Friday, 17 July 2015

Book Review - Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm by Rebecca Raisin

Amazon UK
Title: Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 17th July 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Maple sugar kisses
Lucy would do anything for her mom…but she never expected to end up promising to leave her. After her mom got sick, Lucy dropped everything to take care of her, working all hours in a greasy diner just to make ends meet and spending every spare moments she had by her mom’s hospital bedside.

Now, Lucy is faced with a whole year of living by her own rules, starting by taking the first bus out of town to anywhere...

Except she didn’t expect to find her next big adventure just around the corner! Especially when on her first day in town she bumps into grumpy, but oh-so-delicious Clay amidst the maple trees. Surrounded by the magic of Ashford, Lucy has the chance to change her life forever and finally discover a life she wants to live!

Fall in love with Ashford, Connecticut in this dazzling and beautiful romance from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin.

Around Christmas last year, I was lucky enough to win a copy of  Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe, at which point I decided to buy and read all of Rebecca Raisin's other books. Needless to say I loved every single one of them, and have been waiting for a new release for 6 months. 

Then a  few months ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to an afternoon tea with lots of fantastic book bloggers, as well as Rebecca Raisin, while she was visiting London. It was a brilliant afternoon, and one that I think part inspired me to think about book blogging seriously.  I had a lovely afternoon,  and it was such a pleasure meeting Rebecca, as well as follow Carina author Karen Aldous. 

Happy publication day Rebecca! Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm is out today.

Having waited for 6 months for this book to be released, the second I saw it available on Netgalley I jumped on requesting it, and started reading it the same evening. I had been a bit worried that it may not live up to my expectations, but my fears were eradicated within the first few pages. 

I was hooked on Secrets at Maple Farm almost instantly. The book starts on a serious note, and had a real depth and compassion to it, that I haven't seen in Rebecca's writing before. Lucy, has a sick mum with a long term illness who Lucy works incredibly hard in order to take care of. However after a few years of their lives being like this, Lucy's mum gets Lucy to make a promise...

.. to go on an adventure for 1 year, to jump on the first bus out of Detroit and start the adventure wherever it goes, and to stay away for a full year. Just one year for Lucy to live life to its full, without worrying about her mum. 

This journey takes her into Ashford, Conneticut, where the residents take her to their hearts immediately, and she some how manages to persuade moody Clay to let her be a farmers assistant on the Maple Syrup farm that he inherited. 

I was delighted to be back in Ashford, home of the Gingerbread Cafe. If I am coming across as a bit of a Rebecca Raisin fangirl, then I am sorry, but once you read some of her books, I'm sure you will see why. This can be read as a stand alone, and you don't need to have met all the recurring characters before, as the relevant back story is provided. However I will say it was wonderful to meet up with old friends including Sarah at the bookshop, CeeCee and Lil in the Cafe and just seeing how they have been progressing with their lives. 

The book title mentions secrets, and there were plenty of secrets to be revealed in this story. The majority of them I didn't guess at, or at least not until the last minute, and I think it was partly these secrets that added to the unputdownable nature of this book.. 

I knew from the first chapter, that I would be reading this in one sitting, as just didn't want to stop for any reason. Please do clear some time when you read this, so you can relax into the story and enjoy it fully. 

Lucy is a lovely character, she is desperate to try and do the right thing by everyone and its clear how much she loves her mum. Clay took a lot of getting used to, and I found I was warming to him, at about the same pace that Lucy was. He is a moody, reclusive man, and didn't like admiring he needed help. 

Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm, introduced me to a world of how to make maple syrup, as well as all the foods that you can put maple syrup into. Purely because the ladies of the Gingerbread Cafe, the food and baking descriptions will make you hungry as your read this, so make sure you have your snacks ready!

As I suspect you may be able to tell, I adored this book. It is a fantastic story by an exceptionally talented lady, and I am counting down the days until the next new Rebecca Raisin book is out.  

Thank you so much to Carina and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest review. 

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