Author: Christie Barlow
Expected Publication: March 20th by One More Chapter
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Book Review
Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.
When Vet Rory Scott inherits ramshackle Clover Cottage in the quaint village of Heartcross, Allie MacDonald just knows this is their happy ever after. A place to call home with the man she loves – it’s her dream come true!
Until Rory drops a bombshell. He loves Allie but he has dreams of his own to follow – to live and work in Africa. Clover Cottage will have to wait just a little longer…
Clover Cottage is the third book in the Love Heart Lane series. It could be read as a stand alone, but much of the backstories and dynamics of the regular characters would be missed.
This story focusses on Rory and Allie. Rory is a vet in his father’s practice but feels constrained and frustrated by what he sees as his father’s old fashioned ways and reluctance to improve the quite small space. Allie, an amateur photographer, works in her parents’ pub and loves her life in the village, surrounded by those she loves.
Invited to Rory’s parents’ house, Allie and Rory are in turns dismayed, angry and elated by the news that Rory’s house in the village is being rented out and they have been gifted Clover Cottage by Rory’s parents. Allie is elated thinking that, although it needed a lot of work, the cottage would be their happy ever after home, perfect for them and with room for a larger veterinary practice. Rory isn’t convinced. He feels angry, seeing forcing a home on him as another measure of control.
Lives are turned upside down yet again when handsome Netflix TV star Zach Hudson, along with his Labrador, arrive in the village to record his new series featuring the Scottish Highlands. Zach is staying in one of Isla’s vans on the farm and is soon accepted into the gang of six friends. His proposed next trip throws up a dilemma for Rory as Zach offers him the chance to do something he has always dreamed of.
Rory and Allie are realistic and relatable characters. The confusion about the direction of their relationship is understandable and showcases the pitfalls of not talking things through properly. But it did give Allie pause to think perhaps new experiences weren’t something to be wary of and wonder what she might achieve in the future.
As with the previous books, I love the writing, the wonderfully described setting and the colourful characters that inhabit the village of Heartcross. There are a couple of side stories, one revelation and another poignant one that will affect Rory’s family. To offset the more sensitive and serious issues are scenes that bring smiles and laughter—a dog show with a surprise entrant and a day filming at the vet surgery. And as always, the emphasis is on family, friendship, community and love. I enjoyed the story very much and the ending was perfect.
Many thanks to Claire from One More Chapter for the invite to read Clover Cottage via NetGalley.
Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US
About the Author
Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.
Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.