Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest in the Little Cottage series by Emma Davies, Return to the Little Cottage on the Hill. I love this series and so a big thanks to Kim Nash for inviting me to join the tour and to Bookouture for providing the advance copy for review. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
The climb up the hill takes her past sweet-smelling pink roses in full bloom and leads her to an utterly breathtaking view. Megan is happy to be home at last, but will her relationship have survived the journey?
It has been a difficult few years for thirty-year-old Megan Forrester, completing her apprenticeship and trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with her gorgeous boyfriend, Liam.
She’s returned home to compete in a local craft competition. The prize is the chance to design beautiful new gates for the estate at the bottom of the hill, a job which could secure her future in the village forever.
As the contest gets underway, Megan is devastated when a rival design turns out to be almost identical to hers. Someone in the close-knit community must have leaked her sketches, but who? Is it the same person spreading heartbreaking rumours about Liam?
Down to the last few left in the competition, Megan throws her heart and soul into a show-stopping final piece… but will winning even matter when the truth about Liam is finally revealed?
Picking up a book in this series is a little like coming home. Well, for me Shropshire is home, so there is that, but the characters are so familiar and the feeling you get from reading is one so warm and cosy that it is like being with close friends. The fact that you’re allowed into their inner circle, even as a voyeur of sorts, makes it all the more special. Each book has detailed the story of one or more of the characters, let you know that little bit more about each of them, and this time around it is Clara we get to spend more time with, and what a wonderful time it is too.
It is time for the local Blacksmith’s competition, and one of the guests at Joy’s Acre is a former local woman, determined to make her mark in a male dominated field. Now, having come from a Logistics background, there is something faintly familiar for me in that tale, but that’s an entirely different story. It did mean that I was able to identify with Megan quite quickly, although thankfully have never faced the level of prejudice that she finds from certain factors around the competition. Add in the personal confusion she is feeling over her long distance relationship with Liam, an unhealthy dose of cheating and sabotage and hers seems and almost impossible dream. But then she didn’t count of the magic of Joy’s Acre where nothing is impossible.
It’s not all plain sailing over at the cottage though. A film crew wants to make a documentary series around the garden and kitchens of Joy’s Acre with Clara and Trixie as the stars. Trixie is delighted, Clara less so. But this could be the making of Joy’s Acre, allowing them to finish the renovations which are so needed and Clara has a knack for putting others before herself. There may be one small plus for her though as Producer Declan seems to have his eye on more than just the perfect TV show.
I love the characters that Emma Davies has created throughout this series. Each of them is unique and in some cases, like Trixie, quite quirky, but together they make a formidable whole. It is the kind of friendship circle you would love to be apart of. People who just understand each other and would do anything to help. Clara is an especially wonderful character and I loved getting to know her more, her strength and her vulnerabilities. There were times when I wished she would speak up more but she is just so giving and the story was so true to her character that it made the time just fly by.
Megan is another great character. Strong and resilient, she is still full of self doubt too, but supported by the folk of Joy’s Acre she has all that she needs to succeed. There are some lovely and romantic moments in the story, both for Megan and Clara, as well as those times of misunderstanding where all could so easily be lost. We even see another side to Seth’s Grandmother-In-Law Agatha too, a surprising one that shows every one has a story.
Emma Davies achieves the perfect balance between things being too easy or being so hard that the obstacles cannot be overcome. But most of all she creates and absorbing story full of engaging and wonderful characters that takes you away from the everyday. I’m lucky enough to have the Shropshire Hills practically on my doorstep and I can say that she has captured the tranquility of the setting perfectly. I only wish Joy’s Acre was real – I’d be highly tempted to book myself in for a secluded break away. Might have to step away from Trixie’s cakes though. It would take more than a simple walk/jog/run up a hill to counteract all that much sugary goodness.
By the way – where’s that cook book?
If you’d like to read Return to the Little Cottage on the Hill for yourself then it 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
Follow the tour: