Thursday 21 September 2023

Guest Review: In From the Cold by Sarah Bennett

On the day of his father’s funeral, Ben’s life changes forever when a woman he’s never met shows up claiming to be his sister. As he investigates the past, Ben is shaken to discover that much of his life has been built on a carefully constructed foundation of his father’s lies. Needing answers, he agrees to visit Juniper Meadows, the ancestral estate owned and run by his long-lost relatives, the Travers family.

Arriving in the pretty Cotswolds countryside, the first person Ben meets is Amelia Riley. They are immediately drawn to one another, but Amelia has her own complicated ties to the Travers family. Her only goal is to set the past to rights so she can move on with a clean conscience.

As Ben starts to see the events of his childhood more clearly, he allows the warmth and fun he finds at Juniper Meadows to draw him in from the cold. But just as he’s contemplating setting down roots, Amelia is making plans to leave…

Review: This is Book 2 in the Juniper Meadows series from this author. As with book 1, the story features the Cotswolds estate belonging to the Travers family who have turned to main house into a hotel and spa, the extended family living in the farmhouse or elsewhere in the grounds. I often say that a book can be read as a standalone even when part of a series, but in this case I would recommend that you read the first in the series (Where We Belong) before reading this one to get complete enjoyment from the story. After reading the first book, I eagerly awaited the release of this one to find out what was happening in the lives of the main characters. The story continued to captivate me, and I read this book in the space of 24 hours. 

This story features Ben Lawson, who discovers on the day of his father’s funeral that he has a whole family he knew nothing about. Totally shocked by the secrets and lies that his father kept from him, he decides to travel to the Juniper Meadows estate to investigate the situation and meet his mother, who he has believed dead all his life, and his sister, Hope. Unwilling at first to believe the extent to which he has been fooled by his father, he soon falls under the spell of the Travers family and even begins to see a way forward in his life and how he can follow his dreams. He also meets Hope’s friend, Amelia Riley, another person struggling to come to terms with the actions of her father. Just as it seems he may form a relationship with her, she is planning to escape from her past. Can they get together and find love at Juniper Meadows?

I think this series may be my favourite from Sarah Bennett. The romantic stories have had me completely spellbound and I wouldn’t fail to recommend them to other readers. This one definitely lives up to its description of being heart-warming and uplifting. Ben’s story is certainly emotional; it is difficult to imagine how you would react to the discoveries he made. The amazing Travers family were just the people to envelop him like a warm blanket and bring him in from the cold. The family is made up of such interesting characters with amazing back stories. I would love to visit the estate and meet them all, never mind stay at the luxurious hotel. 

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