Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: Escape to the Country by Alison Sherlock
Author: Alison Sherlock
Published: May 1st, 2018
This book is appropriately tagged as ‘a perfect feel-good read to escape with’ and I thoroughly endorse that. It is a heartwarming story of reconnecting with friends and family, unexpected opportunities and learning to open your heart to love.
Eleanor McCartney is dealt the double blow of being sacked and breaking up with her boyfriend, all within one day. I admit I didn’t really like Eleanor initially, but she definitely grew on me. She’d actually already had enough of her job as a journalist endeavouring to uncover the secrets of the rich and famous and, when she thinks about it, she’s not heartbroken to finish with her boyfriend- he was probably only using her to get access to the parties and venues her job enabled her to participate in. Time for her to head back home to her Mum – and all the animals! It is also a brilliant chance to reconnect with her childhood friends and the village of Cranley once more.
Also returning to the village is Sam Harris, the future Earl of Cranley and fiancé of Eleanor’s friend, Annie. He’s bringing Tom Kingsely with him to give the global pop star a chance to rest and recuperate after a gruelling six months on tour – and to give him the chance to escape the paparazzi. Is this too good an opportunity for Eleanor to miss? It would certainly be a scoop and give her the chance to regain her job. Would it be worth it – especially as she gets to know Tom and realises what her betrayal would men?
This is a story of sorting out your personal priorities, finding family and friendships and letting others know the truth about you. It has a whole range of great relatable characters and I throughly enjoyed learning about Willow Tree Hall, the future Duchess and Sam’s eccentric aunt who is a hilarious character! There’s even a stray dog to add to the mix. There are plenty of twists and turns, secrets to be revealed, a visit to the Glastonbury festival and even a village fete to be organised in this delightful read. I honestly hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I did and I’ll definitely be looking out for more by this author in future – my first move after reading this story was to purchase the first book in this series – A House to Mend a Broken Heart.
I requested and was given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
‘Everyone is running away from something – but will an escape to the countryside suit everyone? Full of warmth, laughter tears and heartache. Perfect for the fans Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews.
Journalist Eleanor McCartney leads a glamorous life in London exposing the sordid secrets of famous celebrities for Hot Gossip! magazine. But her perfect life is a sham. So when her world collapses, she has to reluctantly head home to her mum and friends in the quiet country village of Cranley.
Willow Tree Hall is still in the midst of extensive renovations under the careful eye of Eleanor’s best friend Annie and her fiancé, record producer and future Earl of Cranley, Sam Harris.
With a recording studio now in the grounds of the estate, it should be the perfect place for global singing sensation Tom Kingsley to hang out. But Tom is burnt out after a gruelling worldwide tour and is escaping the paparazzi after yet another scandal. Eleanor cannot believe her luck. A story on the world’s biggest superstar would be the ticket that gets her job and glamorous life back in London.
But soon both Eleanor and Tom begin to fall under the spell of Willow Tree Hall. Eleanor begins to wonder whether she can really betray his trust. And does she really want her old life back or is home really where the heart lies?
As a heatwave soars, friendships are made, truths are told and, with the help of a stray dog, perhaps love can be found as hearts are healed. By escaping to the country, maybe Eleanor and Tom have found their new beginning.