28 June 2015

eBook Review: Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

"Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Return to Bluebell Hill as an eBook now.

One of the most anticipated eBooks this year for me has been the debut novel from author and fellow blogger Rebecca Pugh. We have all been eagerly awaiting the release of this, for what has felt like months now, so when I was sent an ARC to review a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to get stuck in and read Rebecca's debut book. The cover itself, by publishers Carina, is gorgeous and definitely in keeping with the story of the book, and certainly made me want to read it, sure I would love what was inside. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. So without further ado, here's my review of Return to Bluebell Hill.

The story is based around the character of Jessica McAdams. She didn't have a very happy childhood growing up at Bluebell House, with her parents, but not too much detail is given here about why that was. She was pretty much raised by family friend Esme, and Jessica was keen to escape the village of Bluebell Hill as soon as she was able to. Now she lives and works in London, and thought she had left her past behind her. But when she receives some sad news, she knows she must return to her childhood home once more and perhaps lay her demons to rest for the final time. However, she doesn't count on bumping into Bluebell's house gardener Reuben, or reconnecting with the lovely Esme once more, and perhaps leaving home behind is harder than she had imagined...

I really liked Jessica from the beginning. I did wonder what had happened in her childhood to make her so miserable, she clearly didn't like thinking about her childhood memories and was clearly very uncomfortable at being back in Bluebell Hill once more. As the story progresses and we find out a little bit more about Jessica's family history, things start to make sense a bit more but I would have liked a little more detail regarding why Jessica had hated her childhood so much. It hasn't, however, followed her into adulthood, and she loves her dream job in publishing, and has a fabulous best friend who is very supportive - I would love to read more about those two together - they sound like they have a lot of fun!

Bluebell Hill sounded like a perfect place - with glorious bluebells dotted around, and the beautiful Bluebell House, you almost struggle to believe that Jessica would hate to return as much as she did - it sounded idyllic and you can see why Esme and Reuben loved living there so much. I loved picturing Bluebell House in my mind too, Rebecca really brings it alive with her words and the house sounded stunning. I could well imagine myself sat on the porch or in the garden amongst the beautiful plants, it sounded heavenly. I was desperate for Jessica to change her mind about getting rid of the house, it sounded too perfect to be rid of.

Reuben was a fantastic love interest for Jessica, and I enjoyed reading about him a lot! Rebecca really goes to town with her description of him - he sounds like quite a bit of a dreamboat and it's easy to see why Jessica gets swept away in her feelings for him, and tries to deny the spark between them. I really liked the inclusion of Esme too, you can really feel the love between her and Jessica, and no time apart could ruin their union, it was touching and I really liked this part of the story. Rebecca brings her characters to life so well. She keeps it focussed on a small yet lifelike group of characters that you can really care about, and want to read all about.

The pace of the book moves quite well, and I didn't find a lull in the book at all. I was keen to keep reading because there always something I wanted to find out, or read more about - mainly whether Jessica would be able to stick to her decision to sell her childhood home! I really did enjoy Rebcca Pugh's debut novel - she has a great voice for fiction, and her descriptive writing flows well, bringing to life everything on the page in your mind. At times, I felt it got a little bogged down in description where I felt some more conversation between the characters would have worked well, but that's really such a minor niggle! This is a fantastic debut, I can see why it was snapped up by Carina, and it makes me excited for a fresh new voice in women's fiction. I loved it, the perfect light-hearted summer read. Go read it!

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