Heartcross Castle

This book contains:

  • Domestic violence
    • Depicted
    • Talked about
    • Describes lasting impacts on the victim and their loved ones
  • Death of a loved one.

Grace is a domestic violence survivor who hasn’t been home to her family in over a decade. She has three sons and they’re her whole life. Everything she does is to give them the best chance at the best life possible.

Andrew is a Michelin Star chef who’s moved to Heartcross to start up Starcross Manor and continue his career as a famous chef. He’s never experienced life in the same way most people have. He’s lived a privileged life and everything he does and how he reacts to the situations he finds himself in show just how privileged his life has been.

Grace returns to Heartcross after more than a decade to a home that’s not the home she remembered. So much has changed but at the same time, some things haven’t. Even though she’s been given the best gift possible in that moment, there’s so much work she needs to do and she’s not sure she’s ready or able to do it. Even for her sons.

I’m loving the Love Heart Lane series so much!

In previous books we’d heard about the old man in the castle and the rumours of ghosts. I’d always wondered what his story is, it felt like there was more to tell. But I didn’t know what.

So having the opportunity to find out exactly what was going on, why, how etc. That was amazing.

Of course, the chickens provided a comedic relief you didn’t realise you needed until they popped up again right as you were wondering when they were about to make an appearance. (I promise that chicken comment will make total sense once you read it.)

After finishing this one, I was immediately looking up the next book. Even though they each follow different characters, it’s such a great ride following different issues and how they work through them that I really want the next one already!

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Love Heart Lane Box Set Promo

Christie Barlow has now released her first three books (with a bonus short story!) in a box set you can download straight to your Kindle!

Love Heart Lane

When Flick Simons returns to the cosy village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

Foxglove Farm

Isla and Drew Allaway appear to have the perfect life – a strong marriage, two beautiful children and their picture-perfect home, Foxglove Farm.
But, new mum Isla is struggling. When she discovers that Drew has been keeping secrets from her, Isla has to face losing the home they all love.

Clover Cottage

When Vet Rory Scott inherits ramshackle Clover Cottage in the quaint village of Heartcross, Allie MacDonald just knows this is their happy ever after. A place to call home with the man she loves – it’s her dream come true!
Until Rory drops a bombshell. He loves Allie but he has dreams of his own to follow – to live and work in Africa. Clover Cottage will have to wait just a little longer…

Plus an exclusive short story! Christmas at Heartcross Castle

Celebrate Christmas with all your favourite residents from Love Heart Lane – a short Christmas story not to be missed! Merry Christmas! X

About Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Primrose Park – Christie Barlow

This book contains:

  • suggestion of cheating on a wife
  • assault and attempted rape
  • health concerns during early stages of pregnancy
  • elder abuse.

Molly, who I’d always thought of as a side character in this series, is our main character. We know she’s a kind-hearted, generous vet based in Glensheil who’s single. She’s highly driven and successful in her business and is now looking into offering classes for difficult dogs.

Cam is someone we’ve never met before but quickly learn has history in Heartcross. He’s going through his own difficulties, if I tell you what they are it will ruin the story for you. But it’s definitely juicy!

Some side characters that help make the story what it is are Dixie and her dog Darling. Dixie has recently been put into a care home and so Molly ends up with Darling who isn’t much of a Darling. Let’s just say she makes some of the difficult dogs look well mannered!

Molly meets cute guy at a hotel, has a one-night stand and he ditches her before she wakes up in the morning.

Three months later when she’s just had her life turned upside down her mystery man (Cam) rocks up in the most unexpected way possible. He’s nothing like she remembers and is left coming to grips with her sudden change in circumstances, coordinating the village to successfully execute a miracle and figure out what’s happening with Cam.

I think there were a few aspects of this book that missed the mark in a way that I haven’t felt with Christie’s books before. One subject I’m particularly touchy on and I know the vast majority of people would say I’m overreacting while the other one I’d like to hope people would agree with me. Otherwise, the book flows in Christie’s normal balance of comedic moments and the sweet heartfelt connections that you can’t help but gush over. There were even a few times I was tearing up in sadness and happiness, just like you should if you were living those moments. That’s how real Christie made them feel!

The first one is the difficult dog’s stuff. I happen to own a particularly difficult dog and I can assure you; a weekend conference DOES NOT equip you to suddenly be able to say you’re a qualified dog trainer, ESPECIALLY for difficult dogs. There is SO MUCH I could say about this topic because I’ve been living the reality of this for the past 16 months, but this isn’t the time or place to go into those details. My dogs Instagram account is where I talk about that stuff.

The second area that missed the mark was the assault and attempted rape. Why was this not reported to the police? Especially given everything we know about the characters involved; I would have expected that to be reported. Just because the guy had been drinking doesn’t excuse the behaviour. And it did feel like maybe because he had been drinking it was “ok” for him to do that without getting into trouble with the law. We didn’t need to read the actual reporting, just a mention that it had happened would’ve been enough, so I’m quite surprised by that omission.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Lake House – Christie Barlow

This book contains:

  • a victim of a con-artist
  • teen alcohol addiction
  • death caused by alcohol overdose

This story follows Ella as she recovers from discovering she’s fallen victim to a con-artist as she moves to Heartcross. With no money, Ella is left with thousands of dollars of debt, no family, no friends and needing to get back onto her feet.

Roman, her love interest, is The Lakehouse water taxi driver. With a difficult past that slowly gets exposed as Ella gets to know him better, we understand why Roman is making the choices he is and why they’re so important to him.

Ella moves to Heartcross when her friend, Callie, organises for her to become a waitress at the newly opened restaurant, The Lakehouse, to help her recover from the debt her ex-con-artist-fiancé left her with. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets Dolores and Roman, along with all the other character’s we’ve gotten to know in Heartcross.

Before she even begins her first day of work, she learns the restaurant isn’t doing too well financially and if more bookings don’t start coming in soon it’ll need to close its doors again. Joining the Heartcross community spirit, Ella jumps in with a grand idea to showcase the venue and the community spirit and is immediately given free reign to make it happen within two weeks.

The story spends most of it’s time on Ella and Roman’s relationship, however Dolores is a large feature that helps them come together and grow to become the couple they end up being. Not to mention her own reunited love story.

I was surprised that neither of the characters in this were one’s we’d met before, but Christie makes it work so beautifully. For such a surprising installment in the series I absolutely loved it!

Christie has a theme in each book that she follows, and I’m glad she’s continued that in this book. I love how she makes it so real and continues to show the impact these themes have on not just the one’s who experienced it, but those around them.

I can’t wait to see what she brings next!

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of ten bestselling romantic comedies including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Starcross Manor – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, today we find out way back to Love Heart Lane and all the drama that seems to surround this one small village.

One of the things I love about Christie Barlow is that she doesn’t write about “regular” characters. We’ve had someone who can’t have kids, a marriage on the verge of collapse, a relationship going places (but not) and now, a woman turning 40 and yet to find love.

So few of the romances I read have a main character over 32. I think there needs to be greater representation of these women because there will be more and more women in this age group in the future who don’t need to be made to feel inadequate because they’ve put their career first.

Thank you, Christie, for making sure there are books like this available for when these girls are ready to read these stories. And I’m sure it won’t hurt anyone who currently reads romance!

In so many way’s it’s a standard romance done really well. Yet in subtle ways, there’s some things that make this book so amazing!

Those amazing parts are what really stuck with me and make me believe this is worth a read if you enjoy romance. It’s got an element of second chance romance, enemy’s to lovers and even some other trope I can’t even name!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Thursday I’ll be reviewing Losing Control by Rachael Stewart. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

Clover Cottage – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, I feel like my schedule is starting to normalise a little and get under control which is awesome. Especially because today we’re returning to Love Heart Lane.

Although the blurb gives a sense that Rory and Allie will get a happily ever after with the phrase “the place that will always bring them back to each other”; for a lot of this book I didn’t think that was going to happen. I got so caught up in the emotions that they were both experiencing in the moment that I forgot this is a romance.

We know romances always end up with a happily ever after. Yet Christie’s writing had me so involved and felt so life like that I totally forgot about it! In real life happily ever after’s don’t always happen. So it made sense that maybe it wasn’t going to happen this time either.

It’s not that common that a writer can get me so involved in a romance story that I forget it’s a book and not someone’s real life. Or am I just comparing that to Married at First Sight? (Yes, I watch it coz my partner loves it and its currently mid-way through the series.)

Either way. The troubles that Rory and Allie go through are so normal. Career changes, the progression of a relationship, living situations, family issues etc. Every couple will have gone through one of more of the issues which makes it so relatable. In a way it made me feel better about the times my partner and I have disagreements (so, like every weekend?) because every couple has those moments.

I loved getting caught up in the moment and being with them as they worked out their next steps while learning more about themselves and growing as people. They each had a valuable lesson to learn and they both learnt it and moved forwards with it. It was so amazing to read.

The only thing I didn’t really like about it was that it felt like there was one thing too many that they had to work through as a couple. When I got to it, I was like “I could see the set up for this, but really? ANOTHER thing for them to figure out?” It just felt like it was a tad too much and made me drop out of the story for a moment.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.

Foxglove Farm – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, we’re back into the world of romance. Yes, I know. I can’t stay away for long! Who knew being an adult automatically made me like romance?

I think I forgot between reading the blurb and starting this book that it wasn’t about Polly. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not 100% sure I did read the blurb… I may have just seen it was the sequel to Love Heart Lane and jumped on board.

After the initial shock and “damn I’ve been jibbed” feeling upon discovering that our couple for this book was in fact the married Isla and Drew. I jumped into reading to see what could be in store for them. And I can tell you it was quite an adventure!

I smashed this book out in about a day sitting by the fire while my partner finished his book. When he finished his book and wanted to put Netflix on I was like “ahhh… how’s about you put something on that you wanna watch so I can keep reading?” How sociable am I? For a Saturday night you’d think I’d put in more effort than that!

But no! Foxglove Farm was more important. Isla and Drew seemed to get hit with problem after problem and it was tearing their relationship apart. So much so that I was starting to wonder how this could possibly be a romance given the genre typically means a HEA is a requisite.

I mean, the only romances that haven’t ended with a HEA are ones where it’s one in a series following those two characters. I’ve never seen it with a stand alone or in a series where you swap characters every book.

By the time I got to the end of the book in bed on the Sunday morning (yea the partner slept through another like 2 hours of me reading) I felt emotionally relieved for Isla and Drew that their story was over. I mean WOW! Kudo’s for them for getting through all that given how societal “norms” almost broke up their marriage.

I loved the fact that Isla stuck by him even when she hated him because she knew him well enough to know more was going on. And I loved how blatantly Christie puts these issues out there. Mens health is something that’s definitely not talked about much (especially among the men I know) but it’s so important. I’m not sure about your own countries, but I know in Australia suicide is the leading cause of male death between the ages of 15 and 44.

That to me is a sobering fact and one we should all be working to fix by normalising talking about your emotions and everything that’s weighing down on you. I hope over time more writers will include this in ways that works towards normalising it. And I hope we all do our part to help normalise it for the men in our lives.

I’m sorry to end on a sad note but I really liked and appreciated Christie throwing this in and talking about. Even if she didn’t mean to make a statement it resonated with me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, after my June Wrap Up I will be reviewing Storms over Babylon by Jennifer Macaire. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.

Love Heart Lane – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of Second Chance at the Ranch as much as I enjoyed reading it.

I chose to participate in today’s Book Tour because it sounded like such a sweet and sad story that I just wanted to know what happened!

Story overview

Felicity starts this story waiting to speak to her manager to get some time off just after the new year. Given that she works in a department store, this is when sales are rife and it’s super busy.

Felicity’s dreading having to ask for time off since the new management isn’t people focused. Surprisingly, she manages to get time off, but only because her grandmother had just passed away.

Meanwhile, as the day continues we learn about her now ex-boyfriend. She’s kicked him out of her apartment and is mentally preparing for the trip to her Scottish hometown of Heartcross.

While Felicity travels home she’s wracked with heartache on account of Fergus, her childhood sweetheart. However, we don’t have long to wait to see what kid of reception she gets from him. Since she unexpectedly runs into him within hours of getting home in the middle of a blizzard.

Their greeting is even colder than Felicity imagined it might be. But then again, she did run away more than 8 years previously. And this it the first time they are seeing each other since then.


My thoughts

At this point, reading about how cold Fergus is towards Felicity. It had me wondering what she could possibly have done to him that was so awful that he held onto his grudge that long. Throughout the book I was wracking my brain to try and figure it out. In response to my patience I was slowly drip fed the answers I was starving for. And boy was I surprised!

I was treated to a lot of heartache, quite a few arguments, tension between friends, a runaway child, disaster and a community spirit that left me emotionally exhausted. With an ending that felt like it really brought the story together.

At times you can reach the end of a story and it feels like the author has rushed a relationship, just to get the happily ever after. But this one didn’t feel like that, which is great.

Instead, it felt like the natural progression of friendships that finished things off in the perfect way. Without being over the top JUST to get that happily every after. Because of this I’m super eager for the sequel Foxglove Farm to come out!


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Friday I will be reviewing The Earl’s Irresistible Challenge by Lara Temple.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

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