“Spring is blooming at Meadowsweet nature reserve. Although the sunshine is drawing in the visitors like never before, events co-ordinator Abby knows she’s treading on thin ice. She’s spending more and more time with village newcomer Jack, and she’ll need to make a real success of the springtime camping extravaganza at the reserve if she’s to keep her disgruntled boss off her back.
Abby hasn’t thrown too many questions at Jack about his shadowy past – she’s enjoying the budding romance, so why break the spell? But when the secrets start spilling out and a glamorous blonde presenter from the nature show, Wild Wonders, turns Jack’s head, Abby knows it’s time to face the music…”
Part three of Cressida’s new four part serial and things are finally moving on between Abby and Jack – hurrah! Abby’s feelings for Jack have grown stronger along with mine as a reader, very cleverly managed by the author, and I am happy that Abby had finally managed to put her reservations aside and admit to herself how she feels.
However, there are still a few spanners to be thrown in the path of true love, as you would expect. Abby’s boss at the nature reserve is not happy that Abby is becoming distracted from her work as event co-ordinator, just when the reserve needs her most. Abby’s sister still has reservations about Jack and is not backward about sharing them, and Jack’s nemesis has come out of the woodwork to stir the pot and imply that Abby still does not have the full story about Jack’s troubled past.
I really enjoyed the camping weekend event that was organised at the reserve, and the first signs of thawing in the frosty Penelope, but the reserve’s situation seems to be coming ever more precarious and a sinister figure is now stalking the reserve to press the point home. We are left wondering if the reserve can be saved, what will be the fate of Swallowtail House and why is Flick Hunter hanging around? Is is because of Jack?
As a contrast to her wellie-clad work at the reserve, Abby attends a glamorous literary function with Jack as he tries to redeem his reputation in the literary world. This seems to be working until Eddie pops up, trying to scupper his chances and he draws Abby into his scheme to re-blacken Jack’s name. I wonder if Abby is prepared to be pulled out of her safe little world in Meadowsweet and into the spotlight, and whether Eddie will succeed in arousing further doubts in her mind about Jack.
Cressida does a great job of balancing the romance and tension and suspense in this instalment of the series, it was my favourite one of the series so far. We are fully immersed in the charming village of Meadowsweet and the travails of the reserve that they are as important to the reader as to the characters. At the same time, I am rooting for the romance of Abby and Jack.
My only problem with this book is that it was way too short and left on the cliffhanger of Jack finally revealing all of the details of his turbulent past. Will it be something Abby can live with? Will her sister’s doubts be allayed? What is the fate of Meadowsweet Reserve and Swallowtail House? Will Abby be able to do enough to save them? I am also sure that there is more to come from Flick Hunter and the presence of Wild Wonders at the rival Reston reserve.
Watch this space, the denouement is thankfully only a week away!
The House of Birds and Butterflies: Twilight Song is out now and you can buy a copy here. All four parts of The House of Birds and Butterflies will be released as a single paperback on 9 August 2018 and you can pre-order a copy here.
Thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for the copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
About the Author
Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David.
Cressy’s favourite things – other than writing – include terrifying ghost stories, lava lamps and romantic heroes, though not necessarily at the same time. (Though perhaps a good starting point for a story . . ?)
When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful and romantic Norfolk coastline.
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