It’s publication day today for Always By Your Side by Julia Haworth and I’m delighted to be sharing my review of this charming book. Congratulations to the author on publication of your debut novel. I hope you have a lovely day!
About the book
When school teacher Rose loses her dream job at a London primary school, her self-confidence takes a knock. Worse still, her stockbroker fiancé, Ollie, sees it as the perfect opportunity for her to join his firm, which only adds to the feelings Rose has that their relationship might be coming to an end.
An unexpected phone call, and an elderly aunt who’s taken a fall, means Rose must drop everything – including Ollie – and return to Blossom Heath, the Sussex village she grew up in.
With no job to rush home to, Rose decides to stay in Blossom Heath for the Summer, trading London for the idyllic countryside. Here Rose finds herself reconnecting to the village life of her childhood in more ways than one, including falling head-over-heels for local farmer, Jake.
So when her London life comes calling, Rose is faced with an impossible choice… to return to the high-pressure life of her past, or embrace the joy of a new life in the country.
Blossom Heath, Julie Haworth’s setting for Always By Your Side, sounds idyllic. A village with “winding country lanes, thatched cottages, a village green and a quaint little pub” is just what everyone imagines if they think of moving to the country perhaps. Great-Aunt Jean’s Jasmine Cottage, the last cottage down one of those narrow lanes, was a place of comfort and happy memories to Rose but was definitely in need of some TLC. Blossom Heath was a place where nothing stays secret for more than about thirty seconds! If Rose thought that she would experience a quieter pace of life there than she was used to in London, then she was wrong as there were some rather dramatic events.
An unexpected change for Rose came about when she temporarily took in an injured dog who she named Scout. I don’t have a dog but if I did, it would definitely be a collie. They seem such clever and loyal animals. I could quite understand how Rose got so attached to Scout, despite her best intentions.
Rose’s experiences in the village school reminded me of my days teaching (many years ago now) and how much I enjoyed working with young children. It was lovely getting to know the children of Butterfly class among with Rose.
And then there’s the local farmer Jake, a handsome man and so kind and caring! However, both Jake and Rose were involved in other relationships. The attraction between them was obvious and it was so clear they’d be a perfect match for each other. But with misunderstandings about those other relationships, it seemed that neither would ever have the courage to reveal how they really felt.
Always By Your Side is a heart-warming story of friendship, community and love. I really enjoyed this sweet, uplifting book, which had a feel-good ending worthy of any rom-com film.
Thanks to Sara-Jade at Simon & Schuster for sending me an e-copy of this book for review.
Always By Your Side is available now in digital format.
About the Author
Julie Haworth writes uplifting stories about friendship and community, bursting with romance and charm, from her home in the bustling city of Chelmsford, Essex. Her debut novel, Always By Your Side, is being published by Simon & Schuster in August 2022. Julie is still pinching herself that she’s realised her lifelong dream of becoming a published author!
When she’s not busy writing or running her copywriting business, Julie can mainly be found shopping, drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee and hanging out with her two rescue cats. Julie is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.
Julie loves to chat with her readers and you can find her on Twitter @jhaworthauthor or over on Instagram @juliehaworthauthor