Having read and loved A Cotswold Christmas by the same author (you can find my review here) I am thrilled to be involved in the first day of the blog tour. Read on to find out what the story is about and what I thought of it. Also if you’re in the UK there’s a giveaway for the first book that you’ll find at the bottom of the post.
Blurb: Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.
But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.
Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?
Discover the heartwarming magic of Willoughby Close… with four more stories of hope and happily-ever-afters to look forward to.
My Rating: 4.5/5
Review: I really enjoyed this book, it was light and refreshing but still dealt with the concerns and issues that everyone has around moving to a new area, meeting people and possibly starting a new relationship. These were all handled well and were quite realistic and true to life. I did feel the uncertainty between Ellie and Oliver went on a little too long but that may just be me and even with that it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.
The characters were very well-written and came to life clearly and easily which was good because this is a very character driven book. Although location is important it doesn’t feature heavily so the characters and the storyline have a lot of work to do and they do it brilliantly.
While this sounds like any other romantic story it is actually more than that, there is that side to it but it also has the extra depth that makes it more than a simple romance with a happy ever after. Although it may seem obvious where the story is headed the actual journey to that potential ending is what makes this book as good as it is.
Alhough the Cotswold Christmas is the prequel to this book you can read this as a stand alone so while I would recommend that one too it is not essential for understanding this book at all.
I would definitely recommend this book and others by this author. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series coming out.
About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.