Love Heart Lane – Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @HarperImpulse @rararesources

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Love Heart Lane was published on the 11th January 2019 by HarperImpulse.  Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via NetGalley for this review. 

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Love Heart Lane is the third Christie Barlow book I’ve read (follow the links to read my thoughts on The Cosy Canal Boat Dream and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm) and I LOVED it! I did have high expectations after my previous two reads and Love Heart Lane did not disappoint.

Love Heart Lane is the first in a new series which will be followed up by Foxglove Farm in June 2019. The book opens with Felicity returning to her home village of Heartcross with a degree of nervousness. For the past 8 years, Felicity has been living and working in London, trying to put Heartcross and her ex, Fergus, the back of her mind….nothing like a bit of denial to mend a broken heart – out of sight, out of mind! Felicity hasn’t returned home to Scotland as often as perhaps she should have done so she is soon full of remorse and guilt. However, it doesn’t take long for Felicity to reignite old friendships but not everyone is happy to see her. What doesn’t help matters is that she returns to Heartcross during some terrible weather conditions which means that the village is becoming cut off and everyone needs to pull together…not the best of situation when you are trying to avoid someone!

Right from the start I liked Felicity because she knows that she needs to return to Heartcross to support her mum but she is tentative about how she will be welcomed back by the villagers who she left unexpectedly and very abruptly. What can I say about Fergus, I loved him! – he is such a brilliant and realistic character, rugged with a heart of gold. At the start, unsurprisingly he was taken aback by Felicity’s return to the village and wasn’t particularly welcoming. As Felicity’s reasons for leaving Heartcross in the first place come to light, it is clear that both Felicity and Fergus are still carrying a lot of pain.

Now I was championing Felicity and Fergus right from the start because they are clearly perfect for one another. however it was never going to be plain sailing as whilst a lot has changed over the years, it is also as if time has stopped still…..so they have a lot to work through before they can have any sort of friendship let alone anything more.

Christie Barlow takes her reader on a wonderful journey with Love Heart Lane exploring themes of regret, guilt as well as community spirit. There are some truly heartwarming moments in this book but for me it was little Esme who stole the show. You can always rely on a child to bring out the best and worst in the other characters. The relationship she builds with Felicity is wonderful and helps Felicity to find herself in ways only an innocent child can do.

Love Heart Lane is a real page turner, I literally couldn’t get through it quick enough but also didn’t want it to end. I am absolutely thrilled that there is another book in the series as I am most definitely not ready to say goodbye to these characters. Christie Barlow is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and it is clear from the wonderful settings of her books and the well-developed characters that she completely puts her heart and soul into her stories. I am pleased that I have a few of Christie’s back catalogue to read and impatiently wait for Foxglove Farm.

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 and Love Heart Lane. 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 as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

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