Hi there, and happy Thursday. I personally can’t wait for it to be Friday evening already, as tomorrow I have a very, very, VERY exhausting day. But today, guys, I have a review AND a giveaway for you, this all as a part of a blog tour. Hope you sit comfortably – enjoy!
Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publishing Date: 31st January 2016
Series: Willoughby Close #2 (read my review of part 1 here)
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 243
Genre: Romance, General Fiction (Adults)
Buy the Book: Kindle
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.
“Meet Me at Willoughby Close” is the second book in the Willoughby Close series and I’d say you COULD read it as a stand – alone, however I’d suggest you to better read the previous novella as well – “A Cotswolds Christmas” introduces us to the general idea of the series and it gives a lot of background information that I feel you need to fully enjoy the next books.
“Meet Me at Willoughby Close” introduces us to new characters, although some of the old ones that we already know from “A Cotswolds Christmas” enter the scenes of this book as well. So we have Ellie and her daughter Abby who are now moving to Cotswolds to start afresh. Ellie is divorced, and Abby is an eleven – year – old girl who was bullied at her old school for being a bit of a nerd. She’s of course worried to start at new school and Ellie is worried about her. Also, Ellie’s biggest dream is to find a friend – for her and her daughter – at the new place.
I think the most colourful and believable character was Abby. She was just like a real 11 – year – old and it hurt so much to see how scared she is to start at new school, but also uplifting to see how brave she was. She had a great connection to her mum and I liked their interactions, she had kept her wits about her much better than her mother. I loved Ellie as a mother, because her daughter Abby was always first, no matter what, and maybe Ellie has forgotten she has her own life to live and concentrated too much on Abby, but she was a great mother in my opinion. I loved how she developed in this story, how she started to learn what it is she wants from life, proving that it’s never too late to pursue your own needs and also finally showing Nathan the doors. I also liked that Oliver was not your typical muscle – flexing alpha – male hero. So it was like this – I liked the main characters as people, even though their actions didn’t work for me so much. However, some of the background characters, I really wasn’t sure what their presence should make for.
Basically there was nothing wrong with this book. It is only, as I always read two books at the same time, I’ve read it when reading one of the most amazing, touching books ever, so “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” had a lot to live up to. I just had a feeling that actually not a lot is happening in this story. The blossoming romance between the characters was a little incomprehensible to me, there was no built – up to it, it felt too forced and I wasn’t sure if the male character is really as interested as the heroine. If you’re looking for the sparkles and sizzling chemistry than sorry, but it’s not there. It seems as if it is a blend of random situations for me, as if the author wanted to fill the pages. The majority of the story is about Ellie and Oliver wanting but not daring (or not wanting) to acknowledge that they have feelings towards each other – with more emphasis on Oliver, to be honest, so maybe this is why I had a feeling it is so forced, that Ellie somehow pushed him for those feelings and it just seemed like a one huge misunderstanding. They didn’t seem to know each other enough, they weren’t comfortable in each other’s company and they didn’t know how to talk to each other about what’s happening. And really, it was Abby (who’s eleven) who was the most mature in this relationship. It was also a rather predictable read and there were many clichéd situations and things were happening very conveniently for the characters – they always found babysitters/time/excuse.
But altogether, “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” was an enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next part. It was about new beginnings and about letting the past go, about finding your own comfort zones and not those that others would like to see you in. The author touches upon some burning issues, such like bullying and , in general, difficult teenagers’ lives. I for sure liked it better than the first book in the series, however I am still missing this “something” that makes a book exceptional and that Kate Hewitt has already showed me she’s capable to put into her stories. But she managed to make this book very charming and believable, if we forget about some situations and the characters to develop – slowly but steadily. There were also elements of dramatic, melodramatic experiences but they so didn’t sit with me. They just looked over – dramatic, too forced and somehow unrealistic. However Kate Hewitt’s writing style is lovely, warm and inviting and her characters are down – to – earth. Maybe they are not the most complex ones but they have qualities and features that made them to stand out. I am
already looking to the next story in the series.
There are 3 paperback copies of “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” to be won (UK only)!
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