Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

 

cover150410-mediumPublisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 11th January 2019

Series: Love Heart Lane #1

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages:

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Rating: three-stars

Felicity Simons returns home to the Scottish Highlands after 8 years. Her departure was, in retrospect, very sudden and she burned a few bridges, to be honest. So it’s not a wonder that her return, that was prompted by her beloved grandma’s death, is not very welcome, especially by the one person that she cares about – and it’s the person she’s broken his heart. Felicity has a lot of fences to mend, especially with her friends, who couldn’t understand why she didn’t stay in touch with them. Being back, Felicity quickly realises that her hearts belong again to Heartcross. But will she be given a second chance?

There is a lot happening in Love Heart Lane for such a small place but I adored this village. The setting was beautifully idyllic but also dangerous, and so different. I’ve been reading the book at the same time when here, not far from where I live, there were incredibly heavy snowfalls, and the catastrophe alarm has already been introduced, so it was easy to imagine how Love Heart Lane looked like.

There is a whole cats of characters in the novel, and they are all lovely, warm and welcoming, probably sometimes too lovely, the small conflicts and misunderstandings weren’t too twisty. But the author for sure knows how to bring them all to life, and she brilliantly described how easily they all pulled together at the time of crisis. And I really liked the gang, the way their friendship survived, the way how they were around each other.

It was an absolutely lovely, nice read guys, that started in such a brilliant way. I thought, yes, I’m really into something great. And it was still an absolutely lovely, nice read until we reached the moment with the bridge. As of this moment I couldn’t stand Felicity. I know she was the main character but I had a feeling that every second word is either Felicity or Flick. Felicity this, Flick that. And of course Felicity was everywhere and she was able to do anything, starting with helping by the labour, through being chosen unanimously as a spokesperson for the village, finding Esme (of course!!!), finding herself in all the crucial moments in the right places and organizing everything smoothly and hassle – free. Well, I think I could take it but not the way she was crowding Fergus and his family – because it felt like this. I was wondering, hell, woman, who has given you the right to act like this? To decide over Fergus’s will? To impose yourself? To not give him a choice? Those things simply annoyed me, spoiled the book for me and made me not to really care about the characters and what’s going to happen. It was also impossible not to spot what was in the heart of the book: community, because it was also mentioned on every second page. I love books where the community feeling is so brilliantly overwhelming, where people support each other, but I also like to deduce it by myself, I don’t need to have it all the time mentioned. But yes, I liked how close knit the villagers were and how the pub and the tea shop were the places to be, to meet and to enjoy the company.

So really, if it weren’t for Felicity, I think I would totally adore this book. Shame. However, I am in minority here, guys, as all the other reviewers are RAVING about this book, so no matter what please do not feel put out by me and simply read this novel. It’s light – hearted and fast – paced and if you’re like this kind of read it’ll give you the warm fuzzies. The narrative flows and it’s very easy to read. And the cover is simply gorgeous! It deserves a standing ovation.

 

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Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

Kitty’s Countryside Dream

by Christie Barlow

 

Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 25th February 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 309

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

New home. New life. New beginning. Love affairs can blossom in the most unlikely places . . .
When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems …

A heart warming, moving and funny tale, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

Rating: 3/5

 

So there. Judging the book by its cover, I’ve been expecting a funny, sunny, uplifting read, a read that will make me smile. Sadly, it was not the case, as the story didn’t even rise the smallest smile from me. Its tagline says: ” feel good romantic comedy about life, love and family” – I am very sorry, but as much as it was about life, love and family, for me it was not a romantic comedy. It also didn’t make me cry, and I really appreciate when my books either make me smile or cry, and if not than at least awake some emotions in me. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh, but this is what I feel about „Kitty’s Countryside Dream” – I was all the time thinking where is the story? Because first half of the book is about chickens, different breeds of chickens and how to breed them, keep them and make them happy, and as much as I love animals, the chickens somehow didn’t keep my interest. Then suddenly the story makes an almost full – circle turn and the last quarter is about Kitty digging deep and discover hidden secrets. I’m not sure how does it sit together?

But if it weren’t for the second part, I think my review would end with rating the book with 2 stars. Really, the cover and the blurb have deceived me a little. I am truly, really sad to tell you that the book itself wasn’t my cup of tea. I am not sure why – but I just couldn’t warm to the plot, couldn’t connect with the characters. There was a lot happening in the story, that’s true, but I really have a feeling that the book was divided into two parts that had nothing to do with each other. I had a problem with Kitty, the main character and also the narrator in this story, who for me was very self – concentrated, whingey and she pitied herself. Sure, she’s been through a lot, and she’s going to discover some secrets that are to shake her up even more, but still, she felt too immature for my liking. OK, she was young, but nevertheless, even from a young person one can expect some maturity and not only seeing her crying over everything, being upset because a guy she’s just met and liked didn’t jump at her immediately, and jumping to wrong conclusions all the time. I think I liked the secondary characters much more, Robin and Jeannie and Lucinda, they were great and I felt I had more in common with them than with Kitty. I would really love to hear more about Lucinda, with her bakery – she seemed really interesting and warm, and I have a feeling there was much more to her than we got. Nevertheless, all of them, plus Tom, who was managing the farm, made a group of great friends, they truly bonded and you could see that they felt well in each other’s company.

But that’s just me, and I can already see that the book is catching on many fans, which is a brilliant thing, The part on the chicken farm was unfortunately totally not for me, the part with the secret diary I liked more, but in comparison to the beginning that focused so much on the chickens etc, it felt too short, too neglected and too rushed. Nevertheless, at least the things seemed to pick up and gathered pace. But in the end I must really appreciate that „Kitty’s Countryside Dream” turned out to be a moving story about family and friends. Kitty’s life turned upside down and she learnt a lot, she faced her demons. And the lesson that I learnt from this book is that there is unconditional love. We often take love that surrounds us for granted but it may turn out that the people who give us this love might have fought for it we have no idea what price have been paid for it. You know, I really can see what the author wanted to achieve, and I am sure that for most of the readers the book is going to be a cosy, heart – warming, touching read.