Today I’m delighted to join the blog tour for A Home At Cornflower Cottage by Tilly Tennant. My thanks to publisher Bookouture for the tour invite and providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Escape to the flower-filled fields and hedgerows of the Cotswold countryside, to a tiny cottage and a summer that could change everything….
Amelie has lived in Cornflower Cottage since she was born. She did her homework at the scrubbed kitchen table and helped her mum hang washing from the line on the old oak tree in the garden. And when her beloved parents died, Cornflower Cottage became Amelie’s armour against the world.
The trouble is that Cornflower Cottage is too big for just her. With a broken boiler and a leaking roof, Amelie knows she must do something to make ends meet. When she meets Xander, a scruffy, brown-eyed nature documentary maker living out of his backpack in a nearby hotel, Amelie rents him a room, hoping a lodger will solve her problems.
She soon realises that her troubles are only just beginning. Xander’s muddy clothes all over the cottage and early morning jaunts to photograph otters are going to take some getting used to. But when an argument turns into a heart-to-heart, she finds herself confessing how lonely she has been.
Before long, laughter echoes round the cosy farmhouse kitchen once more and sparks begin to fly. But when a face from Xander’s past appears at Cornflower Cottage Amelie’s happy home is shaken once more. Xander has changed Amelie’s quiet country life forever. Should she open her heart to someone who has hidden things from her? Or let him leave, and lose the love that makes her house a home?
A completely beautiful romantic comedy about being brave, following your heart and moving on. Fans of Holly Martin, Jessica Redland and Nicola May will be swept away by A Home at Cornflower Cottage.
Every so often I like to step away from the darkness and into the light, ditching my typical crime reads in favour of something a little more hopeful that’s going to bring a nice bright injection of colour to my kindle shelf. A Home At Cornflower Cottage by Tilly Tennant sounded like just the tonic. And it features otters. Who needs more right? So glad I decided to make this my choice this month as this was a wonderful story of friendship and new beginnings that really hit the spot.
I think that many people will be able to identify with Amelie’s life. She has lost both of her parents, is in a job that barely pays the bills, has a new relationship that she’s not quite sure about and her best friend is about to take the next step in her own relationship. With repair bills mounting up for her home, things are starting to look a little grim. It’s not quite The Money PIt bad, but when you earn minimum wage, a new washing machine and a new roof are two things you really don’t want to have to fund. Enter stage left, Xander, a man who is looking for somewhere to live to conduct his study into the repopulation of Otters in the Cotswolds. It’s a perfect solution. At least it should be …
There is a kind of inevitability about this book as you might expect. Whilst both Xander and Amelie are in relationships, neither seems to be the perfect fit for them, and there is no denying the spark between the pair. It’s not quite meet cute in the traditional sense, but you do get a feeling that the down to earth and nature obsessed Xander is far better a match for Amelie than her current partner, Decker. Likewise, Amelie, who with her love for her home and all the aspects of the countryside that were made so magical to her by her mother, seems a much better fit for Xander than his career driven partner Imogen.
This isn’t your traditional romance and if you’ve come looking for love’s young dream from the start, or maybe even a love hate kind of scenario, then this won’t be the book you’re expecting. There is romance, but it’s a slow burner which to me is always more believable than those sparks from the start, can’t keep their hands off each other stories. We see the friendship blossoming between Xander and Amelie first and foremost and it all grows from there.
There is fun, there is laughter, there are also scenes where I’d like to slap some of the characters. Decker for one. Slightly obsessed and very insecure. But to be honest I did occasionally get frustrated by Amelie. She’s more capable than she allows herself to believe, more self sufficient, if she only had the nerve to trust herself. She was too easily swayed by the others and at times I really wanted her to just stand up for herself rather than wait for others to save her. Even when it came to Xander she was too scared to say what she wanted and, as hypocritical as it seems saying it, she needed a good talking to from either he best friend, Rachel, or her uncle to go after what she wanted. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing an easy life, but it clearly wasn’t what was going to make her happy. And Xander was the perfect gentleman, not wanting to let others down. I did wonder if their story was every going to reach a climax.
Whether it does or not, you’ll have to read to find out. It’s probably not what you’re going to be expecting but it was a perfect way to end the story. Setting was key to this novel and Tilly Tennant has managed to set the scene so well that I could easily picture Amelie’s home, her village and the riverside setting in which all of the otter action takes place. They may be tricky little things, but I was as excited about the sitings as Amelie and Xander were, the author making those scenes really infectious. As a nature lover those scenes really worked for me.
A beautiful, hopeful tale about friendships, and finding yourself, with a little touch of added romance. I’ve not read many books by Tilly Tennant but I will most certainly be back for more.
About the Author
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop assistant, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and hasn’t stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor and part-time lecturer.
Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her fifteenth Tilly Tennant novel. Christmas bestseller A Very Vintage Christmas has just been made into a movie for Lifetime Channel.
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