Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

by Carole Matthews

Relationship Stories Feel-Good Fiction Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Star Books

LoveReading Expert Review of Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

A gorgeous relationship tale that encourages a lovely bond to form with the leading character and allows a proper escape to the Isle of Wight.

A wonderfully warm, bright book to escape into, to give yourself up to and just enjoy. Jodie Jackson leaves everything she knows for a houseboat in the Isle of Wight, she soon finds herself falling for the island and its inhabitants, but London is calling and won’t take no for an answer. I always look forward to reading the latest book by Carole Matthews, they wrap me up and give me a massive loving squeeze. Having said that, this isn’t syrupy sweet, oh no, some real life dilemmas and mistakes sneak in to ensure a feeling of connection, that this could be you, or someone you know. I loved Jodie’s voice and how she talks to the reader, it not only created a bond, I ended up feeling as though I had made a brand new friend. Pure, wonderful escapism, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes really is the most lovely relationship tale and I can thoroughly recommend picking up a copy and just allowing yourself to sink into the pages. We simply adored this book in the office and so it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book as well as a Book of the Month. 

Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Liz Robinson

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes Synopsis

Jodie Jackson is all at sea, in every sense.

On a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight, she's leaving her London life, her career, and her husband behind. She'd like a chance to turn back the clocks, but she'll settle for some peace and quiet on her brother Bill's beautifully renovated houseboat, Sunny Days.

But from the moment Jodie steps aboard her new home, it's clear she'll struggle to keep herself to herself. If it isn't Marilyn, who cleans for Bill and is under strict instructions to look after Jodie, then it's Ned, the noisy sculptor on the next-door houseboat. Ned's wood carving is hard on the ears, but it's made up for by the fact that he's rather easy on the eyes.

Bustled out of the boat by Marilyn and encouraged to explore with Ned, Jodie soon delights in her newfound freedom. But out of mind isn't out of sight, and when her old life comes knocking Jodie is forced to face reality. Will she answer the call or choose a life filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes?

What To Read After Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

The Return
Woman of a Certain Rage
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
How I Wonder What You are

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

A beautiful seaside escape filled with laughter, tears and romance. The perfect setting for romance to blossom, even when all Jodie wants is peace and quiet on her brother’s houseboat.

Jodie escapes her London life and head to the Isle of Wight to live on her brother’s houseboat. It is a far cry from her London apartment and her husband, but she had to get away. Broken and upset she begins her new life at Cockleshell bay. There Jodie meets a plethora of characters; a loud and flamboyant cleaner, a living statue, a noisy and very attractive sculptor, but all she wants is peace and quiet. Slowly they bring Jodie out of her shell as she becomes more accustom to life by the shore.

The setting was perfect for Sunny Days and Sea Breezes and provided a brilliant escape for both Jodie and reader. I was completely charmed by Cockleshell Bay and the characters that call it home, particular Marilyn with her vibrant outfit and a personality to match. This novel was an emotional roller coaster through Jodie’s heartache, joy and personal development.

This is a relationship story with some grit and authenticity while also being beautifully heart-warming. Reading it felt like a holiday and I never wanted to leave Cockleshell Bay. If you are looking to be by the beach this summer without leaving your house this novel will be perfect.

Alice Robinson

Another beautiful story from Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Her stories are effortless to sink in to. Although I love the sweet relationships at their heart, in each book I've read so far, also touches on very real and sometimes heartbreaking problems. 

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is no different. Jodie runs away to her brother's houseboat on the Isle of Wight telling us as she goes that she just wants some peace and quiet. But Marylin comes crashing into her life in vivid technicolour with a "coooeeeee", and Jodie gets to know the locals on the island (including the distracting artist next door). She discovers that she may not be able to get the solitude she was looking for and that she might not need it.

A really brilliant story that I'm sure I'll return to when I need a pick me up.

Charlotte Walker

A brilliant story for today's times with plausible characters and a great setting.

In this romance, although it is quite hard to define the genre because the novel covers a few, we meet Jodie Jackson, who has had a tricky few months in London. She is on her way to the Isle of Wight, to stay alone on her brother's houseboat. She is escaping London, husband and job as she tries to refocus her life. Jodie is a totally engaging main character, and how she adapts to a completely different way of life is central to the novel and to how she manages to move forward. There are several supporting characters to help. Among them are Marilyn, the extremely hyperactive cleaner, Ned, the sculptor and George the would-be author who poses as a living statue. This is definitely a feel-good book although it does also examine difficult issues.
I think the novel is escapist literature at its very best, fun yet thought-provoking and with an interesting cast of other characters who all meld together into a wholly believable and engrossing story.

maxine broadbent

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes by Carole Matthews is a lovely easy read. There are ups and downs, love interests, revenge and many other emotional happenings all based on the Isle of Wight, with quirky characters and a good heartfelt story.

What a delightful book! Easy to read and a charming story, just right as a summer read. with coronavirus well and truly here I have found it difficult to read anything that requires concentration, however, this book was so effortless and happy I whizzed through it in no time! 
Based around Jodie and her need to escape afterlife events took over, the descriptions of her journey, both physically and emotionally are relatable and heartwarming. Carole Matthew's descriptions of the Isle of Wight are great and you can really feel the warm atmosphere. Love interests, first world problems and work versus life all come into the mix, which Jodie must deal with over the time she is living on her brother's boat. Quirky characters such as Marilyn help to keep the comedy flowing making this a lovely lockdown read!

Glenda WORTH

Sunny Days is pure romantic escapism with a group of wonderful characters the reader cannot help fall in love with and want to visit the Isle of Wight.

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is about Jodie Jackson, who is making a trip to stay on her brother's boat called Sunny Days when life in London gets too much. The reader is drawn into the story by the descriptions from the journey on the ferry until her arrival at Cockleshell Bay. Her brother, Bill, has arranged for Marilyn, a soon-to-be friend and mother figure, to act as housekeeper for the boat. Jodie at first just wants to be left alone, but becomes friends with Ida, the café-owner, George, the human statue and Ned the good-looking neighbour on the houseboat next door, who also makes sculptures.
The story is a good love story, being able to escape and about making really good friends who help you out when you need support. The book is told with warmth and you end up liking all the characters, and you really want to be on the Isle of Wight with them enjoying the lovely days.

Katie Hoare

A beautifully written story with fantastic characters, highly recommended.

Jodie is introduced to us while on a ferry over to the Isle of Wight. She has taken leave of her job and her life in London and is off to escape for some alone time on her brother’s boat moored on the island. However, what she doesn’t expect to find there is Marilyn, a colourful, kind woman who has been employed by Jodie’s brother to look after her and the boat. After initially resisting her help, Jodie soon warms to her and gradually makes friends with other occupants on the island, including her neighbour Ned, local café owner Ida and statue George. Jodie soon settles into island life and gradually has to make some tough decisions.
From the first page, I was enjoying this book and this didn’t stop until the last page. The characters are very enjoyable to read about and although this could be classified as a chick lit book, there are some emotional and hard hitting subjects which are written about very sensitively by the author. Overall a very enjoyable book ideal for a summer read. I can’t wait to read some more from this author!

Nicola Coen

What an amazing book!

What an amazing book! Drew me in right from the first few pages. A captivating take of love, loss and friendships!


Great characters, beautiful scenery and warm, happy escapism. Whilst questioning her old life, Jodie finds freedom and hope on the Isle of Wight only to find herself in a dilemma when her old life catches up with her.

Upbeat and comforting, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is a light-hearted romance that is set on a stunning houseboat in the glorious Isle of Wight
Jodie needs to escape her life in London and her brother's holiday houseboat provides a welcome retreat. The colourful setting of the boat is matched in colour by the friends that Jodie makes whilst staying there. Ned lives next door and is a welcome sight that stirs feelings in Jodie she had long forgotten existed. George is a delight of a character and Marilyn is impossible to dislike. I particularly looked forward to her text messages!
Whilst questioning her old life, Jodie finds freedom and hope only to find herself in a dilemma when her old life catches up with her.
Great characters, beautiful scenery and warm, happy escapism. My first Carole Matthews book won't be my last.
If you want light-hearted fun, you'll love this book.

Nikki Telling

Captivating, heartfelt, and funny story that offers a welcome escape.

This book offered a welcome escape. It is engaging, warm, and funny. The writing is accessible, the characters relatable, and the story line drew me in. It's a lighthearted read that manages to cover some serious topics while not feeling 'heavy'. The author's description of the Isle of Wight made me feel like I was transported there. This is a lovely book that was hard for me to put down. It's my first time reading anything by Carole Matthews, so it's been an exciting discovery for me. I definitely look forward to reading other works by her.

Maya ehrmann

Carole Matthews Press Reviews

Another lovely tale from bestselling writer Carole Matthews - Hello!

Delightful and humorous... as joyful as its cover - Woman's Weekly

Full of quirky characters and often laugh-out loud funny, it's a delightful read. - Choice

As ever from this author, a lively story that fizzes with fun - Best

Heartwarming story of new beginnings. - Candis

Witty, funny and incredibly touching . . . perfect for lifting the spirits - Heat

Happiness For Beginners once again confirms Carole Matthews as the queen of funny, feel good fiction. Put your feet up, and switch off your phone because you're in for a real treat. -- Mike Gayle I laughed and cried and marvelled - Cathy Bramley on Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses

Warm, witty and hopeful - I was charmed -- Sarah Morgan An irresistibly warmhearted story with a cast of captivating characters, both animal and human -- Trisha Ashley Fun, fantastic and brimming with Matthews magic... from the first to the last page - an absolute joy -- Milly Johnson If you love romance, quirky humour and animals you can't do better than to sink into Happiness for Beginners. -- Katie Fforde Sparkling . . . light-hearted, laugh-packed fun - Sunday Mirror

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780751572162
Publication date: 27/05/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780751572131
Publication date: 25/06/2020
Format: Hardback

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About Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the top ten bestsellers The Cake Shop in the Garden, A Cottage by the Sea, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses, Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights, Million Love Songs and Happiness for Beginners. In 2015, Carole was awarded the RNA Outstanding Achievement Award. Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world and she is published in more than thirty countries. For all the latest news from Carole, visit, follow Carole on Twitter (@carolematthews) and Instagram (matthews.carole) or join the thousands of readers ...

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