*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Author Callie Logan never expected to swap her life in London for one in rural Suffolk but, after the breakdown of her marriage, she decides that a fresh start is just what she needs. Finding Owl Cottage in the tiny village of Newton St Clare, Callie determines to give up on love and throw herself into her work. But fate seems to have other ideas and she soon has two very different men vying for her attention.
First there’s Leo who likes to live on the wild side which usually means taking his dates foraging in the local woods for their supper. Then there’s Sam Nightingale, owner of Nightingale’s bookshop. Sam, recovering from a divorce, has also vowed to embrace the single life. That is, until he meets Callie.
But is Callie willing to risk her heart again and, if she is, will she make the right choice?
The Book Lovers is the first in an exciting new series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.
The Book Lovers is a lovely sweet romance novel, with the added bonus of lots and lots of books!
Callie has just come out of a bad marriage and has fled London for the Suffolk countryside, to lick her wounds and focus on her writing. Distractions loom however, in the form of three delightful bookshops, two handsome locals, and an irresistible family of Nightingales!
Don’t get me wrong – I liked Callie immensely – but the Nightingale family really stole the show here, and I suspect the author feels exactly the same way that I do about them, seeing as how they return in the rest of the series to tell their own stories, one at a time. The Nightingales are loud, warm, loving, chaotic and are book fanatics! What’s not to love! But they also each have their own distinct personalities and quirks and they clearly all have secrets to tell and background stories to explore.
In this story we follow Callie’s introduction to the family and their three – THREE! – wonderful bookshops: one for secondhand and rare books; one for new books; and one for children’s books… all independently run. It’s no wonder Callie spends more time looking for books than love. Still, it appears that love is determined to find her anyway, in the form of two very new different suitors and a tenacious ex.
What I enjoyed most here (other than books and Nightingales) was the gentle realism of the plot and the building character relationships. Rather than opting for lots of miscommunications (which always make me wonder how they get on once together, if they can’t even talk to each other!) or dramatic misunderstandings, the characters spend time together, chat about their interests, get to know each other.
That’s not to say that we don’t see some excitement! There is plenty of drama and conflict, with bad penny exes, inner battles with shyness and fear of being hurt, bloody gifts on a doorstep, and even a missing person or two. But all of it is framed by a warm, cosy glow of happy family and small village (with three bookshops. Did I mention the bookshops? I would move there in a heartbeat!) that keeps the reader enthralled in a happy, easy-reading bubble throughout.
Definitely recommend for sweet romance lovers and book lovers, and whilst I generally only fit one of those categories, I will make an exception and admit I cannot wait to continue with this series and find some Nightingale happy-ever-afters!
Callie Logan should never have married her publisher. That’s where it had all begun to go wrong for her. She’d been perfectly content to be single, happily writing her books in her rented flat on the outskirts of London and going out with friends each weekend, but then Piers Blackmore had appeared on the scene, praising her children’s book to high heaven and simultaneously sweeping her off her feet.
– Victoria Connelly, The Book Lovers
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews! Observant readers will spot that I am back on the 14th, 17th and 20th of this month to bring you my thoughts on the other books in this series.