Magnolia House is the name of the large Georgian townhouse in London which Rowan Forrester and her husband Tom buy after placing the winning bid in an auction. It seems like a dream come true. A beautiful new house, albeit one needing lots of work, very near to Tom’s sister and Rowan’s best friend Libby, a baby on the way and Rowan’s jewellery making business just about to get off the ground. In a flash though, everything goes horribly wrong and Rowan faces a very different life in Magnolia House to the one she imagined. As she adapts to these changes, she also has to be practical and opens up Magnolia House to flatmates. Little does she know what a huge impact they will have on her life.
Ah poor Rowan, you’d have to be awfully hard- hearted not to feel for her when life could not have been any crueller. She was dealt such a blow and my heart just went out to her. I can only imagine how I would have felt in her position. Thankfully she had good friends to gently encourage and support her through the worst of times. And rather bizarrely, due to an accident in France, she soon has her first housemate in the wonderful character of Mason, known as Ace. Ace was just brilliant and my favourite of the other characters. Flamboyant, eccentric and the owner of a second hand clothes shop, he provided so many colourful and funny moments in the book. Some of his lines had me snorting out loud! He must have been great fun to write about.
Rowan has to battle with her guilt when she starts to feel attracted to Ace’s handsome flatmate James. Although nothing can possibly happen between them – Ace is gay after all – Rowan can’t help but feel she is betraying her husband. Much though she loved her husband, she is still a young woman with hopes and dreams. There isn’t a manual for how you should act when life goes wrong and for what is acceptable and when. Just when Rowan seems to be getting her life back on track, the author has some surprises in store for her and they weren’t all pleasant ones. There were some twists that I certainly didn’t see coming at all.
This isn’t just a lighthearted read, with some deeper issues addressed through some of the other characters such as betrayal, infertility and depression. But it’s also a book about love, friendship and second chances. Angela Barton has created some wonderful characters who it is easy to care about. Magnolia House is a sweet, romantic read which is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.
My thanks to Liz at ChocLit for my review copy of this book. It will be published as an ebook on 29th January. You can order a copy for your e-reader from the publisher’s website: Magnolia House
From the back of the book
When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.
But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.
To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?
About the author
Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children and two spoilt spaniels she calls her ‘hairy daughters.’ Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela has won and also been shortlisted for several writing competitions. She reads avidly, makes book-related jewellery and loves a nice cup of tea. Having recently planted a field of lavender with her husband in south-west France, she is looking forward to spending more time writing in Charente and watching their lavender grow.
Angela is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Angela writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.