Hattie's Home for Broken Hearts by Tilly Tennant
Escape to the daisy-strewn windswept Dorset cliffs, to the donkey sanctuary at Sweet Briar Farm, where Hattie Rose is about to find, that in this world, the most unlikely opposites can sometimes attract … Hattie was once thrilled to call the beautiful city of Paris her home. But when her heart is broken by her boyfriend and she loses her dream job, she bids farewell to the city of love and hurries home to Gillypuddle, a sleepy village on the Dorset coast. But as she returns home she finds her parents struggling to cope with a terrible family tragedy. In a desperate search for a new start, Hattie takes a job at the donkey sanctuary nearby on Sweet Briar Farm where Jo, the taciturn owner, certainly loves her animals far more than humans. Hattie can’t help but fall in love with the donkeys (and the opportunity to get close to dreamy Canadian vet Seth) but Jo is harder to get to know and when she finds her boss sobbing in her sleep one stormy night, she knows that her new friend is hiding a dark secret. And when handsome newspaper reporter Owen does some digging into Jo’s past he finds something that connects her to Hattie on a whole new level. Can Hattie trust what Owen says, especially when he seems intent on standing in the way of her blossoming romance with Seth? And can Hattie help Jo to start healing and the donkeys of Sweet Briar Farm?
I'm a sucker for a donkey story and these gorgeous animals were the stars of the show, in my opinion - so much so, that I actually cried at one point (warning - you might want to have some tissues ready). To be honest, my sympathies for most of the book lay with Hattie's parents. Hattie seemed to lurch from one job opportunity to another, not seeming to settle on anything. I can see why they despaired of her. I can also see where Hattie was coming from, too, as she tried to find her way in the world. It's not often someone discovers what they want to do with their life straight off the bat. Hattie, however, does seem rather more fickle and flighty than most. I did like her, though, and was glad she found her calling. There were two love interests in Hattie's life, and I felt that one of them (the wrong one) was focussed on to the detriment of the other, which made the final get-together with Seth (hey, that's hardly a spoiler, now is it?) rather rushed. The story goes from a crisis which has nothing to do with the relationship between the pair, to a kind of epilogue where they are suddenly together and everything is rosy. I felt as though someone had fast-forwarded it to the last scene, and I'd missed a few vital ones along the way. Nevertheless, it's a gentle, heartwarming read with a suitable ahhh at the end.
About the Author
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, England, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire in the heart of England with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, 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, graduating in 2009. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them. Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe, The Man Who Can't Be Moved, the Mishaps in Millrise series and the Once Upon a Winter series. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture with the first book of her Honeybourne series out June 2016. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at www.tillytennant.com