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Coming Home to Roseford Villas by Fay Keenan #Review

  Today we return to the series by Fay Keenan set in the Somerset village of Roseford. Coming Home to Roseford Villas was published by Boldwood Books on 12th April.   Aurora Henderson and Leo McKendrick were love’s young dream when they first dated as teenagers. But like many a first love, parents, life, and distance got in the way, and the couple lost touch. Now, twenty years later, Aurora – Rory to her friends – needs a break. Burnt out from her teaching career and longing to write a novel, Rory heads to the idyllic village of Roseford for a summer of writing and relaxation. Leo needs a change too. Ex-pat life in Australia has come to a sticky end so the opportunity to run his family’s B&B, Roseford Villas, for the summer is too good to turn down. Neither Rory nor Leo believe in fate, but when Leo opens the door to his latest guest, he might just have to reconsider. And when a sultry summer fills with nostalgia and memories and six weeks flies by too fast, love’s young

A Vicarage Wedding by Kate Hewitt ** Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway**

Today is my first stop on the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication of the third of Kate Hewitt's Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite series, A Vicarage Wedding. There is an excerpt to tempt you with today and a Giveaway- details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. First, a little about Rachel's story.

Rachel Holley has always dreamed of a wedding—the white dress, the fairy tale, and of course, the happily-ever-after. But when her fiancé breaks it off the night before, claiming she doesn’t love him, Rachel’s fairy tale ends in ashes.

Homeless, hopeless, and feeling like her life has been completely derailed, Rachel must start over in all sorts of ways—and hold her head up high in the fishbowl of her tiny village. The last person she expects to become a friend is Sam West, the taciturn owner of The Bell, Thornthwaite’s rougher pub, and a little rough around the edges of himself.

But as Rachel gets to know Sam, and sees him caring for his orphaned nephew, she finds herself drawn to this enigmatic man. Nothing about Sam is what Rachel expected in a life partner, and yet she can’t deny their increasing closeness. But can love flourish on the rebound? And will there be a vicarage wedding after all?

Extract- Chapter One

“We need to talk.”

    Playfully Rachel picked a bit of ribbon out of her fiancé Dan’s hair before she noticed his serious expression. The laughter welling in her chest was replaced by an all too familiar tightness…one she’d been trying to ignore these last few months, and mostly had.

    “Do we? About what? I hope you’re not changing your mind about the morning suit.” Pale grey with pink ascot tie, the morning suit was rather formal for St Stephen’s but Rachel had wanted the little girl fantasy of a Disney princess wedding, with all the OTT extras it entailed. Her own dress, with its lace overlay, full skirt, and sweeping train was certainly a match for Dan’s suit.

    “I’m not changing my mind about that.” His voice was heavy with emphasis, the implication being that he was changing his mind about something else, something big.

    Rachel stilled, her gaze sweeping over her fiancé’s face, noting for the first time the look of total misery swamping his hazel eyes—eyes that were usually glinting with good humour. He jammed his hands in the pockets of his trousers and hung his head. He looked guilty. Her stomach cramped.

    “What’s going on, Dan?”

    “Can we go somewhere private?”

    They were standing in the foyer of the vicarage—her family home since she’d been a toddler—having just finished the rehearsal in the church, with her father officiating, a tear already glinting in his eye. Everyone was heading over to The Winter Hare, Thornthwaite’s one bistro, for the rehearsal dinner, but Rachel had wanted to freshen up first and Dan had followed her back to the vicarage.

    “Somewhere private?” she echoed. “No one’s here.” The house echoed emptily around them, its familiar rooms suddenly feeling ominous…or was that just the awful look on Dan’s face? Why was he looking so miserable, when they were about to get married?

    “Please, Rachel.”

    “Fine.” She took a deep breath, trying not to show her irritation as well as her fear. Surely it couldn’t be as bad as all that? Dan was so reasonable, so eminently even-tempered. Surely it was nothing. Rachel pushed open the door to the vicarage’s sitting room and went inside. With its wide, floor-to-ceiling bay window, high ceilings, and ornate fireplace, it looked like something out of a Jane Austen drama on the BBC, and there had certainly been enough parishioners perched on the settee over the years, cups of tea balanced on their knees as they made chitchat with the vicar. Now the room was empty and silent, having been ruthlessly cleaned both for the wedding and her parents’ imminent move to China, where her father had accepted a ministry position.

    Rachel turned around and faced her fiancé of nearly six months.
“What is it, Dan? You aren’t…you aren’t getting cold feet, are you?” She tried to make it a joke and didn’t quite manage it.

    “I’m not getting cold feet.” Again with the emphasis, making Rachel feel both frustrated and fearful.

    “What are you trying to say?” She let out an impatient breath and stalked forward, plucking another piece of ribbon from his hair. At the rehearsal, her sisters had thrown handfuls of ribbons from her pretend bouquet all over them, everyone laughing, but it felt offensively ridiculous in this moment to talk about something serious while festooned with bits of pink satin.

    “Rachel…” Dan sighed and raked a hand through his hair, his slumped shoulders seeming to bear the weight of the world, and then only just. “This isn’t easy to say…”

    “Obviously.” She folded her arms, barely managing to keep from tapping her foot. Better to seem irritated than terrified, surely. At least it made her seem strong. “Just spit it out, Dan, please.”

    “The wedding’s off.” Rachel blinked. “What I mean is, I’m calling it off.”

    She blinked again, trying to absorb what he’d said. Even now, dazedly, she wondered if he was joking, but she knew from his face that he wasn’t. Still it felt too impossible to accept. The wedding was tomorrow.

    “What… Why…” She was too stunned to ask a question, or even to know what question to ask. “Why would you do this?” she finally said, framing the words with effort, each painful syllable costing her something. “How could you do this? Everything’s planned…” The church. The reception. Their house, their lovely house up on the fells, with its Lakeland stone exterior and huge fireplace, the views of Derwentwater glinting in the distance, waiting for them to move in and start living their happy life together. “How could you do this?” The cry was ripped from her, the words ringing out.

    “I’m sorry, Rachel.” Dan looked completely wretched, but also resolute. “I wish I’d had the guts to do it earlier, and save us both a lot of pain. I kept closing my eyes to the truth because I so, so wanted this to work out. I hope you believe that.”

    “I don’t know what I should believe. I can’t even think.” Her lips felt numb, everything in her buzzing. She pressed her hands to her pale cheeks, trying to formulate at least one coherent thought when her mind felt as if it were full of static. “Dan, there are fifty people waiting for us at The Winter Hare to celebrate our marriage tomorrow.”

    “I know.”

    “All my relatives are here…all your relatives…my dress…our honeymoon in France!” Her voice rose on a peal of despair as the realisations kept piling on top of one another, crowding each other out. All of it…everything…over. “We’re meant to be flying to Nice tomorrow night.”

    “I know, Rachel.”

    Even in the midst of her shock she caught a flicker of something almost like annoyance or even hurt in his eyes and she stilled, dropping her hands from her face. “Doesn’t any of that matter to you?”

    “Of course it does, but not, I think, as much as it matters to you.”

                                                                           About the Author

Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of many books of women's fiction and romance. Her latest releases are A Mother's Goodbye and A Vicarage Wedding. Under the name Katharine Swartz, she is the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read women's fiction, mystery and thrillers, and historical novels. 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 a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. 

You can read my reviews of the first two of Kate's Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite books here: A Vicarage Christmas| A Vicarage Reunion

You can follow Kate here: Website | Twitter 

Book links: Goodreads| Amazon UK 

Thanks to Kate Hewitt and Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours
for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Be sure to check back on 31st July for my second stop on the tour and read my review of A Vicarage Wedding.

Giveaway (International)

To win one paperback copy of A Vicarage Reunion just follow the link below and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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