Something new and lovely for me on Being Anne today – I’m delighted to be hosting a great review by Louise Wykes as part of the blog tour for Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt. Louise tells me it’s a beautiful and heart-warming romance which she really enjoyed (as I added it to my wishlist…).
Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day….
When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas, but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favor to Juliet.
Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference.
I will be completely honest and say that the beautiful cover is the first thing that attracted me to this book. The colours are beautiful and the beautiful Labrador just won my heart completely. The cover does a great job of showing the reader what they can expect inside: a heart-warming story with plenty of canine characters to tug on your heart strings.
Lucy is from Boston, America but she has run away from her life and home to her half-sister in Hartley-by-the-Sea a village in the Western Lake District. Her half-sister Juliet, owns a B&B in the charming village and here Lucy hopes to spend the next four months trying to forget the humiliation and failed relationship she has left behind her in America.
However, Lucy’s welcome from Juliet is far from warm and when she meets her new, temporary boss, Alex Kincaid, it’s clear to Lucy that she will need to work hard to try and make a favourable impression in this rugged, yet beautiful part of the English countryside. Even the weather doesn’t live up to Lucy’s innocent dreams.
However it is shown that Lucy is nothing if not an eternal optimist and she goes about trying to impress both her new boss (who happens to be very attractive) and her half-sister Juliet even if they are complete polar opposites.
The chapters are alternately told between Lucy’s and Juliet’s points of view which builds the tension quite well although I felt as a reader I was closer to Lucy as she seemed to open up more than her more taciturn sister and the reader learns that both women have an extremely complicated relationship with their mother, Fiona which has a lasting effect on both women’s relationships.
This is a beautifully drawn, compassionate tale of two very different women who are thrown together in an unideal situation but learn how to live and love one another and navigate their own stormy romantic relationships too.
This was a warm and engaging read which I flew through and I hope that this is not the last we’ve seen of the beautiful village of Hartley-by-the-Sea. For pure escapism and warmth you won’t find a better read.
Thank you Louise – you’ll always be welcome back at Being Anne! If you’d like to see more of Louise and her reviews, do follow her on Twitter.
Meet the author
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 40 novels of women’s fiction and romance. She loves telling an emotional story in a variety of genres, and has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice. An American ex-pat, she lives in the Cotswolds of England with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can follow her adventures in village life on her blog, A Cumbrian Life.
Kate also has a Facebook author page, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.