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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

The School of Starting Over by Lisa Swift


Nell’s going back to school… but now she’s learning lessons of the heart

Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she had until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. But so what if the roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room? Because sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom… right?

Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever had. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…

At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is, until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will the secrets of Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?

Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…

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Ooh, I love a story with a school in it, and this one was full of the everyday life of it.

Ms Swift dropped some early hints that perhaps not all is as it seems in either Nell's life or Stevie's, and it was fascinating to read the plot lines unfolding, and interweaving. I did wonder if one of the characters was a bit on the stalkerish side when the major reveal took place, but my heart swiftly went out to the character concerned and Ms Swift expertly brought me back on-side again.

The story deals sympathetically with some quite emotional issues, the characters are rounded and well-developed, and grow throughout the book, and of course, there is a HEA. Actually, not one but two!

However, for me, the dog stole the show!

About the Author

Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents. Her first book is due to be published by Hera Books in August 2019.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.

Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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