Monday, February 6, 2017

Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt - Book Reviews & Giveaway

 

Book Review


Review by Suze

Ellie and her daughter Abby need a fresh start. When Ellie saw pictures of Wychwood-on-Lea she thought it would be the perfect place for them and it seems like she's right. They're the first tenants of Willoughby Close and move into a cute cottage where they both feel at home straight away. Ellie only has one wish and that is for Abby to make a friend. The bullying at her previous school got so bad Ellie wanted to take her daughter away from it and Ellie needs a break from her family. They don't have confidence in her and suffocate her with their worries and distrust. That's why she took a job at the university in Oxford, far away from her previous home, working at the history faculty.

Ellie gets a big shock even before she starts at her job, because instead of working for the general history department she has to be the personal assistant of Oliver, one of their professors, for a few months to help him finish his book. Oliver has a nephew, Tobias, who has a lot in common with Abby. Ellie thinks it will be good for her daughter to spend time with him. This means she sees Oliver outside of work as well. While they're still not completely comfortable around each other they try to be friends. With encouragement of Lady Stokely, the inhabitant of the large Willoughby Close house and Abby's second new friend, both Abby and Ellie are gaining confidence and maybe they will finally find what they wanted all along, a bit of happiness.
 
Ellie is a single mother. Her ex-husband couldn't keep a job and kept hurting her feelings. His personality might seem dazzling, but there's nothing substantial underneath. Ellie had Abby when she was still a teenager and she never had the chance to date. She and Oliver are awkward around each other and it takes them a long time to take the first steps to find out if they like each other and want to spend more time together. I found that incredibly endearing. Ellie is a sweet and fierce woman, which is a great combination. Unfortunately she's also insecure because she missed out on so much in life and doesn't have the experience. She doesn't walk away from a challenge though and I admired her spirit. Oliver is a kind man. He might not be a smooth talker, but he's honest and adorable. They are a wonderful pair and I couldn't wait to find out if they would get their chance together, which is why I read Meet Me at Willoughby Close in one sitting.

Kate Hewitt writes about several sensitive topics in an honest and empathic way. She doesn't overanalyze and tries to picture things exactly as they are. Abby's different because she reads a certain kind of books and that's why she stands out. Ellie is a young single mother and doesn't fit in with the 'perfect' mothers at Abby's school. Oliver is introverted and doesn't know how to behave in company. Lady Stokely lives on her own in a big, cold and a bit shabby house, which makes her a little eccentric. Tobias likes fantasy and playing games and is just as nerdy as his uncle. Nobody is perfect and every character has both good qualities and flaws, which made them all feel very real. I absolutely love that about the Willoughby Close series.

Kate Hewitt's writing flows easily. I love her gorgeous imagination, which comes to the surface in the setting she's chosen for her series and the thoughts and wishes of the main characters. Both of these things put a big smile on my face. I fell in love with Willoughby Close from the beginning and can't wait to read more about this fantastic unique place. Kate Hewitt's books are special and that's exactly what I like about them.

Advice

Meet Me at Willoughby Close is the second book in a series, but both books can easily be read as standalones. They're perfect for readers who love cute countryside villages and endearing love stories.
 
Review by Anniek

Ellie and her daughter Abby are moving to Wychwood-on-Lea. Ellie broke up with Abby's deadbeat father, who bought a one way ticket to Australia. With nobody holding her back anymore Ellie needs a fresh start. The fact that Abby is having a rough time at school made the decision to move away even easier. Ellie found a job at the History department and she found a nice looking cottage where they can live together with Marmite, their dog. Ellie and Abby only took the necessary things that fit into their car, like clothes and books, with them and the rest will be bought in time.

Oliver is a professor who works for the History department. His PA suddenly had to quit her job because her sister had a stroke. This left Oliver in a tight spot. He's writing a book about children in the Victorian era and he needs an assistant. When Ellie walks into his office, he's wondering if she'll do well. Oliver didn't expect Ellie to look so good and he's a little thrown by her appearance. He has enough on his plate already with his sister, Jemima, who is struggling after her ex-husband committed suicide and he's trying to be there for his nephew Tobias.

Ellie is a true optimist. Even after everything that she went through she still looks on the bright side of life. Her family isn't helping much since they expect her to fail. I connected with Ellie straight away. She's so much stronger than she gives herself credit for. I admired her positive thinking and the way she looks at life. When she has to start at the university and is being asked to do another job than she expects, Ellie adjusts immediately and gets to work. Ellie became a mother at a young age but has always done everything in her power to be the best possible parent she can be for Abby. I loved how she and her daughter are a team and they clearly love each other very much.

Abby is such a great girl. She's only eleven but she feels like an old soul. She was bullied at her previous school and because of this she wants to be as invisible as possible. Abby loves to read and thinks of herself as a nerd. I found her adorable and it warmed my heart when she found a kindred spirit in the old Lady Stokely. Lady Stokely, who is actually their landlord, makes Abby come out of her shell. Even with the age difference they connect on a deeper level.

Oliver grew up in a stiff family where children should not be seen or heard. He always felt like the odd one out. Oliver finds people difficult. He's a strong socializer. This results in awkward situations on various occasions. Oliver is adorable and I couldn't help but smile about his inner dialogue. He wants to say the right words and do the right things, but he ends up doing the exact opposite. I liked reading about his journey to cope with his feelings and the way he slowly manages to let Ellie in.

Willoughby Close is part of a small town and it sounds charming, welcoming and warm. I could easily picture myself living there. I would have loved to be Ellie and Abby's new neighbor. Meet Me at Willoughby Close is a heartwarming story about two different people who are so right for each other. Ellie and Oliver slowly opened up to one another and this made the story very believable and realistic. Kate Hewitt has an easy flowing writing style. I finished her story almost in one sitting. This is the first time I've read one of her books but she's already got me hooked. I can't resist coming back to Willoughby Close again and again.

Advice

Meet Me at Willoughby Close is perfect for lovers of small town romance and second chance love. The place feels magical and will warm you heart.

About Kate Hewitt


Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Links

You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

Giveaway


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive kindle copies of A Cotswold Christmas and Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.
 
UK only giveaway

Three lucky winners will receive a paperback copy of A Cotswold Christmas.

36 comments:

  1. this sounds like an adorable romance. liked your review.

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  2. Absolutely love the cover. If I saw it on the shelf, I would have to pick it up and read the info about it. Sounds a great read too.

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  3. Looks like a couple of Great Books. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  4. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover too.

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  5. Can't wait to read both of these books

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  6. Would love to read the Hartley-by-the-Sea series - love the Lake District! These look like just my kind of book!

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  7. These books sound great - exactly my kind of thing

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  8. Looks like fun! And another charming cover! Thank you for the contest!

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  9. I love cute countryside villages and love stories so I guess this kind of book is perfect for me

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  10. What a lovely book! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Are these holiday books?

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  12. Congratulations on your new novel, am sure it will be a great success

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  13. A great review on great books. After reading the review i would like to read one of these books

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  14. Two really informative and well considered reviews. I love Kate's books anyway so can't wait to read her new one.

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  15. I romanticize parts of England. I really get goose pimples knowing you live in the Cotswolds. Would love to visit the Lake District. I would like to read your book. My children were bullied. I was bullied. Hate bullies.

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  16. I would love to read these, they look like just the sort of books I enjoy

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  17. Sounds like a really easy read. Would love to relax somewhere reading it.

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  18. sounds like the kind of books i love

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  19. I like the interaction between Ellie and Abby. I have daughter-envy. I need a girl child in my so the relationship between will fill my empty heart.

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  20. Sounds like a beautiful book.Congratulations on your success

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  21. I must get back into reading more this sounds a good book

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  22. Your books sound like a great read x

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  23. Wonderful :) I especially like the sound of a Cotswolds Christmas :)

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  24. i love reading read over 20 books already 2017

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  25. These are great books, my wife loves them.

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  26. this sounds like a fb read
    i do enjoy a good book x

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