I am an unashamed fan of all things cosy - bubble baths with flickering candles and the radio turned down low, snuggling down into fresh clean bed linen (thunder and lightning outside, with rain beating against the window as delightful optional extras) and cosying up in a pub of an afternoon reading the paper. I think I now need to add 'curled up reading a new book by Rachael Lucas' to that list.
I first discovered Rachael Lucas through her blog - Tales From the Village - and her sloe gin recipe in fact, which I still need to try making myself. I've enjoyed reading along over the last few years and then cheering along via Twitter too as she began working on her first novel, Sealed with a Kiss (and the subsequent sealquel), which I loved, and on to eagerly anticipating her newest novel Coming Up Roses. I downloaded it to my Kindle app on Saturday morning and happily had a fairly free weekend in which to devour it.
The 'back of the book blurb' reads as follows:
Would-be gardener Daisy can't believe her luck when her parents announce they're off on a midlife-crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. After a turbulent few months, a spell of quiet in the countryside is just what she needs.
A shoulder to cry on wouldn't go amiss either - so when Daisy comes across Elaine and Jo, she breathes a sigh of relief. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own...
As Daisy wrestles the garden into something resembling order, her feelings for handsome Irishman George, begin to take root. But Daisy's heart's desire - her parents' garden - is under threat, and she is forced to confront nosy neighbours and fight greedy developers. Village life is turning out to be far from peaceful.
I really enjoyed discovering the village of Steeple St John and its residents, through the eyes of heartbroken Daisy as she brings her parents' garden back to its former glory and gradually gets more and more embroiled in village life. Daisy's friendship with Elaine and Jo is a lovingly well-drawn picture of supportive female friendship, and I hope we haven't seen the last of all of these characters - this little village could support a series of novels (hint hint!) There's romance aplenty too and I was rooting for Daisy to work out which chap to choose as soon as I did!
This gorgeously-written novel made me want to up-sticks and move to a little village, and get involved in a fete in some capacity, and it also made me pine for a garden of my very own. Until then though, I'll curl up with this story again and dream of my future cottage. Loved it!