Ever start a new job or work at a place where the environment is tense? This was that place... with a deadline.
Unfortunately the story fell short for me and the main character was hard to relate to and picture walking in her her shoes to complete her project. Because of this, the book was just not my favourite read.
Thank you to NetGalley, Jenny Kane and Aria for providing me with an eARC of this publication which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
I loved the idea of the manor house and the restoration of it so really enjoyed reading this story. The was a good mix of characters, some likeable some not, but there was definitely always going to be something going on and it would not be plain sailing to keep your interest.
This book was wonderful! Could not put down. First time reading this author and I really enjoyed this book. A new author to look forward too.
Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane
I had great expectations of this book but found it really hard going to get into.
Although reasonably well written I just felt the balance of the characters wasn’t quite there. The characters needed to be a little more forceful and others were a little too overpowering.
Had the makings of being a lovely feel good story. But sadly it didn’t stand up to the description. I found it dragged on and it was just uninteresting
Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life... and the interfering ex who won't leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor in Devon, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh.
An uplifting romantic read, Jenny Kane has writing a heart-warming tale readers won’t be able to resist: Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange.
Thea Thomas is desperate for a fresh start. She has an ex who simply will not leave her alone and a life she would love to leave behind, so when she gets the opportunity to head the restoration project at Mill Grange, a gorgeous Victorian manor in Somerset, she thinks that the stars have finally aligned. Thea is looking forward to a much-needed new beginning and to begin anew somewhere where she isn’t lumbered by all her old problems. But she quickly realizes that all her plans for a peaceful existence might just end up going awry…
On her arrival, Thea is shocked by a very hostile volunteer team who make it clear from the off that they will not be accepting new leadership. With the overbearing Mabel Hastings leading the troops, poor Thea realises that she’s going to have an uphill struggle on her hands. In desperate need of more volunteers and with a deadline she cannot miss looming ever closer, Thea is already at the end of her tether…and things are about to get even more complicated.
Not only does her ex turn up again, but Thea has to contend with a TV crew led by dashing celebrity historian Shawn Cowlson! More larger than life personalities is the last thing she needs, even if Shawn is certainly far easier on the eye than Mabel! As Thea finds herself juggling fiery tempers, less than welcoming volunteers, illicit attraction and her ex, will she manage to save Mill Grange? Or will all of Thea’s midsummer dreams be completely and utterly dashed?
Katie Fforde fans are going to adore Jenny Kane! Sparkling, addictive and wonderfully romantic, Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange is a funny, poignant and emotional tale with a delightful heroine, a gorgeous hero, plenty of eccentric characters and lots of wit, humour and charm to keep readers gleefully turning the pages.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to read and review this book.
After losing and replacing my broken Kindle and getting a new phone I was unable to download the title again for review as it was no longer available on Netgalley.
I’m really sorry about this and hope that it won’t affect you allowing me to read and review your titles in the future.
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
Found it tough to get into this story - it just didn't capture my fancy, unfortunately. The characters also felt either too bland or too over-the-top, with no middle ground and/or just measure. Loved the location and the manor itself, but the people proved not-sympathetic so the read didn't turn out interesting enough for me
What a delight this book was to read!. From beginning to end the story had me hooked. The ways in which Jenny brought the characters to life in this book was simply wonderful.... I could honestly sing this books praises for days, a definite must read.
this is such a sweet summer read. i'm really glad i read this one and got to read it earlier than everyone else. thanks netgalley for supporting me!!!
Thea Thomas is in need of a new challenge and a new setting. Her current job, whilst enjoyable, has become a little stale. She also seems to have the unwanted attentions of her ex-boyfriend who just cannot understand that they've broken up. When the opportunity presents itself for her to move out of Bath to head up a major restoration project at Mill Grange, Thea jumps at the chance.
With a tight deadline and a difficult group of volunteers led by Mable Hastings, Thea finds herself in need of some more help! Forced to broadcast a plea for help on the local news, Thea finds herself in the company of Shaun Cowlson, celebrity historian as well as John, the ex-boyfriend that she has been trying to get away from!
Whilst I did find Thea to be too mild-mannered (and regularly walked over by other stronger characters), I did warm to her as the novel progressed. What really drew me to this novel though was Mill Grange and its beautiful Exmoor setting. I am a big fan of buildings with historical significance - if the opportunity arose to volunteer at one to assist with restoration I'd be there like a shot! My views on a job like Thea's are certainly romantic though, and the description of her role brought me down with a bump - following her as she dealt with some many difficult characters whilst trying to achieve something amazing within a tight deadline would be enough to put anyone off but she persevered. I can't wait to revisit Mill Grange in Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange in September! I am more than happy to recommend this novel as a light, easy read - perfect for these warm summer evenings with a glass of something chilled!
This was a lovely book to escape into. I loved the idea of a restoration project in an old, historic house and how Thea rose to the challenge. The volunteers that are in this book are exactly the sort of volunteers you can imagine getting involved in a project such as this - all with a desire to help and their own stories to tell.
I won't give away any plots here but It is well worth a read.
I adore this series: it’s fun, surprisingly deep with a summery island feel, full of friendship, beaches, laughter and small-town hiccups. In this story we are meeting newcomer and children’s librarian Molly. After leaving Denver for Little Bridge, she was excited for a new start – she just didn’t expect it to be quite so ‘adventurous. Finding a newborn infant in the bathroom at the library while trying to wrangle a library full of cookie-decorating children, their parents and a teenaged boy who is doing everything to impress – it's not quite the best day. And then she meets the Sherriff. John has returned to Little Bridge after years away and a divorce- and leaving Miami and homicide for a quieter life on the island is better for him and his teen daughter Katie.
Instant sparks between Molly and John set off the inner voices, and lead to plenty of moments where emotions and old insecurities are first to come forward in their conversations. Aside from the mystery newborn, the mother is a question, and there is the matter of the consistent and random break ins. Of course, Molly is instantly siding with the mother and the child, and wanting John to leave his ‘investigator’ side in the car while he single-mindedly (at least to her) is determined to punish someone and find the mystery thief.
When you add in John’s daughter Katie, a high school girl on a dance team with an absent (and very non-nurturing mother), Molly’s second job at the local B&B, her new friendship with town benefactress and her little dog, and a teen who is doing everything to be noticed while Molly trying to be ‘understanding’ yet not allow her worries about the mystery house burglar override her interactions with either John or the teen, the story has SO many possibilities! John and Molly are adorable together, the town is quirky and nosey, the people alternate between helpful and overbearing, the story is a great fit for the quirky place, and the chemistry (and personalities) all meld together to make it a place that you’d love to visit, perhaps stay for a bit, and make lots of friends. Far more complex and emotionally deep than one would expect, this series has hit the right balance of fun, laughs and plausible connections that makes it a favorite series of mine.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Review first appeared at <a href=” https://wp.me/p3OmRo-aLT /” > <a> I am, Indeed </a>
This is a contemporary light-hearted romance with a charming location. The book has a lot of potential but I felt that it was bogged down with to much going on. I never felt connected to the main character.
Set in a manor house in Exmoor. Thea Thomas heads up a restoration team to renovate Mill Grange. She has escaped her interfering ex and is looking to start a new life. The characters are hilarious even though some are hesitant and Mabel is a revolution. There were some lovely descriptions of local landmarks that help the reader really get into the story. It is a heartwarming feel-good book and I really enjoyed it.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book xx
Oh this is lovely, lots of romance and some history too! It's more than just surface story though, Jenny Kane also tackles stalking and PTSD - both in very sensitive and careful ways.
The characters work well together, and there is a nice mix of humour and the more serious topics. I did find the two female characters having such similar names a little annoying, but that's just because I read very quickly and got them mixed up a few times!
Good storyline. great charcters, the story flowed really well, and it was a fun read. I sat and read this in the garden and it was a great way to while away an afternoon.
You are given two romances in this story and both slow burning threads are enjoyable to follow. The setting of a Manor House in Exmoor which is being renovated as a historical artefact, is the perfect background for the range of characters and I found the cast of volunteers to be a lively bunch. Mabel, of course, stands out and adds a touch of humour. You get to see the central characters' insecurities and fears. They are certainly well drawn.
The writing style is relaxed and easy to get into. With a level of suspense built in as to the fate of Mill Grange and the mystery behind John's behaviour, there is plenty to interest the reader. I also liked the details around the archaeological element and could absolutely visualise the beautiful Manor House and its grounds. The villagers add warmth to the story. This is the first in a series and I can see that there is much potential for future visits.
Thanks to the author for a copy of the book.
Well, I’m delighted to report that I’ve been right to spread the word about Jenny Kane’s books – I really should have tried one rather sooner! This book was thoroughly lovely, the perfect light summer read, and everything I wanted it to be.
The characters, I thought were excellent – I took to Thea from outset as she escaped to her fresh start at Mill Grange, understandably shaken by attentions of her distinctly creepy ex, feeling her way in a new job that’s rather a change of direction for her. I enjoyed her friendship with Tina too – another strong character, perhaps a tad superficial in many ways but with considerably more about her than it first appears.
The team of volunteers are all wonderfully drawn too – particularly Mabel with her high level of resentment and aroma of vinegar, but the glimpses of her home life and the way her character develops ensure that she’s never the caricature that she could so easily have become. The focus widens to take in characters from the wider surrounding community too, and that’s always something I rather enjoy.
I particularly liked the book’s setting – Mill Grange is vividly drawn, the details of its renovation, the impending opening celebrations and the question mark over its future driving the overarching story. The surroundings of Exmoor are well used too – there’s that really strong sense of place that I always look for and enjoy.
The romance elements are something I equally enjoyed – both romantic threads have their unexpected twists and turns, and both are entirely satisfying (and particularly heartwarming) in the way they’re resolved.
But there’s also a fair bit of well developed tension too – both over the future of Mill Grange and the dogged and determined pursuit by Thea’s increasingly sinister ex. And there’s one particular episode that had me on the edge of my seat, real danger particularly well handled and very well written.
And while I’m talking about the writing, I will mention how much I loved that too. The author has a style that’s very easy to read, comfortable to relax and disappear into – this was perfect summer reading, and most definitely recommended.
Even better, it’s the first in a three book series – the second book, Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange will follow on 10th September.
(Review copied to Amazon UK, but link not yet available)