Thursday 4 July 2019

Guest Review: Hattie’s Home for Broken Hearts. A heart-warming laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by Tilly Tennant

Escape to the daisy-strewn windswept Dorset cliffs, to the donkey sanctuary at Sweet Briar Farm, where Hattie Rose is about to find, that in this world, the most unlikely opposites can sometimes attract …
Hattie was once thrilled to call the beautiful city of Paris her home. But when her heart is broken by her boyfriend and she loses her dream job, she bids farewell to the city of love and hurries home to Gillypuddle, a sleepy village on the Dorset coast. But as she returns home she finds her parents struggling to cope with a terrible family tragedy.
In a desperate search for a new start, Hattie takes a job at the donkey sanctuary nearby on Sweet Briar Farm where Jo, the taciturn owner, certainly loves her animals far more than humans. Hattie can’t help but fall in love with the donkeys (and the opportunity to get close to dreamy Canadian vet Seth) but Jo is harder to get to know and when she finds her boss sobbing in her sleep one stormy night, she knows that her new friend is hiding a dark secret.
And when handsome newspaper reporter Owen does some digging into Jo’s past he finds something that connects her to Hattie on a whole new level. Can Hattie trust what Owen says, especially when he seems intent on standing in the way of her blossoming romance with Seth? And can Hattie help Jo to start healing and the donkeys of Sweet Briar Farm?

Review: I have been a big fan of Tilly Tennant since the very first of her books that I read. I was delighted to see another new one in the offing and sat down to read it as soon as I could. This one has the most eye catching cover, with an idyllic country scene that just speaks of peace and quiet (apart from the occasional braying donkey sound).

Hattie Rose, the lady in the title, has returned home to the wonderfully named Dorset village of Gillypuddle after her job working for a fashion designer in Paris has gone wrong in a really spectacular way. In the time she was away, a local farm has been bought by Jo Flint, a somewhat mysterious woman who has made herself unpopular with the locals due to her brash manner and overall rudeness. When Hattie learns that Jo has homed some donkeys and is looking for help with her sanctuary, she decides to apply, even though her family and friends think she must have lost her mind. Living with Jo isn’t easy, but Hattie’s love for the donkeys and visits from the handsome young vet, Seth, go a long way to compensating for that. However, Hattie is keen to find out about Jo’s past and the dark secret she suspects is lurking there. When newspaper reporter, Owen, comes into Hattie’s life, will he uncover some of the mystery, and what effect will that have on Jo?

I thought that this was a truly moving story of unlikely friendships and the way in which animals can help to heal even the most damaged of human hearts, as evidenced by the marked contrast between Jo’s relationships with humans and with the donkeys. Although I might not have enjoyed living with the frosty Jo, I absolutely loved the setting and envied Hattie’s view of the sea from her bedroom window. Hattie herself had a troubled past, and I could understand her parents’ despair at her ever settling down. I found myself worried about her choice of men and wishing I could steer her in the right direction. All in all I would say that the book is an easy read and perfect for popping in the holiday luggage, the only problem being that you might be thinking of buying, or at the very least adopting, a donkey by the final page!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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