I’m delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for The Lake House, Book 5 in the popular Love Heart Lane series by Christie Barlow. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend.
Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…
Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?
Although this is the fifth book in this series, you don’t need to have read any of the previous books in the series to be able to enjoy this one, it works perfectly well as a standalone. Although, I have to warn you that you will probably want to go back and read all the previous ones once you have finished this, so it could be dangerous for your bank balance!
At the beginning of the book, we meet Ella at the lowest ebb of her life. She has been betrayed and loses everything that is important to her, and has no idea what she is going to do with her life, until her best friend Callie swoops in and carries her off to the tiny village of Heartcross where Callie plans to help Ella get back on her feet. After all, Heartcross is a magical place.
This probably sounds very saccharine, especially if you are off a cynical disposition, but if you are a fan of light romances, I promise you that this book is heartwarming and absolutely full of charm, thanks to the skill of Christie’s writing. You won’t be able to help getting invested in Ella’s fate, and the goings on in Heartcross, especially once you get to know the other characters in the book.
Particularly Dolores. I absolutely loved Dolores. Christie has created someone so vivid and alive that she jumps off the page of the book and straight in to your imagination fully formed, and she is a total firecracker. She is one of those women that you hope you will turn in to when you get old, still full of life and joy and hope. I loved the way she is there to show Ella that there is so much for her to live for, even though she has been hurt and let down, and the end to her personal story really moved me. I had a tear in my eye at the culmination of her plot line.
Despite the fact that this is a light romance, Christie managed to create a lot of tension in the novel, because there were several ways that the story could have gone, although the main catalyst that began the book was actually the least fascinating mystery in the end. The story of Dolores, of how Ella integrates into the Heartcross community, the way she works to help them, whilst healing herself at the same time, and her friendship with Roman were all so wonderful and compelling that, by the time Ella’s old life rears it ugly head again, we barely care. We know Ella is better off where she is now, and we care more about her new life and her old. This is a joy of the book, we all develop and recover and move on just as Ella does, Christie really carries the reader along with the story.
This book was just the tonic that I needed to read after two very heavy, dark reads, dismal January weather and more tragic news. The real world is a bit of a crappy place to be at the moment, Heartcross is a much happier and warmer place to exist for a few hours. It is a place that really crawls under your skin and cheers you from the inside out. Pure escapism, which we all need a bit of at the moment. I have just downloaded Starcross Manor to my Kindle, I’m sure once you visit Heartcross, you’ll want to return too.
The Lake House is out now in ebook format and will be published as a paperback in April. You can buy a copy here.
Please do follow the rest of the tour for alternative reviews and other content:
About the Author
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.
Connect with Christie:
Facebook: Christie Barlow Author