The Cornish Village School - Breaking the Rules by Kitty Wilson **Blog Tour Review & Extract**


Today I have just the thing for a lovely June day- an extract from Kitty Wilson's The Cornish Village School - Breaking the Rules which was released on 11th June 2018 by Canelo. Before we get to it, you might like to find out a little about the story:



Rosy Winter is definitely not looking for love.


Following heartbreak, Rosy has rebuilt her life in the beautiful Cornish village of Penmenna. Now, headmistress of the local school, she is living by The Rule: no dating anyone in the village. Easy right? But Rosy Winter has a new neighbour, handsome gardener Matt.


In Penmenna for his new gardening TV show, this guy next door will do everything he can to persuade her to break her rule and win her heart. Meanwhile, Penmenna Village School is threatened with closure and it’s up to Rosy to rally the local community and #SaveOurSchool. Can she bring her worlds together and accept help from the most unlikely of sources? One thing’s for sure… she won’t be giving up without a fight.


This heartwarming romance is perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and A. L. Michael.

Extract (from Chapter 1)

 

‘Excuse me.’ Rosy used her firmest tone.

‘Yep, yep, just keep him for me until tomorrow… I know… look, I have to go.’ The man, with a voice so deep it jolted Rosy’s core, spun around to see her standing there and broke into a million-kilowatt smile. Rosy’s desperation to get back to her classroom and her fervid hopes of Rufus’s mother’s approval were suddenly blown to bits, completely forgotten. She smiled back so widely that her ears hurt and she sensed the warmth of a massive blush flush up her cheeks.

‘Hello.’

‘Hello,’ said Rosy, really aware of her face. And not quite sure what she was supposed to say next. Oh my goodness! Then she remembered how cross she was about her car being blocked in, and how, as she had learnt rather forcefully at nineteen, one did not trust men that exuded sex quite as blatantly as this. Damn her fickle soul! However, she still wasn’t actually speaking, just standing there. Like a lemon. But clearly not as sharp.

‘How can…’ Ravishing deep-voiced sex-radiating man, who she couldn’t help but notice had rather broad shoulders, paused and rapped his fingers on his forehead and then smiled even wider. ‘You’re from next door. And I’ve blocked your driveway. I’m so sorry, just give me a few minutes and I’ll move it.’

‘Um, I don’t have a few minutes.’ Rosy surprised herself at the slight snap of her tone, but she was frustrated both at her inability to articulate moments earlier and her shallowness in the face of equally superficial beauty. Particularly as she had thought she had learnt – aced – that lesson. ‘I have an appointment at work in ten, no five, minutes flat, please could you move it now? Like right now?’

Great, she had gone from mute to overly aggressive. No, no she hadn’t. She’d stood her ground. Her shoulders rose and a confident – sort of – smile returned to her face, the blushing gone.

‘Of course, I’ll go and get it done now, right now,’ he teased. 
‘It’s just there’s something magical about this place, isn’t there? Calming. It’s as if the sea breeze, and the history…’ He waved his arm at the cottages and widened its scope to take in the picture that lay before them: the houses almost layered on top of each other, the narrowness of the streets and their downwards tilt towards the sea. ‘…they seem to slow everything down.’

‘Well, yes, they do but…’

‘You wouldn’t believe how tricky it was getting through the lanes with this thing.’ Again he gestured but this time towards the van. ‘But with the windows open and the breeze whooshing in you kinda feel as if everything will just be OK. I had to stop at the top of the main road, by the turn off to Penmenna, at the brow of the hill that looks across the bay. I’d seen it before but still the beauty takes your breath away. It’s almost like a dragon resting his head between his paws, the shape of the peninsula, I mean. I don’t actually see dragons everywhere. I’m not that sort of person, but still it just struck me. I supposed you’re used to it, living here.’

Rosy was split in two; she was still in a hurry but never before had she heard anyone vocalize the sleeping dragon theory. It had always been how she described the shape of the promontory in her head. And that place at the brow of the hill – that was one of her absolute favourites, filling her with that safety-of-home feeling as she saw the fields rolling down gently to the coast. Of course, up close, the coastline was far more ragged than tranquil, jagged rocks and secret pathways leading to hidden coves and dangerous riptides. The sleeping dragon, serene from afar but perilous when explored.

‘I don’t think you ever get used to it. The beauty of the coastline still takes my breath away and I’ve been here years and years now. And time does seem to move slower down here. Whenever I visit anywhere else my head spins with the speed at which everything rushes past – I’ve got used to Cornish time, that’s for sure.’

‘And it’s not just the coastline – the whole county is like a different world, certainly different to the rest of the country, don’t you think? They say the light in St Ives is magical, but I think that the whole of Cornwall seems to have that magical sense to it, as if nothing can go wrong here; all your ills will be cured. You must think I’m being naive but really I just can’t believe I get to live here. And in this village, too. It’s so picturesque, postcard perfect, like someone envisioned the most idyllic place they could and pop, it appeared. I know I’m meant to be unpacking the van but I keep getting sidetracked. Every time I grab a box something else catches my eye and before I know it I’m just stood here staring at beauty. Oh, I’m sorry. You’re in some kind of mad rush and I’m banging on about scenery – I apologize.’

‘It is beautiful, and any other time I would be happy to chat but I’m just in such a hurry. I’m sorry.’

‘No, all my fault. I’ll move the van now, right now, promise. No more interruptions.’ And with a broad smile, and added eye sparkle, he wandered off towards the house. In the opposite direction of the lorry.

‘Wow! Really?’ Rosy muttered and ran her hands through her hair, shaking her head. She may as well just set up a camp bed right here and accept that Mrs Marksharp was going to be waiting all night. Clearly this removal man was a perfect fit for the Cornish pace of life.

‘I’m fetching the keys,’ said the removal man over his shoulder. His words hung heavy with amusement but were accompanied by a crashing tinkle as the rug he was carrying knocked a terracotta plant pot from her wall.

The dried-out earth and dead stick it had contained lay on the pavement between them, the baked clay spread into chunks and shards. Rosy just stared, eyebrows almost shooting from the top of her head and fighting to keep her hands off her hips, as the removal man knelt on the pavement and slowly swept it into a little pile with his hands, the rug now lying at his side.

She had kept the pot there on the wall for the last couple of years with the full intention of clearing it out and replanting something a little less dead. Probably this weekend. What was this man going to do next? Moving the van quickly didn’t seem to be on the agenda.

‘I’m sorry. I’ll sort it out properly in a moment. This really is not a great start, is it? But don’t you worry about it, I’ll have it as good as new before you can blink.’

‘Don’t worry about the pot, please could you just move the van?’ Desperation had replaced that fleeting misplaced spark of lust. ‘I’m going to go and wait in my car.’ Perhaps a final winsome smile would help. ‘Please, thank you. Please?’

‘Be right with you, promise.’ He beamed, moving with a bit more speed towards the cottage.

And Rosy headed back to her car to wait, wondering if she was ever going to make this meeting and really hoping that no one had noticed her stamp her foot.


My Thoughts
The first in a new series, The Cornish Village School seems to be an excellent opener with varied characters centred in the village of Penmenna. I found the description of life in the village school to be quite convincing and there is some lovely gentle humour from the children. Fighting to keep the school open, Rosy is quite a surprising character with lots of baggage from her past. Frank and honest, she has a feisty side which really makes her come alive.

I appreciated the fact that we are given the points of view of both Rosy and Matt. If you had only seen the story through Rosy's eyes, I think the reader would get a completely different impression on what was going on. Matt's sister is a totally over the top character but his care for her despite her very annoying and self-centred behaviour shows you his own caring and loyal nature. 

  With a beautiful setting and varied village life, it is an ideal holiday read and bodes well for the rest of the series.

In short: A heart-warming romance full of Cornish life.
     
About the Author 


Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom - and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.
You can follow Kitty here: Twitter 

Book links: Amazon UK | Kobo UK | Google Books UK 

Thanks to Kitty Wilson and Ellie Pilcher of Canelo for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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