Friday, 30 August 2019

Guest Review: Foxglove Farm by Christie Barlow

Return to Love Heart Lane for friendship, romance and a community who will be be there for you no matter what…
Isla and Drew Allaway appear to have the perfect life – a strong marriage, two beautiful children and their picture-perfect home, Foxglove Farm.

But, new mum Isla is struggling.  She loves her little family but with Drew working all hours on the farm, Isla’s lonely.

When she discovers that Drew has been keeping secrets from her, Isla has to face losing the home they all love.

Can the Love Heart Lane community pull together once more to help save Foxglove Farm?  And can Isla save her home…and her marriage?






Review: This is the second book in the Love Heart Lane series and Christie Barlow’s ninth book in all. This series is set in the fictional village of Heartcross in the Scottish highlands, one of my favourite areas to visit, and (not really a spoiler) this book features lovely cuddly alpacas, so it was a definite read for me. I found the story really pulled me in straight from the start and I finished it in quick time; I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

As the title suggests, the action here takes place mainly on Foxglove Farm, and revolves around its inhabitants, farmer Drew Allaway, his wife Isla and their sons Finn and Angus. Many other villagers are added into the mix, including Isla’s girlfriends, Drew’s farmhand and the local vet. Then there is Isla’s grandmother, Martha, a real character, whose tales add a touch of comedy to the story. As we join the Allaway family in this book, we find Isla beginning to wonder what has happened to her happy marriage. Why is Drew suddenly turning away from her? What she uncovers shocks her, but, with the help of family and friends she is sure that everything can be turned around. Surprisingly, Drew’s birthday present is at the heart of their salvation.

I have really enjoyed reading this book. It is really well written, with a balanced mix of romance, suspense, danger and fortitude. I have to admit to shedding a few tears. The village of Heartcross sounds the kind of place I would love to visit, with its tea shop, welcoming pub and wonderful sense of community. While the farm itself comes across as having an idyllic setting, the reader is left in no doubt of what a hard life it is to build and maintain a successful farming business. There is a great deal of commitment from all members of the family. While I was suspicious initially about what was going on with Drew, I admired Isla all the way through the book. She was far more patient and supportive of her husband than I think I could have been in the circumstances. All in all, I think that this is a really entertaining read that I can heartily recommend and that has left me eagerly waiting for the next book in this series.


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