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23 April 2015

Review: 'It Started at Sunset Cottage' by Bella Osborne (2015)

Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancé. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?

As soon as I saw the book cover for Bella Osborne's debut novel 'It Started at Sunset Cottage', I fell in love with it. It's gorgeous and I love everything about it: the pink frame around it, the font, the little flowers, the colours... I also think the title promises a great story, so I definitely couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the novel, which was released in February 2015 by HarperImpulse. So, lucky lucky me when I received a review copy of the book through NetGalley! Last week I finally found the time to sit down with it and couldn't wait to dive into Kate's story!

Kate Marshall has had a rough two years since she lost her beloved fiance. Since then she has been hiding away from the world, spending all her time writing, which wasn't too difficult to do as an author. However, one of her novels is going to be turned into a film and this seems like the right time for Kate to finally step back into the real world. In order to turn her novel into an actual screenplay, Kate is invited on a trip to the Cotswolds for a stay at Sunset Cottage. To her surprise, she is joined by famous actor Timothy Calder, who will play the leading role in the film and is hiding away from the paparazzi. Kate and Timothy develop a friendship, but how will things turn out when they get back to the real world? 

'It Started at Sunset Cottage' is Bella Osborne's debut novel and it's definitely a promising start which has already made me curious to read more of her writing. The book has an enjoyable storyline and quite a large group of characters at its core. There's main protagonist Kate Marshall, who has lost her fiance and is trying to move on; her best friend Sarah, a single mum to cute four-year-old Amy who is still dealing with her horrible ex-husband who keeps harassing her; Andy, the brother of Kate's deceased fiance and the guy who always looks out for Kate and Sarah; and there's Timothy Calder, the world-famous actor who is known as a playboy but might there be more to him than just that? I really enjoyed the various story lines and experiencing the story from different POV's. 

I easily warmed to both Kate and Sarah, and I was intrigued by their stories. However, I do have to admit I kind of missed the spark between Kate and Timothy, which forms part of the romance element in the novel. I just didn't really feel like we got to know Timothy as a character, which was a shame. I would not describe the book as just a romance read; it also has some mystery and intrigue, and this makes the book suitable for all kinds of readers. Overall, 'It Started at Sunset Cottage' is a light-hearted and enjoyable read, and a promising debut by Bella Osborne. I have a feeling we will get to hear more from her in the future and I'm already looking forward to it!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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