Saturday, 7 October 2017

Book Review - Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage by Zara Stoneley

Amazon UK
Title: Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage
Author: Zara Stoneley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 22nd September 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Return to the charming little village of Langtry Meadows and cosy up by the fire with this gorgeous romance that will warm your heart…

As the lazy days of summer ebb away and the hedgerows fill with rich, plump blackberries, Lucy Jacobs couldn't be happier. She's feeling more and more at home in the small village of Langtry Meadows and has fallen in love with idyllic Jasmine cottage – not to mention gorgeous vet Charlie.

But just as Lucy is thinking about putting down roots like the blackberries that grow in her garden, Charlie's ex returns and threatens to put a thorn in their perfect life…

What a wonderful return to Langtry Meadows, home to Lucy, Charlie, Maisie, plus all the various members in the small village, such as Elsie, Jim, Sally, Jill and Matt who you may remember if you read the first book. 

This was such a calming book to read, although saying that it wasn’t without its drama too. There were whole sections where I couldn’t be parted from the story as I need to know who it would all turn out. 
I was also glad to see that it felt like some of the storylines that were introduced in the first book, were not only continued but resolved to a certain extent. Always a nice feeling to get some closure on longer running threads. 

This could though be read as a standalone, as you don’t need to have read book 1 to fully appreciate this book, however I know that I felt right at home back in Langtry Meadows within pages of starting Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage just from being in a familiar setting again. It almost certainly enhanced my enjoyment having read both books. 

There is plenty of story to keep you going, and it’s reasonably well paced, and takes in the Autumn term at Lucy’s school. We get to hear from the many young children she teaches which all have great things to say, plus there are animal antics all over this book. 

What struck me most was Maisie, she is 6 years old and is living with her father Charlie but clearly missing her mum. Charlie and Lucy’s relationship is at threat from Charlie’s soon to be ex-wife, and Maisie just is struggling. Later in the book Jim comes out with some absolute nuggets of wisdom, that I feel anyone in the same or similar situation should take not of. 

I loved Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage, with its warm cosy feel from the gorgeous cover, to the title, to the whole feel of the village. It’s a close knit community with an array of characters that each have distinct personalities and it was Elsie who was a standout for me. She is perhaps one of the oldest residents of the village, and has kept a huge secret over the years. Now although I worked it out partway through the book, it was still a touching moment when it was revealed. 

A thoroughly enjoyable book that I am delighted to have read. 

Thank you to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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