Review: 'Willow Cottage - Christmas Cheer' by Bella Osborne (2016)
Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.
When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…
A few months ago I got the chance to read and review the first part of Bella Osborne's latest book series, 'Willow Cottage' (click here to read my review). I had pretty high hopes for the series, mainly because I really enjoyed Bella's novel 'A Family Holiday' which I got to read last year. Today I've got my review of part two to share, 'Christmas Cheer', which is focused on the winter holiday season. I was really looking forward to checking in again with Beth and Leo and see how they were doing in Willow Cottage and whether the holidays had any surprises in store for them!
Sometimes you simply need an escape from your life, to start over, and that is exactly the case for Beth. Together with her young son Leo she has run away to the small Cotswold village of Dumbleford where she has bought a cottage via auction, ready to build up a new life for the two of them. However, Beth gets quite a shock when she first visits Willow Cottage, which turns out to be more of a renovation project than she initially thought. The inhabitants of the village also appear to be a peculiar group of people at first sight, but Beth is not afraid to take on a challenge and decides to go ahead and just make the best of it for both herself and Leo...
'Christmas Cheer' is the second instalment of Bella Osborne's 'Willow Cottage' series, of which each part focuses on a different season. I was really excited to check out this one because I love Christmas-themed books and I enjoyed the first part of the series and was curious to read more. By now, Beth is slowly settling in in Dumbleford and Leo is making friends and enjoying his time at school. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on Willow Cottage, though, but luckily Jack is there to help whenever Beth needs him. I quite enjoyed reading more about Beth, but also liked the fact that there was a focus on Carly, Beth's best friend, who is having some relationship troubles. This added a nice extra storyline to the read, which I enjoyed.
It took me a bit of time to get back into the story again, which is always the risk when a book is released in instalments. However, I quite quickly remembered what the story was about and loved being back in Dumbleford. I do have a slight feeling that, in the end, 'Willow Cottage' might be better as a full-length novel than a series of separate instalments, but we'll see! So far I am enjoying the series; 'Christmas Cheer' is another fun and interesting addition to the story, and I'm already curious to discover what's coming up in part three!