Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancé. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!
When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.
Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.
As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?
Thank you so much to Harper Impulse for approving me for a review copy on Netgalley.
It Started at Sunset Cottage is Bella Osborne’s debut novel, and I really think she is off to a great start. There’s a really delightful range of varied characters, and the story has a bit of everything – romance, humour, family, heartache, and even a little bit of mystery.
I enjoyed Sarah and Kate’s close relationship as they are both still recovering from heartaches of the past – Sarah from her vile ex, Shaun, and Kate from losing her fiancé, James. The secondary characters were excellent support in this story, and all thoroughly well written – I particularly loved Kate’s friend, Didi, and Sarah’s adorable little girl, Amy. Each character earned their right to be in the story.
Reading the blurb, you’d think the book would focus mainly on Kate & Tim, with Sarah as just the best friend character, but I very much thought the book was about both of them, in pretty much equal parts. This sometimes meant there was a lot going on, and sometimes it felt like I was focussed on two whole stories, but I think overall Bella did a good job at intertwining them well.
This is a well-written and charming tale, definitely a worthwhile read for the chick lit lover, and I will be looking forward to future works from Bella Osborne.