Wednesday 6 January 2021

Guest Review: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it...?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas - a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow - her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfil Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline's, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it...

Review: I have only relatively recently discovered Jessica Redland’s books, but have devoured many of her stories set in the fictional Yorkshire coastal town of Whitsborough Bay. This current book moves away from that location inland to the Yorkshire Wolds with its stunning countryside, the seaside town still featuring in parts of the story. I was intrigued by the title of the book; as a lover of hedgehogs, I was interested to find what role these little animals would play in this story.

The central character in the book is nurse Samantha Wishaw. We meet her as she is attending the wedding of love of her life James to her cousin Chloe. Samantha’s home life is not very happy, as she is constantly rejected and belittled by her mother, although her father shows her great affection. When Samantha meets up with elderly Thomas, the grumpy owner of Hedgehog Hollow farm, she decides to take the widower under her wing and sets out to help restore the rundown property and the health of the old gentleman. As he thaws in the face of her kindness, he reveals the story of his life with wife Gwendoline and their plans to one day set up a hedgehog rescue centre at their farm. Samantha’s help and friendship are rewarded when Thomas bequeaths the farm to her on the proviso that she fulfils Gwendoline’s vision. Setting up the rescue centre brings her into contact with local vet Josh. After a rocky start, their relationship blossoms and it looks like romance could finally be in the air for Samantha.

I very much enjoyed and would recommend this story. There was a lot of heartache for Samantha at the beginning, but her strength of character carried her through. I found myself shedding a tear from time to time due to the situations she had to face. Later on in the book, it was revealed that Josh also had family problems that were causing him great anguish. However, both of them managed to stay positive. There were lots of interesting characters in the book, most of whom were likeable and friendly. I was puzzled by Samantha’s mother and her attitude to her daughter; I wonder if we will find out what is behind her behaviour in the sequel to this story. The book also contained some wonderful descriptions of the beautiful Yorkshire wolds and the setting of the farm. I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel.

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

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