Starting over but with a hidden agenda…
Nell’s going back to school… but now she’s learning lessons of the heart
Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she had until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. But so what if the roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room? Because sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom… right?
Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever had. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…
At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is, until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will the secrets of Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?
Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…
A gorgeously uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy that will delight fans of Milly Johnson, Holly Martin and Heidi Swain.
After her latest relationship, Nell decides to start completely over. She buys an old farmhouse in Leyholme and starts a new job as a reception class teacher.
There she meets Xander, the new head teacher.
Xander found himsef in his new job against his own wishes. Being in charge of the school now means also taking care of overprotective parents, not allowing the counsel to play him like a puppet but it means also organizing several events and welcoming the new reception class teacher.
Initially I thought this was a story like so many others. Woman starts rebuilding her life in a new place, meets man and then you know how it will end. Not that I don’t enjoy reading such stories, but sometimes I need that little extra intrigue.
And this story has it!
The moment I met Nell, I instant liked her. She is a kind woman, with her heart at the right place. Being a teacher is not an easy job, but she truly cares about her pupils, and manages to be a kind teacher, but she is also firm when required. She sees what kind of parents she has in front of her, and manages to put their worries aside.
Xander is a troubled man. The consequences of the past is something he is still carrying around. He is a shy man, a bit afraid to stand up for himself.
But you know he is a good guy… he just needs to find the guts to speak out his mind and not let others dictate his work.
Nell meets also other persons, and quickly bonds with Stevie, mother of four-year-old Milly. After losing her wife, Stevie only focus is Milly, but a new friendship with Nell is just what she needs.
I really liked all characters, but soon I realized that Nell was having a double agenda. But what is was, was not easy to find out. Several options went through my mind, from innocent ideas to illegal activities. Not a moment during the story you have a clue what Nell’s real purpose is.
This book is a perfect blend of several emotions… several times I was laughing. But some parts also made me sad when the secrets came out.
I liked it from start till end and found it very hard to put the book away. I wanted the secrets to be unfolded and see the reactions to them. But I also was eager to know what the end would be like.
Conclusion: a sweet, heartwarming story, full of laughs but also with serious subjects that are handled with care. Once you start, you will not put the book away!