The Little Cottage in the Country by Lottie Phillips
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publishing Date: 3rd July 2017
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 289
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
Escape to the country!
Anna Compton thought that moving to the countryside, leaving London and her past firmly behind her was the perfect solution. Goodbye life of thirty-something, crazed single mum of two, hello country glamour queen, domestic goddess and yummy-mummy extraordinaire.
But her new life at Primrose Cottage isn’t quite what she expected! Very soon she’s chasing pork pies down hills, disguising her shop-bought cakes at the school bake sale – and trying to resist oh-so-handsome Horatio Spencerville, who just so happens to be the Lord of the Manor…
Could moving to the country be the biggest mistake she’s ever made?
A delightfully uplifting romantic comedy to get you in the mood for summer! Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Holly Martin and Tilly Tennant.
So guys. “The Little Cottage in the Country” – already the title sounds like right up to my street. Add to this the gorgeous, bright, colourful cover and here we are, the book is already on my kindle. I was hoping for a lovely, feel – good story about new beginnings, light – hearted and easy to read and well, I did get what I was hoping for. I have spent some hilarious hours in the company of the quirky characters.
The characters in this story were a little too overdone but they were also great and funny. Anna was great, just my kind of character. Easy – going, funny and incredibly accident prone, getting herself into so many embarrassing situations. She wanted everything to go so well, but not everything she tries and wants goes according to her plan but she just kept going, full of determination. When she meets Horatio, Lord of the Manor, and his horse there is such a clash between them but also there was the spark, and their banter and the way they kept meeting were probably one of the best parts in this book. For Anna however, Horatio comes across as rude, bumptious, full of himself and obnoxious, and he seems to appear in all the embarrassing for Anna moments – especially at the beginning.
What bothered me a little about Anna was the fact that she was so unsure of herself and her abilities as mother, journalist, friend. She was asking herself all the time is she’s capable to do things, if she’s a good mother to her children – I just missed more of confidence and I wanted her to start to believe in herself. On the other hand, I totally got her as I too often doubt in my capabilities myself, hm, and she was just trying her best.
Moreover, the author has really brilliantly written Anna’s children, the five – years – old twins Freddie and Antonia. It’s not easy to write animals and children, I have read many good books where everything went wrong as soon as the authors added a child or animal, but Lottie Phillips has done them really, really well. And I know what I say as I have a five – year – old at home and I work in kindergarten. The children were so easy to like, the way they spoke was so natural and so adequate to their age and they just felt honest and genuine. They provided a lot of funny moments in the book, adding a word or two in the most inappropriate situations. Also, Anna’s love for her children is palpable through the pages and Lottie Phillips has – again – brilliantly captured the relationship they had. Actually, all of the relationships in this story were brilliantly written, no matter if it was between mother – children, between friends or frenemies in the village – they were all relatable, down – to – earth and full of hilarious moments.
We also have Anna’s best friend Diane, full of laughs, and I wouldn’t be afraid to say a little crazy who was a make – up specialist making her clients look like the members of a heavy – metal band. However, she wore her heart on the sleeve and this friendship was the best thing that could happen to Anna and Diane – she was also a brilliant aunt to the twins. There is also Anna’s mother Linda and while at the beginning I was a little sceptical about her, the more I got to know her the more I adored her and her ways. And of course the male protagonist in the story, the above mentioned Horatio, and hunky farmer Richard, as well as all the other yummy mummies at the school gates and the rest of the villagers, that provide many hilarious moments.
I think I get what the author has tried to do but there were moments that the story felt much too exaggerated, much too overdone, the characters too cartoonish. I guess it was intentional and generally speaking it didn’t bother me so much but there were moments that it was too much. Sure, there were plenty of humorous moments as well and altogether I enjoyed the book, it was funny, easy to read and there was this feel – good factor to it. However, some of the situations happened totally out of the blue, quickly, some elements were a bit too OTT and too far fetched. The scenes appeared out of the blue, were very short, ended rapidly and there was no mention of them ever again, and I was wondering if they were really so necessary. I was looking so much towards the diary that Anna’s Aunt Flo left to her but there was almost nothing about it, only the briefest of the brief mentions, and I would love to read an actual page or two from it. Also, Anna’s column that she was supposed to write for her boss seemed a bit forgotten, and it’s a real shame – again, one or two wouldn’t go amiss, right? In the end, it all seemed too rushed and as if the author had to squeeze all the things she wanted to write about as soon as possible together. I missed some more building – up of the budding romance, for example, and altogether, it felt a little too chaotic, too rapid, too rushed. However, having said that, I really enjoyed this story, the eclectic cast of quirky characters and the humour and I am very glad to have discovered Lottie Phillips, especially as she was trying here a totally new genre for her, having written thrillers before under the name Louise Stone. “The Little Cottage in the Country” was a real breath of fresh air and I enjoyed it very much – recommended!