What do you do when your best friend has an affair with the man to whom you’ve been married for twenty-five years? The father of your two children and the person you trusted with your heart? Not to mention the best years of your life …
Well, you pack your bags, grab half of the equity in the house you’ve both lovingly restored and run away to an idyllic little cottage in the country.
I suppose not having the cottage surveyed was the first mistake—buying with your heart, and not your head, isn’t the wisest move. The second was moving in six days before Christmas, the day the heavens decided to open and the rain just kept on coming.
Maddie Brooks grits her teeth and hires the highly recommended man who can, ex-soldier, Lewis Hart. As he rips out the very shabby and decidedly not-so-chic kitchen, reality sets in. Not only is he the most abrupt person she’s ever met, but the man is a Neanderthal!
As the flood waters rise, and the village is cut off, everything that could possibly go wrong, does. How bad can it get, Maddie asks herself? Well, that was before she found herself living with no central heating and no kitchen, and the man who can, as an unexpected house guest.
Hitting the big five-o two days before Christmas is the final straw. No presents, family, or friends—just Lewis Hart, who can’t leave because the flood has now cut off his exit. How on earth is she going to get through this and put her life back together?
Anyone who has ever renovated property will recognise the disasters waiting to happen as Maddie finds her ‘perfect’ country cottage. This story is so much more than an escape to the country; it’s more an escape from life and after her recent betrayals, who can blame her?
Traumatic change is difficult at any age but none more so, for a woman whose family has left the nest and who is let down by those whom she should expect loyalty and respect. I empathised with Maddie from the first page. This story is full of believable characters, vivid imagery and simmering passion; peppered with witty humour that is the perfect counterpoint to the Maddie’s poignant journey of self-discovery.
Maddie is an older heroine but despite her years, she is naive. It’s this inherent vulnerability that appeals to the men in her life. Her sons want her to forgive their father, without knowing the full story, her boss and long time friend Ryan, wants her to experience life in the fast lane and Lewis wants her to go away. Unfortunately for his sense of self preservation, she gets under his skin and makes him want to protect her too. Maddie draws deep on her emotional resources in this story and proves to be the strongest of them all.
‘A Cottage in the Country’, is a charming, heartfelt tale with a suitably romantic ending, which I loved, even though I was a little sad to say goodbye to Maddie and her dream cottage.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars