Welcome to Love Heart Lane…
When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days.
The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.
When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too… (Goodreads)
What a charming, heart-warming read. Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow made me smitten with the charming village of Heartcross and its cosy, close-knit community vibes!
I read the second book, Foxglove Farm almost two years ago and was about to pick up the third book, Clover Cottage. But I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to pick up the first book instead – a decision which I am so glad to have made.
This is an emotional, enchanting story of love and second chances. The emotive, vibrant writing by Christie Barlow sucked me into the story and had me develop emotional attachments to its loveable characters. I absolutely adored every second and inch of the book.
Felicity Simons came back to her hometown, Heartcross with a great deal of trepidation and apprehension. She fled from home to London eight years ago after experiencing a devastating tragedy, but her grandmother’s death forced her back once again.
The person she was not ready to face was the man she truly and madly loved – Fergus Campbell. She left Heartcross despite Fergus’s heartfelt plea to stay; she wasn’t coping well and not be able to think things straight. She firmly believed leaving Heartcross was best for both of them.
Eight years of time didn’t do much to ease her pain – or erase her affection toward Fergus. It didn’t help much to heal Fergus’s emotional wound, either. He doesn’t even try to mask his displeasure about seeing her again, and flatly tells her to stay away from him, not wanting to have anything to do with her.
Eight years of time also left Felicity behind; while she was in London, most of her friends moved on and established their lives.
Will she be able to move on as well? and then a disaster strikes the village of Heartcross…
I have always had a soft spot for stories set in small towns or villages where everyone knows everyone. the strong sense of community was well-portrayed, the descriptions of Heartcross didn’t take long to win over my heart, had me completely enamoured.
I also enjoyed Felicity’s emotional growth during her stay in Heartcross.
When she fled to London, she was overcome with her own grief and sorrow, but coming back to Heartcross makes her recognise her feelings toward Fergus has never changed, and how much she actually loved her hometown.
She initially feels a bit out of place having witnessed how her friends had settled down while she was still struggling to let go of the past, but she gradually finds her place by taking on a role as a spokeswoman to represent Heartcross after the disaster, and she feels the villages start to accept her as a member of the community. The emotional transition was handled very well, and I thought the execution was spot-on.
Felicity’s character had me in two minds about her at first though. She came across as a bit ‘woe-is-me kind of type, dwelling on her own grief way too much.
I know where she is coming from; what she went through before fleeing from Heartcross must have been devastating. I can totally understand why she was so caught up in her world.
That said, however, I cannot deny that her rehashing Fergus’s moving on (more than once) annoyed me a bit. She left Fergus high and dry and forced him to cope with severe heartbreak. What would she expect? The pang of jealousy is understandable, but she could suck it up and face the consequence more graciously.
Regardless of my initial knee-jerk reaction to Felicity, I found myself rooting for her as the story develops. I liked that she has the strength and initiative to take matters into her hands, and she tries the hardest to regain Fergus’s trust once again. The way she gradually thaws Fergus’s heart and restores friendship made me grin from ear to ear so many times. I appreciated the author took her time brewing their story, not making it insta-love like. Overcoming heartbreak and regaining trust do take time. The slow-burn development of Felicity winning over Fergus’s trust lent the book authenticity, not to mention melting my heart.
I remember enjoying Foxglove Farm two years ago, and I am glad to report I enjoyed this first book even better, which stands to reason considering this is where a beautiful story of Heart Lane truly starts.
Each villager has their own luggage from the past, but each of them learns to let go of the past and move on, so does Felicity and Fergus.
Brilliant story of forgiveness, second chances, and family.
This book made me feel as though I were part of the community, and I cannot wait to read more from this Love Heart Lane series, to get to know its residence better and better.
Heart-squeezing 5 stars go to this book, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good close-knit community stories.
This is the 4th of my 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge.