Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Summer at the Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies. Set in my home county of Shropshire, this is the second in the series and it was so lovely to be back with the crew at Joy’s Acre. My thanks to Kim Nash for including me on the tour and to Bookouture for providing the advance copy for review. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
Take an endless stroll through wild meadows and breathe in the sweet aroma of flowers in full bloom. The first ever guest at the little cottage on the hill is looking for an escape, but her past is not far behind her…
Thirty-two-year-old ‘ice queen’ Isobel slams the cottage door and pulls the curtains shut. She has just six weeks to practise for a secret project that could save her career and no one must know she is here.
When Tom, the local thatcher with eyes as blue and deep as the ocean, hears the sound of her violin on the breeze he feels a tug at his heart-strings that reminds him of happier times. Who is this mysterious new lodger, and why does she look so familiar?
Desperate to find out more, Tom is devastated when Isobel refuses to enjoy everything the farm has to offer. He won’t give in, but just when it looks like Isobel is coming out of her shell, someone recognises her and the troubles from her past threaten to take away everything she has been working towards.
Will the lessons Isobel learned at the little cottage help her to stand up and face the music? Will Tom ever find a way to unlock the emotion she needs to move on?
If you loved the heart-warming romance in novels by Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson, you’ll adore this gorgeous, feel-good story about letting love in.
Now I am a little bit biased when it comes down to it, but I have to say that Shropshire really is a pretty county. Makes for the perfect setting for a bit of romantic relief, or, in the case of Isobel, a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city in which she can create the musical masterpiece which will get her career back on track. Or so you would think …
Wouldn’t it make for quite the dull story is everything was as easy as all that? You see Isobel has her demons, things from her past which haunt her and have prevented her from truly fulfilling her promise as a violinist and those, perhaps more corporeal, who would seek to control her fortunes a little too closely too. When she happens upon Joy’s Acre’s website, it seems the answer to her prayers but little does she realise just how distracted she is or how distracting her new home will become. From her arrival on the small farm she is about to go on a journey of discovery, not only about herself, but also about the story behind the farm and those who live there, one which will provide her with unexpected inspiration.
From the very first time we met the folk of Joy’s Acre I was hooked on this series. The way in which Emma Davies has captured the setting is a joy to behold (no pun intended) and is as peaceful and tranquil to read as you would imagine it would be to visit. On top of that she has created a cast of characters who you can really grow to love very quickly, each one individual and each one adding a different layer of interest and back story to keep readers engaged.
This time around, the story focuses upon Tom, the Thatcher, part time musician and close friend of farm owner Seth. While he was only on the periphery of the first book, we didn’t learn much about him, other than he was a bit of a tart, but it was clear there was something there – some secret which drove him to act in the way that he did. We learn much more about him in this book and to be honest, he is perhaps even more endearing that Seth was in book one. He certainly has hidden depths and a level of compassion and understanding which up until now had been well hidden behind a lackadaisical attitude towards life. His story is quite sad, and Emma Davies has painted it quite sympathetically so you will be willing him to come good. Despite his reputation his shyness or embarrassment when it comes to Isobel is actually quite endearing and it certainly had me smiling, if not laughing, from time to time.
Isobel it quite the foil for our Tom. Quite stand offish at the start, I did struggle to warm to her but as the story progresses and you learn more of her history, the more I grew to like her. As with everything in life, first appearances are often wrong and Isobel;s character, and your perception of her, is quickly reflected in the way she judges, and misjudges, others. Again, her passion for music, much like Tom’s, has been captured perfectly by the author, that heady balance between simply playing the notes as they are written and truly feeling what you are playing captured perfectly upon the page. The passion of a true artist often overflows, and is echoed in the text, but ultimately you will, as I did, start to like Isobel.
It is easy to see where this story is heading from the off and yet the journey that you are taken on is quite a beautiful one. You will feel the tranquility of Joy’s Acre start to invade your mind as you read and relax into the story. Moments of misunderstanding are tempered with those of reflection and discovery. Most of all they are wrapped up in a heart-warming and often romantic tale. not all plain sailing, but slowly building to a point where two lonely souls find their stories intertwine in ways they had not foreseen.
Fun and romantic, this really is a story which will make you smile, laugh out loud at times, become frustrated on occasion too, but mostly smile. Emma Davies has a wonderful style of writing which really engages the reader, weaving a magical story of love and second chances which can warm even the hardest of hearts, set against a beautiful backdrop which holds the true essence of the story.
Another heartwarming and uplifting take from Emma Davies full of the joys of summer. Music, friendship and romance. Who could ask for more? Apart from that cookbook. We still need that cookbook.
Summer at the little Cottage on the Hill is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.
After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It’s a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.
Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on Twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook
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