A Year at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn
When sisters Nessie and Sam inherit a little pub in a beautiful country village they jump at the chance to escape their messy lives and start afresh. But when they arrive at the Star and Sixpence, it's not quite what they imagined - it's pretty much derelict, ruined by debts, and it's going to be a huge job to get it up and running again. But they are determined to make the best of this new life and they set about making the pub the heart of the village once again. Their first year at the Star and Sixpence won't be easy, though nothing worth doing ever is.
But when the sisters' past comes back to haunt them, they start to think that the fresh start they needed is very far away indeed…
There are quite a few books in the Star and Sixpence series, and this is the start of them, combining (I think, although it is difficult to tell) several novellas in one - and there are others that follow on after this, too.
It's a fun book when read as a complete unit (not sure if the novellas work when read separately) - lots of will-they-won't-they, a fair bit of heartbreak, a nasty character or two, and all the joys of village life. There's romance, there's faux romance, there's a bit of leading down the garden path and there are a lot of ahh moments.
Although this is totally standalone and the main romance is wrapped up to my satisfaction, there are still some things that could be explored, and I believe that takes place in the next books - plus a a bit more.
About the Author
Holly Hepburn has wanted to write books for as long she can remember but she was too scared to try. One day she decided to be brave and dipped a toe into the bubble bath of romantic fiction with her first novella, Cupidity, and she's never looked back. She often tries to be funny to be funny, except for when faced with traffic wardens and border control staff. Her favourite things are making people smile and Aidan Turner.
She's tried many jobs over the years, from barmaid to market researcher and she even had a brief flirtation with modelling. These days she is mostly found writing.
She lives near London with her grey tabby cat, Portia. They both have an unhealthy obsession with Marmite.