I was so pleased to find out that Jane Lovering has a new book out as I’ve read and enjoyed so many of her previous novels. This is her first with Boldwood Books. One thing I love about her books is that there is always a lot of humour in them and this latest novel is no different. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the book and also have a short audio extract to share with you.
Following her divorce from Frenchman Luc, Katie has moved from London to a tiny cottage in the fabulously named Christmas Steepleton in Dorset. Some of the author’s other books (which I somehow haven’t read) have been set here but this is a standalone. I would imagine if you have read the previous books, you will recognise the setting and some of the other characters.
Katies’s teenage daughter Poppy is less than impressed at being taken away from her friends and city life. Harvest Cottage isn’t the cosy quaint cottage you might be imagining though. Oh no, this is a chilly place with dark small rooms, leaks in the ceiling and damp on the walls. In fact, when by chance Katie meets location scout Gabriel he declares it the ideal location to be the house of the serial killer in the TV show he is working on! In desperate need of money, she agrees to her cottage being used for filming. Add to the mix the fact that she has acquired a Romany caravan and a piebald pony called Patrick from their ill owner, Granny Mary, and the scene is set for the usual madcap fun I’ve come to expect from Jane Lovering.
There’s a little mystery from Katie’s past that she is keen to hide which adds another intriguing element to the story. The author dropped little clues every now and then as to what this might be and how it affects Katie’s attitude to life especially as a parent.
The other characters were a quirky bunch and great fun to meet. There’s Granny Mary who is a fantastic no nonsense character and whose Romany caravan is temporarily parked in Katie’s orchard. She’s definitely not a sweet little old lady, just says things straight. There’s Poppy’s friend Rory providing her first sweet taste of romance. Patrick is the horse who usually pulls Mary’s caravan and he is a fantastic addition to the story with some of the funniest scenes and a very dramatic one too. And then there’s Gabriel. What can I say about Gabriel? Such a sensitive character who also has issues from his past affecting the present, and an issue in the present which could well affect his future. And he’s gorgeous of course, totally gorgeous, one of those romantic leads which Jane Lovering does so well.
The Country Escape is set during my favourite season of Autumn so there’s plenty mist, cool mornings, brambles and falling leaves to keep me happy. Jane Lovering’s trademarks of humour and romance tinged with poignancy is apparent throughout. This is a lovely book to curl up with in front of the fire as the nights draw in.
Listen to a short audio extract from the book
My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for having me as part of the tour and to Boldwood Books for my review copy via Netgalley. The Country Escape is available now in ebook and audiobook formats. You can order a copy online here: The Country Escape
From the back of the book
Leaving London and her ex-husband Luc behind, Katie and her 14-year-old daughter Poppy move into their very own, very ramshackle cottage near the village of Christmas Steepleton on the Dorset coast.
Harvest Cottage has been unloved for many years, so the job of bringing it back to life is a slow and expensive one. So, with funds running low, Katie jumps at the chance when a film company asks to use the cottage as a location. But even as things are looking up, as harvest time passes and autumn chill starts to bite, the prospect of a cold winter in the country is daunting.
Some light relief comes from new friend Gabriel, so different from Katie’s exuberant but arrogant ex Luc. Will their friendship blossom into something more romantic, or will the reality of a tough country winter send her and Poppy scurrying back to the comforts of town?
About the author
Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.
Social Media Links
Twitter Profile: @janelovering
Facebook Profile: Jane Lovering Author
Website URL: www.janelovering.co.uk