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Review by Suze
Alice has never experienced what it's like to have stable home. When she was a child she lived with several foster families. She didn't get the chance to stay anywhere long enough to become part of something. When Alice suddenly becomes homeless, a woman she's met by chance, Ava, offers her a place to stay at her cottage in Willoughby Close. There Alice meets Lady Stokely, a proud and friendly old lady, who lives in the nearby manor. Lady Stokely is terminally ill and needs someone to stay with her. Alice has a few nursing diplomas and has enough experience to take care of her. The job comes with a living accommodation and Alice finally has the idea she might have found a place where she belongs.
Lady Stokely's nephew Henry loves her very much. However, he also thinks that means he can make decisions for his aunt and Alice threatens to lose everything she holds dear once more. Henry seems stiff, moody and bossy, but Alice soon discovers that there is a lot about him she doesn't know. What are Henry's secrets? Will he be ready one day to tell Alice more about himself or is he too closed off to give her a chance and will Alice find happiness at Willoughby Close just like the other inhabitants?
Marry Me at Willoughby Close is a wonderful story. I loved Alice from the start. She's kindhearted, but doesn't let people walk over her. She's young, but has so much life experience that she's wise beyond her years. I really enjoyed reading about her friendship with Lady Stokely, they have a deep an instant connection and Lady Stokely sees something in Alice, she'd be a good match for Henry. When he's arrogant she confronts him, even if it makes her scared, which is exactly what he needs. She also lets him be vulnerable at the rare moments he's willing to show some emotion. Henry is a good person, but he's hiding his true nature behind a facade that is difficult to see through. I loved the influence Henry and Alice have on each other. They slowly learn to confide in someone and with the help of Lady Stokely they even dare to open up a little, which was beautiful to read about.
Kate Hewitt has a lovely romantic writing style. She makes her stories come to life through equally vivid descriptions of people, places and emotions. That gives her stories a strong base that works every time. Every detail is exactly right and it's clear how much she cares about her characters, which makes it easy to feel close to them. They're never flawless, they have good and bad personality traits and that makes them realistic and accessible. I love Willoughby Close, it's a fantastic setting with amazing inhabitants and every time I read about it, it manages to warm my heart. I highly recommend Marry Me at Willoughby Close, it's a fantastic moving and enchanting story.
Review by Anniek
Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
After years of struggling things are finally looking up for Alice. She knows what it's like to be unwanted, but things are about to change now that she's met Ava. Ava has recently moved into cottage number 3 at Willoughby Close and understands the difficulties of having to start over with nothing but the clothes on your back. Alice isn't used to kindness, but has a connection with Ava from the beginning. Alice wants to be a nurse and has already got some qualifications. Lady Stokely, who lives in the manor close to Willoughby Close, needs someone to take care of her, which would be an ideal job for Alice. Lady Stokely hires the young woman and gives her a place to stay. Does Lady Stokely's nephew Henry, who's looking after his aunt whenever he has the time, agree with this decision? Will her stay at Willoughby Close bring Alice the happy ending she so desperately seeks?
Alice has been put down by people more than once, but she always clawed her way back to the top. She keeps on smiling and she still has a kind heart. Alice is very sweet to Lady Stokely and is going out of her way to make sure the old lady is comfortable. Alice is a survivor and I loved to read about all the positive things that are happening in her life. She argues a lot with Henry, who can be quite grumpy. Henry puts up an icy front to hide his wounded and frail heart. He doesn't have a likeable first appearance and I admired Alice for looking behind the mask that Henry always puts on, which made the story extra fascinating and incredibly romantic.
Marry Me at Willoughby Close is the last book in the Willoughby Close series. I fell in love with the cozy little countryside cottages ever since I read Meet Me at Willoughby Close. Kate Hewitt is a skilled writer and I wasn't having any trouble at all to picture Alice and the other characters living at the beautiful and warm Willoughby Close. The place is magical and I looked forward to reading about the amazing inhabitants that were introduced in the previous books once more. All of the cottages' residents feel like family and it warmed my heart to read about how close they've become to each other. I'm sad that this is the last story in this series, but it does bring closure in a gorgeous way. Marry Me at Willoughby Close is another gem by Kate Hewitt, it's a perfect ending of her wonderful series.
The Willoughby Close series is an excellent choice for readers who love countryside romance. The books can all be read as standalones. However, if you don't want to miss any details you should read the entire series and we'd recommend you to start with the first story, A Cotswold Christmas.
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. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt
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