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New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun

Published Date: July 21, 2020

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Available as an eBook & audio download


320 pages


Follow your yellow brick road ….

Alice Dorothy Matthews is on the road to paradise! She’s sold her house in London, got rid of her nasty ex and arranged her move to Portugal where friendship and romance awaits. All that’s left to do is find a place to call home.

But Alice’s dreams are called into question when complications with friends, work and new relationships make her Portuguese paradise feel far too much like reality.

Will Alice’s dream of a new home in the sun come true?

Book 2 – Portuguese Paradise. Follows The House That Alice Built

Available as an eBook and audiobook on all platforms. 

Chris Penhall

Chris is a freelance writer and radio producer.
Born in South Wales, she has also lived near London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it.  She is now working on her second.
A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.
Chris has two grown-up daughters and lives in the Essex countryside.
Chris is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Chris debut novel, The House That Alice Built won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition sponsored by Your Cat Magazine.


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FREE Audio Story

Listen to a fabulous, heart-warming FREE short story from Chris Penhall.

Sunset by Chris Penhall narrated by Penelope Freeman. Click the play button to listen.

Reviews (5)


  1. ruth
    ruth August 25, 2020 at 9:22 am .

    The reader will be transported to a small town on the coast of sunny Portugal where newly divorced Alice has moved to begin her fresh life. After selling up and cutting ties in London, she’s now temporarily cat-sitting for a friend while searching for a house to buy. Alice happily settles into Portuguese life, supplying local galleries with her handmade jewellery and enjoying her small circle of good friends. She finds her ideal property but someone snatches it up before she’s able to make an offer. All further houses become unavailable and are sold before she can even view them. When the friend she’s cat-sitting for announces she intends to sell her flat, Alice will soon become homeless. Life no longer seems so perfect.

    A relaxing and uncomplicated read of romance and mystery, ending with a farce of a car chase.

    The pages conveyed sunshine, the dusty smell of a hot summer with a more leisurely pace of life.

    Ideal deck chair reading material.

  2. Donna Morgan
    Donna Morgan August 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm .

    I really liked the novel. It’s the follow up to The House That Alice Built but can be read as a standalone book without having to have read the first book.
    Alice is moving to Portugal after selling her house in London (co-owned with her controlling & manipulative ex-boyfriend Adam). Despite getting rid of her ex and finding love with Luis, she still has a lot of doubts in her head which could ruin her dream life in the sun. I identified with Alice as she overthinks things too much & can be too self-critical at times.
    Will Alice finally get her happy-ever-after?

  3. Yvonne Greene
    Yvonne Greene August 25, 2020 at 8:23 pm .

    Although this is a sequel, it won’t matter if you haven’t read the previous novel, as you will quickly be sucked into Alice’s turbulent new life in Portugal. Perfect read for all of us who are thinking of escaping the British weather and starting a new life abroad!

  4. Barbara p
    Barbara p August 26, 2020 at 1:43 am .

    This is a lovely, summer romance. Alice has moved to Portugal following the breakdown of her marriage and the sale of her house. This story sees her starting her new life and the problems she encounters. Her relationship with new man Luis is fraught with history from both sides, but you are really rooting for it to come good as they are such a perfect couple. The characters who form the background are so real I felt I knew them. The description of life in Portugal are spot on. Enjoy with a glass of wine and feel the sun!

  5. Samantha M-E
    Samantha M-E March 6, 2021 at 11:25 pm .

    We are back in London, with Alice and Louis – she’s sold the house and is about to start a new life in Portugal.  All the characters in Portugal are back and it’s as if they are real life friends.  It’s such a lovely story and os encapsulating to read. 

    Strange things are happening though … Alice is looking to buy her very own house, but any she likes, are snapped up either as she is literally viewing or before she gets there.

    Louis has an unexpected visitor bringing news which could change things between him and Alice forever. 

    Carlos and Ignacio have a disagreement too (which is unheard of). To Alice’s untrained eye ….  it seems there is big trouble in paradise for them all.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.  Hope you do too ❤ 

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