It’s an absolute delight today to join the blog tour and share my review of Escape to Giddywell Grange by the wonderful Kim Nash. Published by Hera Books on 18th September, it’s now available for kindle from Amazon, and also for Kobo and via iBooks. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).
So, did you read and enjoy Kim’s first book, Amazing Grace? I loved it – you’ll find my review here, and I had no hesitation in saying that it was one of the very best romance books I’ve read this year. I know producing an equally strong second book can be a challenge for many authors – but I’m delighted to report that Kim has a rare talent, and I think I might just have loved this book even more.
Maddy Young thought she had it all.
Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.
Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.
Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.
Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.
Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.
But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?
An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Katie Fforde.
A stylish flat, all the handbags and shoes she could ever want, a flash car – and with the promotion she’s worked so hard for within touching distance, Maddy’s life is pretty near all she’s ever wanted. But when her life unexpectedly falls apart, she realises what might just be missing – as well as having broken up with her partner, she’s pushed away her family and friends and her apparently perfect life is rather lonely and empty. With the encouragement of friend Beth, she begins to discover what might make her happy – a closer relationship with her mother, letting in other people and making their lives a little richer, and finding herself again. There are lots of slips along the way – uncomfortable moments to live through, times when she has her doubts that this new life is really for her – and I thoroughly enjoyed following her on her difficult journey.
Maddy is an engaging and relatable heroine, perhaps less likeable at the start because she’s rather lost her way – but I grew to love her, and particularly enjoyed her clear voice, her awkwardness in embracing the new direction her life takes, and the gentle humour that runs through the whole book. But every character is beautifully drawn – I particularly liked her relationship with her mother (the author has a particularly perfect touch with mothers…) and the surprises along the way, her recovered friendship with Beth, and all the other contacts she makes through her involvement with Growlers and her work with the library. And yes, even the dogs have well-drawn characters – I loved Baxter (and his owner when she first meets him), and so will everyone else. There’s a gentle simmering romance too – not totally central to the story, and in danger of being derailed when the past rears its head, but I really liked the way it was handled.
The whole book is gentle and filled with exceptional warmth and the loveliest fuzzy moments, and the author’s touch with the more difficult emotional content is absolutely assured too. The writing has an effortlessness about it, easy and comfortable to read, keeping you turning the pages: and the story is immensely engaging as Maddy slowly realises what’s really important – the memories you make and the people you meet – with friendship, support and self-love coming into clear focus. This really was a thoroughly lovely read – I enjoyed it very much, and recommend it to all.
About the author
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.
Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019: Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and was published on September 18th 2019.
Connect with Kim on Social Media here: