Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop [Book Review] @HeraBooks #bookshops #womensfiction

If you love books about bookshops, Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar is engaging women’s fiction with a side of romance.

Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar

Something New at the Botrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar (cover) Image: a graphic picture of a woman approaching a quaint beachside shop

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction (with a side of romance), Books About Books, Quaint Coastal Village, Bookshop

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop:

Have you dreamed of running a bookstore?

Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop is #3 in the Borrow a Bookshop Series but can be read as a stand alone. The premise for the series is based on a real life bookstore (see below) where bookworms can stay at the bookshop for two weeks and run it as their own.

It’s been seven months since the quaint coastal village of Clove Lore suffered a devastating flood. In the opening pages of the story, Joy (and her young daughter) arrives in the village to install new technology at the bookshop. While it takes Joy some time to open up to the quirky community, her daughter quickly makes friends. What the community doesn’t know is that Joy is running from something in her life and never stays in one place long enough for her past to catch up with her. Complications arise when she meets Monty and finds herself being drawn into the community. Can Joy stop running and make a new life in Clove Lore?

My Thoughts:

Thanks #NetGalley @HeraBooks for a complimentary e ARC of #SomethingNewAtTheBorrowABookshop upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Borrow a Bookshop

The Borrow a Bookshop Series is an interesting story because this “borrow a bookshop” concept is real! There is a bookstore in Wigtown, Scotland where book lovers wait on a list for years for their opportunity to run a bookshop for two weeks. I first heard of it when a blogger I follow actually went to live and work at The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotland for two weeks. See her account of that here and more information here. So, part of the fun of the book is knowing that this idea is based in reality. Would you consider the opportunity?

A Romance?

If I were shelving this story, I wouldn’t shelf it as a romance, although slow-burn romance is certainly an element of the story. Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop is more accurately shelved as women’s fiction in my opinion. A great deal of the story focuses on Joy’s journey of running from her past, her sense of safety, taking risks, and making the right decisions for her young daughter. When I think of the romance genre, I think of a story whose central focus is the romance. This story is multilayered and romance is one layer. That being said, the story provides an HEA and a lovely, feel-good ending which is expected in the romance genre. It’s certainly understandable that many readers will consider this a romance. As usual, I’m overthinking it! LOL

Quirky Characters

I love quirky characters, and in Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop, we have a full cast of colorful characters! If you enjoy a small town atmosphere and supportive community, there’s lots to love here.


One thoughtful theme is definitely “supportive community.” The colorful cast of characters in this quaint seaside village rounds out the story. Other themes include helping others, the courage to carry on, supporting friends during their worst times, problem-solving, feeling safe, second chances, slow-burn romance, and hope for a brighter future.

Recommending Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop

Does the title attract your attention?! I fall hard for bookshop settings! I’m enthusiastically recommending this heartfelt story for fans of women’s fiction with substantial themes, for readers who appreciate happy endings and books about books, and for book clubs. I need to note that this book is the third in a series but it can be read as a stand-alone (I haven’t read the first one). This is a series I look forward to continuing!

My review of book #2 Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop

Related: You might enjoy this post about other books about books and stories set in bookshops and libraries! (listed at the end of the new review)

My Rating:  4  Stars


Something New at the Bborrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar (cover) Image: a graphic drawing of a quaint bookshop next to the coast

More Information Here

Meet the Author of Something New at the Borrow a Bookshop, Kiley Dunbar

Author of Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop, Kiley DunbarHiya! I’m Kiley Dunbar and I write super cosy, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places. I’m a Scot over the border in North England and I’m an academic, so it’s really Dr Kiley 😉

My novel One Winter’s Night was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021 which made me extremely happy!

THE BORROW A BOOKSHOP Series is out NOW and is just as swoony and romantic as it sounds, I hope you love it!

My content/trigger warnings are on my website:

What else? Oh yes, please come and say hello at any of these places where I hang around way too much:

Instagram @kileydunbarauthor

Twitter @KileyDunbar

‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook

website and newsletter:

Thanks so much for your support, love, Kiley, x


Is this heartfelt story on your TBR or have you read it?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc)

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  1. I had no idea that this series is based on a real place. I just added Wigtown to my list of places to visit when I get back to Scotland (and I definitely will go back). Great review, Carol. I found the first two in the series on Scrbd, so hope to read and/or listen to them before I try and find this one. I enjoyed reading the post on Modern Mrs. Darcy, thanks for linking to it.

    • The setting and townspeople are the same from book to book but there’s a new main character each time (the one who comes to work at the bookshop for her 2 week rotation). I believe the series is inspired by the idea of the bookshop not on the bookshop itself or it’s exact location. But it would still be fun to visit Wigtown!

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