Tom doesn’t need any more women in his life. He already has his hands full with his five year old daughter, an estranged wife who keeps blocking his efforts to get divorced and a mother who might be having an affair with the vicar. When Fran Mayhew turns up – years younger than him and with all the tact of a dinosaur with its backside on fire – she’s just another tricky person to deal with.
And what’s she doing in his remote part of Northumberland crawling around in graveyards anyway?
But soon Tom discovers that there’s more to Miss Mayhew than meets the eye – and it’s not just his heart he’s in danger of losing.
Many thanks to Quercus Publishing for a review copy of this book via NetGalley.
I have not read any of Hazel Osmond’s books before, but the illusive title and pretty cover drew me in, and I’m pleased to say the book did not disappoint.
My favourite part of books, generally speaking, are the characters; and it was impossible not to fall in love with the characters in this book. Fran Mayhew is indeed mysterious, which is quite amusing for a woman who is so very blunt and to the point. While that makes her sound like a hard character, she is anything but. She is sweet, kind and lovable, she simply lacks a filter and has a very no-nonsense attitude, which makes for some hilarious moments and a very enjoyable journey learning her mysteries as the story unfolds.
Tom is a sweet man, who is a wonderful father to young Hattie, but sometimes struggles with the responsibilities of being a single parent, a magazine Editor and trying to have his own life, which means he sometimes gets himself in a bit of sticky situation. The relationships he has with his family, primarily Hattie and his brother Rob, are absolutely lovely.
Hattie herself is just an absolute darling, and my favourite character of the book. A tomboy to boot with a childlike innocence and blunt way of seeing the world. Watching her trying to please her selfish cow of a mother – the one character who truly needed a good slap! – was heart breaking, and just made me want to give her a big squeeze.
There’s also Rob’s lovely wife Kath, and the boys’ hilarious mother who both have their own great stories within the book, as well as the other staff at the magazine.
Hazel has created a well-rounded and lovable cast of characters and a thoroughly enjoyable story, which I whole heartedly recommend.