#Review: Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #publicationday #BoldwoodBloggers

By | June 28, 2022

I’m really delighted today (actually I’m rather over the moon…!) to be helping launch the blog tour for the latest and much anticipated book from Jessica Redland, Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – the fifth book in her wonderful Hedgehog Hollow series – and sharing my publication day review. Published by Boldwood Books, it’s now available as an ebook (free via Kindle Unlimited), in paperback and as an audiobook. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).

The fifth book – and, although I’ve really enjoyed everything Jessica’s ever written (pop her name into my search bar, you’ll find many reviews!), I’ve absolutely loved this series. You’ll find my review here of the first book, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow; my review of the second, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is here. And a review of the third, Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow? Yes, of course – you’ll find that here. I am a bit mortified though to find that I never did share a review of the fourth, A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow, which I perhaps enjoyed most of all – it came out in January, when I’d decided to take a month’s break, and made the difficult decision not to write reviews for the books I’d read for the sheer joy of reading (so sorry, Jessica!). But normal service is now resumed, and I was particularly looking forward to Lauren’s story – she’s always been one of my favourite characters, and I’d so love her to have her happy ending…

Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue centre, she’s ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she?


Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.

Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-six years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can’t face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she’s dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.


Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing…

If you’ve been to Hedgehog Hollow before, you’ll know that Samantha and Josh finally tied the knot on the first anniversary of the sanctuary’s opening – a lovely occasion, surrounded by friends and family (some of them a rather lovely surprise). But for Lauren, who’s Josh’s aunt, it was more a shock than a surprise – she’d rather come round to the idea of becoming more than friends with Samantha’s dad Jonathan, but she discovered that he seemed rather more interested in rekindling things with his ex-wife Debs. And this latest book is primarily Lauren’s story – although it never loses focus on developments at the rescue centre or Josh and Sam’s future lives – as we dip into the sadnesses of her past through her less favoured childhood and her two failed marriages. The second one might just have been a mistake – but the first was to Shaun, the love of her life, her true North, and she’s never really recovered from her heartbreak when he inexplicably walked away twenty-six years ago. And just now her present day life isn’t going too well either. While Sam’s away on her honeymoon, and her sister’s too busy with her new life to listen, she finds herself facing other big changes in her life – along with the unexpected opportunity to discover what really happened all those years ago.

Lauren’s whole story moves into rather unexpected territory that might have been a challenge for a lesser author – and I must say that I thought she totally knocked it out of the park. The issues were really sensitively handled, the whole subject so well researched, and the emotional side particularly affecting. And another part of her story that I really loved was her fledgling relationship with new friend Riley – such a lovely guy (shame about his job…), and I loved the whole handling of the common ground they shared and the way he stepped up when the chips were down. I wonder if I might find myself a Riley at my local garden centre? Ah well, if not, I’d certainly take some white mice as consolation!

Of course, life goes on at the Hollow – there are hedgehog lives to save, and the friends and family step in to keep things running while Sam and Josh are in Tanzania on their honeymoon. And we get to travel with them, although their storyline perhaps becomes rather more about honesty and trust and coming to terms with fears for the future than their experiences in paradise. And just for the sake of balance, I think I must mention that their trip was the only part of the book that might have disappointed me just a teeny bit – I never really got a strong sense of place, and it all turned a little bit too angsty for me. But I did thoroughly enjoy the ongoing stories of all the other characters – and, do you know, I think I need to drop the word “characters” because they’re all real people to me, and I feel totally invested in the way their lives move on.

If you haven’t read the other books in this lovely series (and, if you haven’t, why on earth not?!), you might just find that there’s rather a large cast to get your head around and to understand their back stories and the relationships between them. Sometimes too, when you’re reading a series, it’s easy to forget what happened last time, however involved you were in everyone’s lives for as long as you were reading. Worry not – there’s a really useful list of the recurring characters at the start of the book for you to refer to, and a “story so far” to bring you back up to speed. In fact, it’s all so well done that some people might just like to try this one as a standalone – but you might feel you were missing out on the background a little, and why deny yourself the pleasure?

I’ve written the sixth and final book in my head already – I know whose stories I’d like to read the most, and which of them I’d really love to find their happy ending. This is just such a perfect series of books – and as I think this was the best so far (and very highly recommended by me), could I dare to hope that the sixth might be even better?

About the author

Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

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3 thoughts on “#Review: Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #publicationday #BoldwoodBloggers

  1. Jessica Redland Author

    Aw, Anne, it’s always such a joy to have you on the blog tour, particularly on the first day to kick things off on a high note. I did wonder if you’d had the opportunity to read book 4 so I’m delighted that you did get a chance and that you loved it. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about the story and my writing. It’s so flattering that you don’t view them as ‘characters’ now. Love that 🙂 x

    1. Anne Post author

      I’m there tomorrow, singing along to ELO as I drive – and whether or not I find my Riley, I do hope they’ll have some white mice! The reviews are always an absolute pleasure – your books are quite wonderful. Happy publication day… xxx

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