Louise Gregory is happy enough living alone with her pets at rambling Lavender House in the New Forest, but her life is suddenly disrupted by an unexpected financial crisis and the appearance on her doorstep of her daughter Penny, with her two young children in tow. Thereafter Louise’s life turns upside down: a passer-by, Jack, knocks her off her bike but then comes to her rescue by offering to pay over the odds if she lets him stay; her sister Jane is suffering a mid-life crisis; Penny’s strong-minded mother-in-law, Maggie, arrives; and her home, once a haven of peace and quiet, descends into an hilarious, clamorous B&B. Despite herself, Louise is attracted to Jack, but, just as quickly as he had arrived, he disappears. Confused and irritated by her dysfunctional family and the feelings Jack has aroused, Lavender House stands as the only constant in Louise’s life, but then her peace is shattered once again. How can she trust a man she thought she knew? With characters who leap off the page and grab your heart, this story will leave you smiling.
Shona's review 4 of 5 stars
I read this book in a day, its quaint and quirky setting and characters hooked me in and I couldn't drag myself away until I had read every last word. This is the first time I have read anything by Crux (I believe it may be her debut novel), but I will definitely be keeping an eye open for her future works.
I loved the setting, and it wasn't hard to imagine myself sat in the summer garden of Lavender house, or curled up beside the autumnal fire in the with Louise, Jane, Peggy and Maggie for company.
This book is home to several women who are all related in some way and all come with their own story/drama.. but the story centres of Louise as she comes to terms with her dwindling finances and tries to build her B&B.
I was hoping for a sweet romance to round out the story, and while Jack really does come across as the perfect guy, for me, the actual romance factor was rather lacking.