Review: 'A Summer of Secrets' by Alice Ross (2016)
Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.
Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?
Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…
Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?
One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!
A few weeks ago I was introduced to Alice Ross and her Countryside Dreams series when I got the chance to read and review 'An Autumn Affair' (click here to read my review). I ended up really enjoying the book and already looked forward to reading the second instalment of the series and more of Alice Ross' writing. Luckily I managed to get a review copy of 'A Summer of Secrets' via NetGalley (thanks to publisher Carina UK!) and I was really excited about reading it, hoping it would be just as good as or perhaps even better than the first part of the series!
'A Summer of Secrets' focuses on the lives of four different characters from the small town of Buttersley. Portia has come back to town to take care of the ancestral home now both of her parents are gone, but the question is: what to do with the crumbling estate? Rich seems to have it all, including a successful business and a lovely family, but all of this is turned upside down when certain past events catch up with him. Jenny has devoted her entire life to taking care of her mother, but slowly she discovers it might be her time to shine for a change. Joe is still coming to terms with the break-up with his ex Gina, but when she unexpectedly comes back into his life, he can't help but secretly hope this might be their second chance at happiness...
This is the second part of author Alice Ross' 'Countryside Dreams' series and I'm glad to say I loved this one just as much as the first instalment! 'A Summer of Secrets' is similar to 'An Autumn Affair' in the way that both stories are quite quick reads set in the small town of Buttersley and focus on several different characters and the things going on in their lives. Even though these stories are a lot shorter than a full-length novel, Alice Ross manages to portray some interesting in-depth characters and storylines that are linked together in an entertaining way. After the first few pages I was already intrigued and I just loved the fast pace of the novel and the constant switching from one character and storyline to another.
After having read these two first parts of the series I've really fallen in love with this little town and its inhabitants and I really like how all of them are connected to one another in a way. It was also great to have both male and female characters to focus on in this novel; it switched it up a bit. Once again, a great read by author Alice Ross and a great second instalment of the Countryside Dreams series, which I can recommend to anyone looking for a holiday read or their next women's fiction title!