Title: Heartcross Castle
Author: Christie Barlow
Publisher: 31st December 2021 by HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter
Pages: 347 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, chick lit, contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 cups
Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what
A second chance…
When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?
And a forever home
Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse, mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home.
Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?
He was a TV superstar and she was a down-to-earth, frazzled mother of three trying to make ends meet. Even though they lived in the same castle building, they were worlds apart.
The Love Heart Lane series by Christie is a sure fire way to put a smile on your dial. Even though part of a series (I have only read one other - no.4, this is no.7) they can certainly be read as a standalone. That being said, even from my one previous experience, it was like returning home to familiar faces and places.
From the outside the Castle seemed like a stunning piece of architecture that one could only dream of living in, yet inside it was a different story, one of sadness and a love that had been extinguished a long time ago.
This book particularly pulled at my heartstrings, so it would appear Christie is just getting better and better with this particular group of characters. On this occasion it’s a tale of second chances, being given the opportunity to start over. It is also very much about community, friendship and forgiveness.
Their relationship had been over for a very long time, and the only connection between them now was when his fist pounded her body.
This instalment is all about Grace and her three boys and their need to flee an abusive relationship - the youngest Billy, is selectively mute due to trauma (I say wiping a tear away as this little fella really pulls at one's heartstrings). Although it starts in this dark place, it quickly moves on through community support and the strength of Grace in seeking out a better life.
Taking her first steps back in Heartcross, of course Grace felt nervous. It was hard not to, knowing how people would react to her return.
Life is not easy even once arriving at the castle due to past hurts, current residents and the physical state of the castle itself. Still, it is a safe refuge for Grace and her boys as the latter start to thrive in this wonderful environment. Heartcross sounds like an idyllic place to visit, from the Scottish countryside to life in a small village. Christie develops the community spirit as they take in one of their own and help her get back on her feet.
She’d arrived a naive sixteen year old and had fallen in love with a man she thought would protect her against all odds - and hadn’t. That life was gone and the second she stepped on the train, she felt relief. After all these years, Grace Power was on her way home.
There will be surprises, fun and laughter (once the initial dark back story is complete) with an ending you know is coming but gosh the journey getting there was fun. This is a fabulous addition to the series with its heartwarming resolutions after quite a few tears. The characters in this series are people one would wish to know and to be part of such a community as a true home. This was just the book I was looking for, light and refreshing, with just the right amount of miscommunications with family and friends rallying to the cause to get me invested. A sweet book to spend a few hours escapism with - something we are all in need of.
There’s always good in any situation. You just have to look for it.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.