The Lake House by Christie Barlow

Today I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on The Lake House, the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series of books. Now we all know that it’s not often I step outside of my crimey comfort zone, but I am more than happy to make an exception for this author. This series is exactly what the doctor would order when you are feeling low, but be prepared as there will be tears amongst the laughter. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel\s Random Resources for inviting me to join the tour and to publisher One More Chapter for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend.

Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…

Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?

My Thoughts

This book should come with a warning and a packet of tissues. Blimey it had me in tears by the end and probably not for the reason you are thinking.

I’ll be honest, I started out while reading this book wondering just how anyone could be as naive as Ella. When you read the book you will understand why, but let’s say she falls victim to possibly the oldest trick in the conman’s book, and as a result her life, and her debts start to spiral out of control. When she is offered a lifeline by her old friend from university she grabs at it, little knowing how her life is about to change and that’s not just because she is moving hundreds of miles away from her home in Cheshire to Heartcross.

Now if you have read any of this series at all, you will know that Heartcross is quite a special place and it soon casts its spell on those who visit, especially if they go there with an issue or, in Ella’s case, nursing a broken heart. In spite of wanting to shake her at times, a testament to the author’s skill in creating the character, I did grow to like Ella very quickly and because I am not completely heartless, did feel for her and her situation. But is becomes clear very quickly that moving north to stay with her friend Callie is the best decision she could ever have made. Heartcross is a village full of appeal and this time the ‘appeal’ comes in the shape of Roman. There is an instant, and obvious, attraction between the pair but, in the way of all good stories, it’s not all plain sailing and both of them have cause to be hesitant when it comes to moving on with their new friendship.

What I love about these books is the real sense of community that Christie Barlow has created. In each story she reveals just a little more a bout one or more of the residents, allowing us to get to know them just that little bit better and providing readers with such a wonderful cast of characters to spend time with. For me, this time around, that spotlight really does fall on Callie and Ella’s downstairs neighbour, Dolores. Now there is a very good reason for that and if you read the book dedication you will understand why, but I have to say that Dolores is possibly my favourite of all of the characters. In her nineties she is full of life and full of spirit and it is partly her story and her history with the eponymous Lake House, that a large proportion of the story revolves around. I would love to be like Dolores when I get to ninety! What a gal. She gives us laughter and she gives the story real heart, and Ms Barlow has done a brilliant job of bringing her to life.

Yes, this is a love story, and like all good love stories, there are a few bumps in the road along the way but it was lovely watching Ella and Roman slowly overcome them. The sense of place you get from reading the book is brilliant and although Heartcross may be fictional, dang it, you really do feel as though you are there in the heart of the village as you read, the author has created such an authentic feeling. But this is not just a boy meets girl story, it is a story of overcoming your demons, second chances and of having a chance to relive a beautiful and vibrant past. Recreating the golden age of the Lake House restaurant not only gives the community something special, it gives readers a chance to witness a heartfelt and beautifully emotional reunion that really did have the tears flowing. I loved it.

If you love the Love Heart Lane series then you are going to love this book. I adored Dolores and I loved that sense of yesteryear brought back to life in present day Heartcross in a story that sees our protagonist Ella transform from a simpering mess into a strong and vibrant woman right before our eyes. In a time when we need good cheer, positivity and a reason to smile, Christie Barlow has delivered all of this and more. Definitely recommended.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the author of ten bestselling romantic comedies including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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