‘The Warrior Knight And The Widow’ – written by Ella Matthews #BookReview @ellamattauthor @rararesources

Synopsis

Protected by The Beast

Undone by the man

Racing cross-country pursued by danger, widow Lady EllenaSwein isn’t pleased to be taken back to her father’s castle. But with his knight Sir Braedan Leofric, also known as The Beast, as her captor, she has little choice! Ellena is surprised by his honourable and protective nature, even if she shouldn’t trust him. And when all seems to conspire against them, Braedan’ssecret could either extinguish the spark between them or make it burn brighter.

My review

Ellena Swein is happily in charge of her castle after the death of her husband. Not a lot of love has gone lost there, so Ellena is determined to never marry again.
But her father has other plans as he wants to expand his territory. So he asks his best knight, Sir Braedan Leofric to bring her back home.

As Sir Braedan has a nickname as The Beast, Ellena sees him more as her brutal captor and not as someone who wats to bring her home safely.

The journey to the castle is more dangerous than she thought, as there are men with not so honorable motives who want to capture Ellena…
But she has Sir Braedan on her side, and she is surprised by his protectiveness and his resolution to bring her safely home.
During their journey they let down their guard (only towards each other 😀)  and they realize there is a spark which seems impossible to ignore. But Sir Braedan has a secret that will pull them apart… or not?

Talking about an Alpha- male!!! Braedan made me swoon all over the place! Initially he seems like a brute, commanding Ellena around and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. He is in charge and shows it!
But he is also a focused man, not letting anything jeopardize his task.
The moment we get to know him better, we soon realize that his nickname The Beast is an exaggeration and that in real life he is a caring man, carrying the burden of the past with him.

Ellena is also a strong independent woman. Her marriage was not what she expected. But after her husband died, she took hold of the reins and is not giving up for what she fought so hard.
She also wants to keep her independence and is ready to go against her father’s wishes to marry again.

These 2 stubborn people clash more than actually have an understanding. But slowly, when they realize they will have to work together, they see they have more in common. And when their noses point in the same direction, they are a team not to be underestimated.

What I truly liked about this story is how 2 apparently different people find some common ground. Hard times make people come together and fight against a common enemy.
Their situation makes sure that they open to each other. Their bond is also the catalyst for doing some inner search, trying to figure out what they want but also how they can compromise.
Because in life you cannot have everything your way. Sometimes to have to give up a little bit for the greater picture.

An amazing story about 2 strong personalities finding each other in times of need!  It was a pleasure reading it!

 

‘Redeeming The Reclusive Earl’ – written by Virginia Heath #BookReview @VirginiaHeath_ @rararesources

Looks can be deceiving!

Synopsis

His heart is a fortress… And she’s trespassing!
After losing all he holds dear in a horrific fire, Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, shuns the world—until he catches Effie Nithercott digging holes on his estate! He banishes the intrepid archaeologist and the unsettled feelings she rouses within him. But she returns even more determined and infuriatingly desirable than before! He wonders just how deep she’s prepared to dig—so far she’ll reach the man beneath his scars?

My review

Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, has been through a lot. After he has been scarred for life, he lost his passion of the sea, he lost his fiancée and people are just scared of him.
So now he hides on his estate and doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone.

But Effie Nithercott has a mission and she will go against his wishes! She is an archaeologist and she just knows that there are real treasures hidden on Max’ estate and just keep digging holes in the ground.

Max is determined to chase Effie away, but Effie is stubbornly refusing to leave. Who will claim victory?

I’ve read several books of Virginia Heath, so I kind of knew what to expect. But this one just stands out as the best one (until she writes even better ones!).
Both Effie and Max are stubborn people not letting someone else dictate them.

Max is reclusive for the obvious reasons. Being scarred, he has seen too many people just looking at the scars and nothing more. And some people are just terrible, as covering children’s’ eyes.
He is certain that nobody sees further than the scars, with of course the exception of his family.
But is he truly the bully he seems to be once you get to know him better?

The way Max invents new names for Effie is hilarious, and it shows that Max is more ‘human’ than we think.
He is a gentle man, thinking about Effie’s welfare and worries of her being outside on her own.
But he is also funny, something you wouldn’t expect at all.

Effie is tired carrying the “burden” of being a woman. She is an intelligent woman, making extraordinary discoveries. But because she is a woman, people do not take her in account. So she is determined to make her voice count!

This pair was just what I needed! They have both their own reasons for mistrusting people, but when they are together they accept each other how they are without any judgment.
A beautiful story about how the inner beauty and intelligence it what truly matters. And that accepting the other just the way he or she is, is what loving someone means.

 

‘Summer At The Highland Coral Beach’ – written by Kiley Dunbar #BookReview @kileydunbar @rararesources

Escapism to the Highlands!

Synopsis

Escape to the Highland Coral Beach – where broken hearts can be healed

Beatrice Halliday needs a break from life. Booking a trip to the Highlands on a whim, Beatrice hopes learning Gaelic in a beautiful Scottish village might help her heal her grief after losing her baby, her husband and her much loved job in a space of months.

But Port Willow Bay isn’t exactly as the website promised. Instead of learning a new language, she’s booked in to learn the ancient skill of willow weaving, her hotel room is Princess and the Pea themed (with a stack of mattresses for her bed!) and worse still, her tutor is Atholl Fergusson, grumpy landlord of the hotel where Beatrice is staying – and she’s the only one doing the course.

But as Beatrice finds herself falling in love with Port Willow Bay and its people, and as she discovers the kind heart beneath Atholl’s stony exterior, can she really leave?

Escape to the beautiful Scottish Highlands with this utterly romantic, feelgood book; one visit to Port Willow Bay and you’ll want to come back! Fans of Sarah Morgan, Carole Matthews and Holly Martin will be captivated.

My review

Beatrice is mourning… the best way to cope with it, is booking on a whim a holiday to the Highlands. To clear her mind, she wats to take classes to learn Gaelic. She wants to stop thinking about the loss of her beloved baby and the separation of her husband.

Arriving in Port Willow in Scotland, she soon realizes that her holiday/escape is not how she imagined! Instead of following a course of Gaelic, she finds herself booked in the skill of willow weaving with grumpy Atholl Fergusson.

Despite her initial dislike of her whole holiday, she soon starts to fall in love with the place and its people. Will this holiday be the place she needed to find to process her losses? And is Atholl really just a grumpy man or is he also what Beatrice needs?

This book is just wow… Beatice is going through so much. Slowly we get to know her better, and she opens up to the people around her. but of course this isn’t without any struggle.

From the very beginning you sense that she suffered a great loss. But the hows and whats aren’t very clear.
It’s not only losing her baby that got her on a breakdown, but also the aftermath have left her no other option than a quick escape.
She realizes she is not being herself and acting out on people. She knows she has to change to her former self, but it’s easier said than done.

The minor stories give Beatrice a purpose. So she makes it her goal to help out Gene and Kitty. And also the other people she meet, have their own story, making Beatrice feel more at home.
Thanks to all the kind people, Beatrice starts to feel better each day that passes. She learns new things she never imagined doing.

Also the relationship with Atholl develop for the better. In first instance there is a real dislike towards each other. It even causes Beatrice some real scares. But Atholl is man enough to realize his mistake and is not afraid to apologize.
We also get to know Atholl better and as often, behind the grumpy man is a man who really cares about his brother and is really a nice man. He senses that Beatrice is having a hard time and gives her all the space and time she needs, but also pushes her to go explore things she never thought of.

I felt happiness when Beatrice was finding herself again and allowed herself to move on. And the way Atholl is helping her, and goes the extra length for her, made me all mushy!

It’s heartwarming to see how a community and even totally strangers open their arms and hearts to you, and are prepared to help you process the hard past.
This story shows you also that everyone has a own way of handling grieve, and that there is no strict timeline to know when you can move on.

 

‘Clover Cottage’ – written by Christie Barlow #BookReview @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources

When the love of your life wants to go another direction…

Synopsis

A page-turning new cosy novel in the bestselling Love Heart Lane series – perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Phillipa Ashley and Milly Johnson!

 

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Vet Rory Scott inherits ramshackle Clover Cottage in the quaint village of Heartcross, Allie MacDonald just knows this is their happy ever after. A place to call home with the man she loves – it’s her dream come true!

Until Rory drops a bombshell. He loves Allie but he has dreams of his own to follow – to live and work in Africa. Clover Cottage will have to wait just a little longer…

Allie can’t imagine life without Rory, but she loves him too much to hold him back. And as he embarks on his adventure, Allie begins to rethink her own plans. She loves Rory and knows she wants him in her life, but maybe she can follow her own dreams too?

And always there, nestled in the beautiful village of Heartcross, surrounded by the people she loves, will be the place that will always bring them back to each other. Their forever home, Clover Cottage.

 My review

Allie has the perfect life: she is loving her job, and she is having her happily ever after with vet Rory.

But when Rory inherits Clover Cottage, the ball starts rolling for the worse…
Apparantly Rory wants to follow his dream to go work in Africa for a year, and renovating Clover Cottage to live there with Allie is not what he wants for now.
This news comes like a shock to Allie, as she was completely ready to settle down. But Rory wants more out of his life and wants to do more than just spending the rest of his days in Heartcross.

Will this lovely couple find a way to compromise, or is their relationship doomed?

How often do we read a romance and the book ends with the 2 main characters getting together? But what happens after the happily ever after?

This book shows perfectly the struggles of a couple. The feelings are real, as they truly love each other. But Rory and Allie are realizing very soon that getting together is just the start of the adventure, and not the finish.

Allie is rather satisfied with her life. When she was child, she moved around a lot, and now she finally found the place where she truly feels at home, and doesn’t think about it about leaving Heartcross.
Moving around all the time, it’s easy to understand Allie, as why go away if you’re happy with what you have.
But on the other hand, why settle for less? When Rory explains his plans, and points out her capabilities and tries to convince her she can do so much more, it makes her think.
Is this it for her? Or should she take a dive into the deep and follow her heart?

I enjoyed reading this book, as it shows us the next part after the ‘”they got together – the end”. It makes you realize that even our hero and heroine have to fight to maintain they happiness.

But before you start thinking it’s a sad story, it’s not!
Rory and Allie truly love each other, and despite wanting different things, they are standing beside each other. Even if Allie has some insecurities, she knows Rory and supports him.
Rory is also his amazing self. He does not put himself first, but is truly happy with the new opportunities Allie receives. He is also the one that sees Allie has so much more potential, which Allie doesn’t see.

There are so many funny moments, which made me laugh, sweet moment that made me wish I was having them myself. The fact that both of them want the best, even if it means being apart, shows what the true meaning of loving someone is.

 

‘Summer In Provence’ – written by Lucy Coleman #BookReview @LucyColemanauth @rararesources #SummerinProvence

Finding yourself in the Provence…

Synopsis

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.

My review

Fern and Aiden are apparently a happy couple. But when they have a strike of luck, their ideas couldn’t be further apart…
Aiden set his mind on traveling the world, backpacking. He also needs a year apart, having a gap year from each other.
Fern doesn’t understand why, but she doesn’t want him to give up his dreams, so while he is discovering Australia, Fern is going to spend a year volunteering in the Provence. She will help out and having in return some painting lessons from Nico.

I loved this story, full stop!
A beautiful story about discovering your passions, your abilities and yourself.

Fern has been for too long taking care of everyone around her. in first instance she didn’t realize what effect this was having on herself, but being freed from all the taking care off, she soon sees how stressed she truly was.
Being on herself, without interference and judgements from her family, she discovers how the world sees her and what she really likes to do.
It’s an opportunity to follow her dreams and develop her talents.
And with Nico as her teacher, she sees where her true passion lays. Being a kindred spirit, they relay more and more on each other, and a deep friendship is born.

To be honest, I didn’t understand Aiden at all. Also what happens further in the story, made me not really like him.

I understand the desire to discover the world, but just taking a whole year off, away from family and friends, with just a few calls and messages once and now… sorry, but I don’t get it.

This is not a romantic story, but more a story about discovering yourself and following your passions. It made me realize that too often we do things just to please people and not do it because we really want to.
Reading about how Fern relaxes and enjoys her environment, made me also feel relaxed and somehow I felt the same emotions Fern was going through.

It made me dream about being in such a lovely place in Provence too!

 

‘Beyond The Yew Tree’ – written Rachel Walkley #BookReview @RachelJWalkley @rararesources

When being in a jury is suddenly about finding out the truth about 2 people…

Synopsis

Whispers in the courtroom.

Only one juror hears them.

Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?

In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.

Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.

The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.

Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?

Ordinary women.

Extraordinary experiences.

My review

Laura is a member of a jury deciding the fate of a man accused of fraud. But when the process starts, she suddenly starts hearing whispers from a child. She is the only one who hears them, but doesn’t make any sense out of them. She doesn’t hear actual words, but more sounds.
Even more, she starts having nightmares each night about a woman hanged over a century ago for murder.

When she meets Sean, he teams up with her to find out what is happening and what actual happened with the woman. Being a museum curator, he has more possibilities to dig deeper in the past.

Together they slowly are uncovering the truth. And a friendship is being built. But Laura herself is having a few dark secrets of her own.

This is seriously one intriguing story!
Having 2 different mysteries surely kept me reading. The ‘real’ case of fraud already was something not clear to me what actually happened.
Add the mystery of a family living a century ago haunting Laura, made it even better.

Laura is a shy woman, not someone who asks for attention. But she knows her world and when she speaks up, she knows what she is talking about.
She is also not someone that give up easily. She has a hunger for the truth, wants to know what truly happened.

When she meets Sean, at first she is a bit distant, but the mutual interest in the past makes sure that a friendship is born and they both open up.
Sean appears to be a true friend, understanding Laura and not thinking she is just a crazy woman. He doesn’t understand how it is possible, but believes Laura and what is happening to her. He supports her the best he can.

The more we get to know about the woman and girl in the past, the more we realize their lives were a tragic one.
The extend of it, is heart – breaking. They both deserved so much more and the consequences somehow are still reflected in the present.

A story that keeps you on the edge on your seat. Beautifully written about how the truth is the most important thing and understanding one’s action without condemning them. And also that the truth will always come out, even if it may take a longer time than predicted…

‘On A Falling Tide’ – written by Georgia Hill #BookReview @georgiawrites @rararesources

When hauntings from the past are jeopardizing your future…

Synopsis

Two women. Connected by heartbreak, separated in time. Can Charity save the man she loves, or will Lydia’s vengeful spirit prove too strong? 

Two haunting love stories and a hundred and fifty-year-old curse …

When the beloved grandfather who brought her up dies, Charity is left struggling to cope. Alone and rootless, she’s drawn to the sleepy fishing village of Beaumouth near Lyme Regis and begins to research her family tree. A chance encounter with attractive boat-builder Matt sparks a chain of mysterious and unsettling events and leads Charity to uncover the story of a young girl who lived in the village over a hundred years before. 

In 1863 all Lydia Pavey wants to do is follow in Mary Anning’s footsteps and become a ‘fossilist.’ Instead, she is being forced into marriage to a man she barely knows. 

Charity’s obsession with Lydia becomes all-consuming and she risks losing everything. With a longed-for family tantalisingly in reach, will Charity find the happy ever after she’s yearned for and, most importantly, can she save the man she loves?

My review

Charity is finding it difficult to cope with the death of her beloved grandfather. Feeling that she has been abandoned again, she decides to leave momentarily London and moves to a fishing village Beaumouth. There she wants to find herself again and decide what she truly wants to do with her life. It’s also the perfect occasion to research her family history.

After meeting Matt, she finds herself attracted to him, but her fear of being abandoned again and thinking he is in a relationship, makes her become just friends.
Charity finds herself in possession of an ammonite, which is the catalyst of several nightmares and hallucinations.
Through them, she gets to know Lydia Pavey, who lived in 1863.

Lydia’s big dream is to become a ‘fossilist’, like her idol Mary Anning. But her family thinks of it as nonsense and are forcing her marrying a man she barely knows. And this while she finds herself attracted to “The Boy”…

Charity gets obsessed by finding out who Lydia is and what happened to her. She risks losing everything due her obsession.
Can she manage to get her grip on reality again?

What an intriguing story! I sympathized with Charity. Grieving for the loss of her grandfather, is she also struggling with the idea she is ‘unlovable’. And when she meets Matt, she is certain that he is going to leave her someday.
She is having so many personal issues to overcome and adding ghosts from the past aren’t making the situation any easier.

Matt is just amazing. He doesn’t believe in ghosts or whatsoever, but he believes Charity. He stands by her, as supportive as possible. He doesn’t judge, but helps where and when he can.

When we get to know to know Lydia through the nightmares, she is this curious, adventurous young woman. She defies her family and will not just give up her dreams easily.
Through the whole story you feel sorry for her, as she cannot do what she wants, but has to follow the rules dictated by society and her family.

But for me, Lydia changed for the worse. Initially I liked her, but in the end, I just despised her. What she did in the past and was still doing to Charity and Matt was over the top and not like the young woman we got know.

Overall, I liked this story as I wanted to know what truly happened to Lydia, but I also wanted to know if Charity would manage to overcome her insecurities. And would her obsession fade away so that she and Matt could have a future together?
A great story switching from present to past and vice versa keeping you on the edge of your seat!

 

‘Point Of No Return’ – written by Tanya Jean Russell #BookReview @TanyaJRussell @rararesources

When a job stands in the way…

Synopsis

Jake Williams has been undercover as a captain at Great Britain Air for months and he’s beyond frustrated. Tasked with finding the airline insiders who are smuggling chemical weapons into the country, he’s getting nowhere fast. 

Bree Phillips has spent her whole life wanting to travel and experience life outside of the small village she grew up in, but her family needed her. Now, years later than planned, she is finally joining her best friend to work for Great Britain Air, and her adventure is beginning.

Jake knows he is better off alone, it keeps him sharp and focused, but despite his efforts to keep Bree at a distance, she is drawn further and further into his world. Both have to ask themselves whether some risks are worth taking.

My review

Bree Phillips is finally pursuing her dream, she is part of the crew for Great Britain Air. It’s after insistence of her beloved grandfather she is finally doing something for herself, before getting married.
On her first flight, she meets captain Jake Williams. Normally he is a very cheery man, but for some unknown reason, he behaves very differently towards her compared with her other colleagues.

Little does everyone know that he is actual an undercover agent, trying to find the smugglers of chemical weapons using Great Britain Air.
As his progressions are nearly non- existing, he becomes more and more frustrated.

Despite his efforts to keep Bree at distance, they find out they are more alike than thought. But can Jake manage to keep his true job hidden without jeopardizing his mission? And is Bree more adventurous than suspected?

First I thought it would be more a romance story and not a suspense story.  But quickly it was clear that figuring out who the smugglers were and keeping Jake’s cover was the bigger picture in this book.
And that is exactly why I enjoyed it. Sometimes the romance overtakes the real story. But here you always kept in mind what the true purpose was and how the characters were not losing sight of their goal.

Jake is a focused man, not easily getting distracted. He is one of the best in his job. He is also subtle in doing his job. Nobody suspects him of having a double agenda.
But when he is not working, he is also a kind friend. When Bree needs help, he does not hesitate to be there for her.

Bree is a woman who always first takes cares of others before thinking of herself. It is obvious that if her grandfather didn’t push her to follow her dreams, she won’t have done it.
She is also very approachable, people sense that they can trust her and that she will help any way she can, even jeopardizing her own safety.

Jake and Bree become good friends and team up together. Even when Bree suspects Jake is not telling her the complete truth, she knows that he is a trustworthy man.

The storyline of smugglers is also well written. Initially I had my suspicions, but then the outcome was totally different and then another plot twist made it even better!
This book is perfect for who wants to read about a job which is the dream of many people (being a steward(ess) or secret agent, your choice 😀) with a lot suspense and a bit of romance.

‘The Faerie Tree’ – written by Jane Cable #BookReview @JaneCable @rararesources

When memories do not match…

Synopsis

HOW CAN A MEMORY SO VIVID BE WRONG?
In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of memory, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cables first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Shows Peoples Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

My review

Robin and Izzie meet in 1986. There is an attraction, but Izzie in in a relationship. She ask Robin to wait for her. Robin understands her situation and is willing to wait for the love of his life. They spend a nice summer day and wish under a faerie tree a future together.
But a tragedy occurs, ripping their dreams apart.

In 2006 by sheer coincidence they meet again and soon they realize their attraction is still there, despite the grief they have suffered during the years.
Spending some time together, they realize their memories are so different and doubt is risen as it’s not clear which memories are the real thing…

Initially this seemed a very sweet story, two people once in love, meet again and want to give each other a second chance.
I think everyone once wondered what would happen if you would get a second chance…

But quickly the story takes a darker turn, as we have no clue how the Robin’s situation could deteriorate?
Through flashbacks we get an insight in Robin’s memories. But are his memories real? Because the time spent together with Izzie, Izzie remembers differently.
Who’s mind is playing tricks?

This story made me think in one direction, as I thought quickly what was going on. But then it made me reevaluate my suspicions all over again.
Not only the memory – issue is something to worry about, but also the behavior of both Robin and Izzie are not always as easy to understand.
Robin has the habit of ‘running away’, while Izzie tries to find consolation in drinking wine.

I didn’t know what would happen next with the characters, and this was the charm of the book, the need to know. You cannot just put it away and continue with your daily chores. You keep having the story in your mind and you will not rest until the truth is out there!

 

‘The School Of Starting Over’ – written by Lisa Swift #BookReview @LisaSwiftAuthor @rararesources

Starting over but with a hidden agenda…

Synopsis

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.

My review

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!