Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Review: Heart of the Cotswolds by M.L. Buchman

Aaron Mason was injured in Afghanistan and has retreated to the tiny village of Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds of England. He's staying at a B&B and working as an apprentice to Trent, the local stone mason. He's mostly content until Jane Tully stumbles into the local pub, hiding from her sister's wedding. She kidnaps Aaron to go back with her and protect her from her sister Debbie, the definition of 'mean girl.' Jane's life is in a shambles; her almost-fiance and company have disappeared, and when Jane finds a storybook cottage, she decides to buy it and stay in the magical countryside of Gloucestershire. It helps that Aaron is working on a stone wall outside her door.
This is a gentle romance that gradually builds as two lonely people find each other. The secondary characters are interesting and add to the story. For me, the real star of the book was the wonderful descriptions of the English countryside. The Cotswolds really are beautiful, and the author captures that loveliness and weaves it into the story seamlessly.
I also like the concept of the series, that the B&B owners (and maybe the Earl) smooth the way for the couple in a Brigadoon-type fashion. The epilogue/preview indicates that the next book in the series will take place in Liguria, Italy, another romantic favorite place of mine. I can't wait.