Having so enjoyed The Summer of Going Topless (you’ll find my review here), I’m delighted today to join the blog tour and share my review of another lovely book from Liz Davies. The Cottage on Wildflower Lane was independently published on 14th February, and is now available for kindle (inc KU) and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for the advance reading e-copy.
Esther’s life isn’t perfect (whose is?) – but she’s happy enough living in her little flat with her boyfriend, Josh.
But that’s about to change.
Bored out of her mind in work, she wishes that something, anything, would happen to liven her life up.
Unfortunately, her wish comes true when Josh calls her from the airport to tell her he’s going to work in a bar in Spain, and she’s not invited. Esther is devastated, and her unhappiness is compounded when she discovers she can actually view the bar via a webcam link and watch him chatting up other girls.
But when she inadvertently clicks on a link to another webcam which shows a pretty cottage and the rather hunky man who lives in it, her interest is piqued and she wishes she could get to know him.
Wishes don’t really come true, though – do they…?
Esther’s relationship with Josh has never really been love’s young dream – he’s clearly a bit of a selfish git – but she could live with that, with the prospect of a white wedding and a happy ever after. She really wasn’t expecting to be dumped by a phone call from the airport as he heads off to work in a bar in Malaga.
Her life does rather lack excitement – her temp job at the bank is mind-numbingly boring, she doesn’t have much spare cash and has nothing to look forward to – and when she finds the bar in Malaga has a live webcam, she becomes just a tad obsessed with watching Josh having the time of his life (and rather rubbing her nose in it). But there are live webcams all over the place, and she stumbles across one focused on a man, living on his own in a beautiful cottage in the country, who seems totally unaware that anyone is watching.
She has well-meaning and supportive (well, mostly!) friends, she dips her toe into internet dating (with hilarious consequences), and then, by pure chance, manages to secure a permanent job at a garden design company based in a beautiful village a short drive away. She explores a little in her lunch breaks, finding the village a balm to her troubles – and then she spots an idyllic cottage that looks disturbingly familiar…
The story is just wonderful – distinctly quirky, depending on a quite bizarre series of coincidences, and the humour (that veers between the gentle and sheer slapstick) is perfectly judged. The romance at the book’s centre is simply perfect – full of stumbles, setbacks and misunderstandings – and really enhanced by the insights into the trials and tribulations in the life of her new love interest. The writing may be in the third person, but Esther’s “voice” is strong and clear, and I absolutely adored her – and alternated between wanting to give her a hug, cringe with embarrassment, and rage at the way she was sometimes treated.
I read this book in an afternoon, quite enthralled by it – such clever writing, and a great story that kept me thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. It’s definitely uplifting, unquestionably heart-warming, very different, full of love, and quite glorious – I recommend it really highly.
About the author
Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.