltara and The Welcome House, I could really picture the place in my mind thanks to Ali McNamara's beautiful writing style.

Ren and Kiki are property hunters, they help other people find their perfect home. Whilst in a search for a home for a wealthy client who wants a holiday home on the West coast of Ireland which is how they ended up in Ballykiltara. Ren struggles to find a house right for him unti
Yvonne Morgan
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to another fantastic read by Ali McNamara ...loved every bit of it..the book just wrapped it's words and chapters around you and welcomed you in just like the house in the story...totally recommended
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
The Summer of Serendipity is most probably the most magical book I have read in such a long time (and that's saying something as I'm a huge Harry Potter fan). This book has spent shivers down my spine throughout and I was constantly gripped on the story - trying to find out who is behind the mysterious Welcome House.

One of the many reasons I wanted to read this book in the first place is because of the location. This story is set in Ireland, and having a boyfriend who comes from there (and being
Sarah Lee
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read from Ali McMamara. I really enjoyed this book and loved how it was both a romance and a bit of a mystery story rolled into one. Very enjoyable.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another stunning and outstanding read from this author, absolutely wonderful story and characters, all so very well written.

I did struggle with the history side of things in this book but that's just because I'm not a fan of historical tales.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable book and I loved that there was lots of animals throughout.
Linda Hill
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When Serendipity (Ren) Parker and her assistant Kiki head to the west coast of Ireland house hunting for a client, they find more than just the perfect house.

I loved The Summer of Serendipity. It is unashamedly women’s fiction with the kind of warmth and romance that makes it such a pleasure to read. I’m not usually one for any element of magical realism, but the mythology, superstition and omens of ravens and stags worked highly effectively and convincingly to enhance the story without dominati
Jun 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This sounded like something I would enjoy, and I probably would have if the story and characters were enjoyable. The plot was messy and the characters were pretty much deplorable. Having a character mention that someone can't be gay because they are "macho" is just tacky. So is having a character compare Guinness to "cat piss" while the character is in Ireland.

If this story just focused on the story and "mystery" of the Welcome house it would have been 100% better.
Kerry Lloyd
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another lovely light read from Ali McNamara

The story is set in Ballykiltara a small town in Ireland.

Serendipity...better known as Ren, is a workaholic who doesn't like to fail...always on a mission. Until she visits Ireland looking for a property for a client and finds the Welcome house...but this is the house that will test Rens work ethic and beliefs. Will she gets what she wants...

Kiki is Rens assistant, she is funny quirky and very often gets the wrong end of the Stick! But very loveable.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy.

Serendipity Parker is a property seeker, seeking out her clients dream home. Whilst looking for her latest property, she finds herself in Ireland with her assistant Kiki. In the small town of Ballykiltara, she finds the ideal property, known locally as The Welcome House. Wanting to put her negotiation skills into use she begins to try and track down the owner to see if they could be persuaded to sell. The only problem is none of the
Samantha Kilford
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-sent-to-me
Thank you to Little, Brown for sending me a copy and inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. You can find out more here

Packed with the usual feel good factor you'd expect from Ali McNamara, I had great fun following around our two strong female leads, Ren and Kiki, as they explore Ireland in search of properties and what a dynamic duo they are! Ren, short for Serendipity, is guarded, yet likeable, but in the first few chapters it was the brilliant and humorous characterisation of Kiki that st
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a special and beautiful read from Ali McNamara. Part romance and part folklore, The Summer of Serendipity was all magical; from the legend of The Welcome House on the Irish island of Ballykiltara taking hold of main character Serendipity Parker, right through to the delightful islanders that make up the rest of the cast of characters of Ali's wonderful new novel. One to add to your summer TBR for sure.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this quirky, whimsical Irish story. It also made me remember I'd read the previous book connected to it: 'Breakfast at Darcys'.
Fiona Wilson
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads, netgalley
I thoroughly enjoyed this read as it combines romance, intrigue and more than a little bit of magic. The idea of someone being paid to locate houses for their clients appealed to me immediately. I could honestly see myself doing just that job.

The setting is a lovely small Irish town. From the descriptions I could almost see the setting in my head as I read. The characters we meet along the way are extremely well written. The magical element running throughout the story made this an even better r
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Summer of Serendipity is the first book I have read by Ali McNamara but it won’t be the last. This was a really magical, summery treat of a read, combining romance and mystery in an enthralling fashion, and I really settled into Ali’s storytelling like I’d been reading her books for years.

Serendipity, or Ren as she prefers to be known as, is introduced to us at the beginning of the book alongside her friend Kiki. Ren is a property seeker and is looking for the perfect home for her latest cl
Fabulous Book Fiend
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to read Ali McNamara's latest novel. It has been a little while since I delved into her world and it was so great to be back. The stories that this author writes are feel-good reads with strong female leads with just a little hint of magic about them. This was no exception

When I mention magic, this might be the fates aligning or might be something more but it really does give you, as a reader, a true sense of escapism. You have to put real life and any sort of cynicism or disbe
The Literary Shed
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

THE SUMMER OF SERENDIPITY, best-selling novelist Ali McNamara's latest offering, is set in the West Coast of Ireland, in the beautiful fictional town of Ballykiltara, drawn from real-life Killarney. It's to here that heroine Ren (Serendipity) Parker and her fun-loving sidekick, Kiki, travel to find the perfect property for their latest client. It's an adventure for the girls, not least because it's their first time in Ireland – and the country and the characters they encounter certainly don't di
Joanne D'Arcy
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Back almost five years ago I picked up Breakfast at Darcy's by this author and I have to confess that whilst I enjoyed

"the descriptions of the scenery, the weather how it changes so suddenly and how it impacts on them all and the local folklore" (Taken from my own review)

I was rather disappointed with the overall plot. Subsequent books I have read by this author have not been poor in the plot department and I was in no doubt I was going  to get a good story when I picked up this one. 

We are back
Narelle Richards
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love Ali McNamara's books - they just make me smile and sigh with bliss.

It is like putting on an old familiar cardigan that fits just right and keeps you perfectly warm when you open a story written by Ms McNamara. What was really lovely about this book was a quick revisit with characters from 'Breakfast at Darcy's'.

Serendipity Parker is a house hunter with a special knack for finding just the right property for her clients. She is in Ireland to hunt down a house with very particula
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Summer of Serendipity is a charming and engaging read set on the west coast of Ireland. Ren, short for Serendipity, and her assistant/friend Kiki embark on a journey to Ireland in hope to find the perfect house for a client (Ren runs a property business finding THE perfect house for each of her clients). After a few unsuccessful viewings, the two find just what they are looking for. The only problem is that no one seems to know who the owner of the house is.

The story quite quickly moves away
Sally Coles
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Serendipity Parker (Ren) is a house hunter - searching out perfect houses to match with her clients wishes - who has a commission to find a house with a view of a lake in The Ring of Tara in Western Ireland. Along with her friend and assistant Kiki she out looking for the perfect spot.

Checking into a lovely country house hotel she soon comes across the manager Finn and there is an instant attraction....but she is here to work isn't she! Kiki has other ideas and immediately takes a liking to Eddi
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How lovely a word is serendipity? It means a happy accident and happens to be the name of the main character of this book, although she prefers to be known as Ren. Ren runs a property seeking company and has travelled to Ballykiltara to find the perfect retirement home for her client. She believes she has found this in The Welcome House but it is shrouded in mystery and legend. No-one knows who owns the house but it offers welcome and shelter to anyone who needs it. The Summer of Serendipity was ...more
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I’m a huge Ali McNamara fan and rarely dislike any of her books, and although I didn’t dislike this it certainly wasn’t as good as her others. Serendipity Parker, also known as Ren is visiting the West Coast of Ireland in the search for the perfect house for one of her clients. Her assistant Kiki is along for the ride and they are staying at a local hotel run by Finn. In all honesty I didn’t particularly like Ren that much, like I said I didn’t dislike her she just wasn’t as engaging as other c ...more
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