17 Oct Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes #BlogTour #Review #GuestPost
Hey amigos, new day new blog tour! It’s summer so time for some amazing summer reads! Today I’m taking part in Penny Parkes’ blog tour for her new book, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, which is the second book in the Larkford series and one I’ve been SOOOO excited about. Find my review bellow but first, read Penny’s brilliant Guest post. Many thanks to lovely Penny and Jess from Simon and Schuster UK for the review copy, post and the chance to be part of the blog tour. Cheerio, sweethearts!
Larkford’s Canine Cast – Guest Post by Penny Parkes
It’s become a bit of a standing joke, when my lovely Editor and I sit down to talk plots, that inevitably I will get carried away outlining my plans for Larkford’s canine population. But in my world, the comings and goings, lives and loves, of our furry friends is almost as important as their human counterparts. They provide a wonderful depth and foil to almost any emotional scene and occasionally this gives us chance to see our characters in a whole new light.
In Out Of Practice we first met the incorrigible Eric – a puppy-time-share Labradoodle with slight delusions of grandeur, not to mention the Vicar’s over-amorous dog Dibley and of course, Grover the terrier who would never knowingly leave the Major’s side – unless a pint of Guinness was in the offing.
In Practice Makes Perfect, one of my favourite plotlines concerns Coco, a diabetes detection dog who is part of the package when Dr Alice Walker joins The Practice. In researching these amazing and generous dogs, I have to confess I shed a tear or two, for they are literally changing lives – not with any great fanfare or desire for attention, but lovingly, consistently and – perhaps most importantly – accurately.
In chatting for hours with my fabulous and inspirational friend who trains assistance dogs, I found myself wanting to know more and more about how this wonderful skill can be acquired. My desk became dotted with post-its about this remarkable canine aptitude and talk of olfactory receptors became commonplace at the family dinner table – since a dog has around 300 million compared to our paltry six million, we certainly began to look at The Ginger Ninja in a whole new light.
It became incredibly important to me that Coco’s plotline for the book carried just as much importance and gravitas as Alice’s, after all, without her valuable contribution, would Alice even be able to carry out her work as Larkford’s latest GP?
If you want to know more about Medical Detection Dogs and their amazing work, there are wonderful videos and fund-raising ideas over at www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk and once you’ve read Coco’s story, perhaps you too will be inspired to learn more.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes
Series:The Larkford Series #2
Published bySimon & Schuster UK
Published on 29.6.2017
This surgery is full of scandal and secrets!
The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches.
Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.
Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long.
Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own.
Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?
‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is the second book from Peeny Parkes and it’s the second part in a series based around a large medical practice. Last year Penny published her debut and the first part in the series, ‘Out of Practice’ which was winner of the RoNA for a Romantic Comedy of the year. Naturally, I had high hopes for this book too and it was high up on my summer TBR list. Now that I’ve read it, I can say I definitely enjoyed it and once again, Penny didn’t disappoint.
As I said, ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is the follow up of ‘Out of Practice’ and I believe you’ll get into the story easier and enjoy it more if you’ve read the first part. It picks up where the first book left, following the lives of 4 doctors and the busy practice at Larkford. Holly’s life is finally looking better now she’s in a relationship with her colleague, Taffy who’s such a sweet and caring guy. After the hard divorce, she and her twins seem to finally feel what life is all about. Dan and Julia are the other two doctors who’re also in a relationship but are facing some difficulties which are mostly because of the change of lifestyle and the practice becoming so popular. After their practice has been nominated as a NHS Model Surgery and a film crew steps into their lives to film the reality show ‘Doctor in the House’ things get very complicated and loads of drama starts happening.
As you see, this is a really fun and easy book. Even if you’re not fans of shows or books about Doctors I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. It features some amazing, believable characters and after reading it you’ll have the biggest smile on your face. I absolutely love Holly and could connect to her so easy. One of my favourite characters is Elsie, who also appears in the first part of the series, and who’s one of the most loved and wisest member of the Larkford community. While Taffy and Holly’s relationship seems to blossom, Dan and Julia’s changes and becomes more stressful.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the easy writing style and the characters. While there were some parts (scenes) which I don’t think added much to the plot, and could easily be left out, I still enjoyed the book. That’s my only complaint, the book could’ve been shorter which would undoubtedly add a bit to the the pace.
Still, I’m absolutely thrilled I got the chance to read this book and I wonder what Penny has in store for us next. This is a gorgeous summer book and if you’re off on a holiday soon, I advise you to pack a copy of it. If you’re looking for a warm story with a strong feel good factor, this is the book for you! Perfect for some chillaxing at the beach (or by the pool) and forgetting all about your every day problems.
About Penny Parkes
Penny Parkes survived a Convent education largely thanks to a ready supply of inappropriate novels and her passion for writing and languages.
She studied International Management in Bath and Germany, before gaining experience with the BBC. She then set up an independent Film Location Agency and spent many happy years organising shoots for film, television and advertising – thereby ensuring that she was never short of travel opportunities, freelance writing projects or entertaining anecdotes.
Penny now lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, two children and a geriatric spaniel. She will often be found plotting epic train journeys through the Alps, baking gluten-free goodies or attempting to prove that you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks.