The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

A Spell in Provence

A Spell in Provence

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Find Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt


It's been a busy week for me on the blog! Today I am delighted to welcome talented author Kate Hewitt and her novel FIND ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE, which is part  of the Willoughby Close series but can be read as a standalone. I really enjoyed the story and you can find my review below. There is also a great giveaway at the bottom of this post, so don't miss out!




Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 14/03/2017

Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she's left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.
Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbour and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life--but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible...
Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts--but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.

My Review:

I must confess that I didn't Harriet very much at first. She lives in a dream house furnished and decorated by an interior designer. She spends money without ever looking at price tags, drives a huge four wheel drive, organises PTA fund-raising events, and ferries her children to after-school clubs every evening of the week. All she seems concerned about is appearances and fitting in with the other 'yummy mummies' of her beautiful Cotswolds village. When she finds out that her husband has been having telephone conversations at night with his sexy young secretary, that he was fired from his high-pressure job in London and that they have to drastically change their lifestyle, all she does is complain, wallow in self-pity and worry about keeping up appearances. She doesn't ask herself if she was in any way to blame for their marital or financial problems. 
And then I realised that Harriet doesn't like herself much either, or at least she doesn't like what she has become over the years. Once she and her three children move into their small cottage at Willoughby Close, and as they adapt to their new, smaller, shabbier surroundings, to the lack of money and life without Richard, Harriet starts to think back to the days when she and Richard first lived together - the days when they didn't have much money but shared plenty of love and laughter. Her outlook on herself, on her marriage and what is really important shifts and it's as if a new person - or rather the old Harriet - emerges.
Kate Hewitt's writing style is very lively and engaging. The author certainly knows how to bring her characters to life, and once I started reading I really wanted to find out how it would all end. I now would love to find out what happens to Harriet's neighbours at Willoughby Close, and I will be reading the other stories in the series.
Find Me at Willoughby Close is a an engaging journey of self-discovery, and reminds us that money, a beautiful country house and all the latest 'in' accessories aren't important, and in any case not more important than love and family.
EXTRACT

“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”

    The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.

She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets and kilims from various holidays, watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life. 

And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.

The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.

She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.

“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.

“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”

BUY LINKS





About the author:
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at http://www.kate-hewitt.com.







GIVEAWAY

1st Prize - £10 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize – a print copy of MEET ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE (book 1)
GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

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