The Country Escape by Jane Lovering
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?
I absolutely adored Katie's character, particularly her wry humour. Some of the things she thought/said had me chuckling out loud, especially when it was about Poppy. Which brings me rather nicely to the author's rather accurate depiction of a teenage girl: I found myself nodding in agreement and rolling my eyes in equal measure.
What I also loved and found refreshing was Gabriel. He is no chest- thumping alpha male, and he is all the more gorgeous for it. It's about time male characters were written with more heart and less machismo and the author does a wonderful job.
Filled with individual and well-drawn characters, a sturdy plot and a realistic setting, this book is a darned good read.
About the Author
WINNER - ROMANTIC NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2012 with PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC (Choc Lit publishing), RoNA ROSE (NOVELLA OF THE YEAR) 2018 with CHRISTMAS AT THE LITTLE VILLAGE SCHOOL AND FANTASY ROMANTIC NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2019 with LIVING IN THE PAST
Jane was, presumably, born, although everyone concerned denies all knowledge. However there is evidence that her early years were spent in Devon (she can still talk like a pirate under the right conditions) and of her subsequent removal to Yorkshire under a sack and sedation.
She now lives in North Yorkshire, where she writes romantic comedies and labours under the tragic misapprehension that men are queueing up for her. Owing to a terrible outbreak of insanity she is the minder of an enormous ginger cat called Arthur and a training-averse terrier; she is also the owner of five practically grown-up children, and she has to spend considerable amounts of time in a darkened room as a result (of the animals, not the kids).
Jane's likes include marshmallows, the smell of cucumbers and the understairs cupboard, words beginning with B, and Doctor Who. She writes with her laptop balanced on her knees whilst lying on her bed, and her children have been brought up to believe that real food has a high carbon content. And a kind of amorphous shape.
Not unlike Jane herself, come to think of it.
She had some hobbies once, but she can't remember what they were. Ask her to show you how many marshmallows she can fit in her mouth at once, though, that might give you a clue. Go on, I dare you.
You can find out more about Jane ( should you wish to, of course) from her blog and website at http://www.janelovering.co.uk
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