About the book:
As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.
But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.
Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.
Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…
Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.
Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow was my first book by Jessica Redland although it’s not the first featured on my blog. I did the blog tour for the Whitsborough Bay series which has extracts of the books.
The charming setting of Hedgehog Hollow as well as the cast of characters who are likeable and some not so much, is realistic and true to life. Gorgeous cover and I loved the cute hedgehog images at the start of every chapter, they were a gorgeous touch to the eARC.
I’m so glad this was first in a series so I got the characters’ history and backstory rather than coming into the series late and not having that.
Jessica has a gift for creating setting, incorporating animals and real life issues. Do not be fooled by the cute cover, for this is not a truly escapist read because of some of the issues covered. That said, I think that makes it realistic and all the more gripping. The pacing was good.
Thanks to Jessica Redland, Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
About the Author: –
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.
Contact Jessica –
Sign up to Jessica’s email list HERE
‘Would I be right in thinking that wasn’t easy for you?’ Dad whispered to me shortly after we exited the church behind the newlyweds.
My stomach did somersaults. Had he guessed the truth? ‘It was really easy,’ I said quietly, hoping to deflect him. ‘All I needed to do was smile, hold the bouquet, arrange her train and smile some more. My cheeks are aching.’
‘And I bet your heart is too. Mine would be if my cousin had just married the love of my life.’
‘Dad! Shhh!’ Even though he’d spoken softly, I still felt the need to grab his arm and lead him down the church path away from prying ears – like Great-Aunt Agnes’s. Mum’s auntie already hated me for some unfathomable reason so it was best not to provide her with more ammunition.
‘James is not the love of my life,’ I insisted, very much aware of the shake in my voice. ‘We just… well, he… it was…’ Looking up into Dad’s warm brown eyes, I crumbled. There was no point denying it. ‘No, it wasn’t easy. If I was to compile a list of the worst days ever, losing Gramps would be top but today wouldn’t be far behind.’ My voice cracked on the final words.
Dad pulled me into a hug, instantly comforting me with his warmth and strength. At six foot four, there was a lot to hold onto and I didn’t think I’d ever grow too old for a hug from him, especially on a day like today.
‘Thanks, Dad,’ I said as we separated. ‘I needed that.’
‘Can everyone except the bride and groom move away from the church entrance please?’ called the wedding photographer.
I lifted up the skirts of my bridesmaid dress as Dad and I moved further down the church path. With a heavy heart, I turned and watched Chloe and James gaze adoringly at each other under an archway of pink and cream roses while the photographer snapped photos and tried to shoo away the paparazzi of friends and relatives thrusting mobile phones into his shot. The mid-August sun warmed my bare arms and I closed my eyes for a moment, head tilted upwards, as the gentlest of breezes kissed my face, comforting and relaxing me.
Dad and I stood in silence for a few minutes, watching the photographer issue instructions to Chloe and James to stand side by side, hold hands, face each other, kiss. I couldn’t help fantasising that I was the one in the ivory dress instead of my cousin, starting my happy ever after with the man with whom I’d been hopelessly in love for nearly two years.
Unable to bear watching them any longer, I drew my eyes away but they rested on the equally unsettling sight of Mum smiling proudly and hugging Auntie Louise, mother of the bride. A familiar wave of sadness swept over me. I completely understood that their sisterly closeness was multiplied several-fold by being identical twins but what I’d never understood was why that warmth and affection couldn’t be shared with Dad and me. I actually couldn’t remember the last time she’d hugged me. Some people aren’t tactile but she didn’t fall into that camp, frequently hugging Auntie Louise and Chloe. I’d always had a difficult relationship with her and had often wondered if part of it was her envy of how close I was to Dad. Yet she was so close to her twin that surely it couldn’t be a surprise that Dad and I, left on the periphery, had forged such a strong bond. Stop it, Sam. Not today. Today is challenging enough without going down that road.
‘Mum looks nice,’ I said. In keeping with the colour scheme, she wore a pale-pink floaty dress, a matching pink waterfall jacket and a fascinator.
‘Your mum looks beautiful,’ Dad said, a wistful tone to his voice. ‘It’s good to see her in something that isn’t black for once.’
I couldn’t remember seeing Mum wear anything but dark, drab colours. Auntie Louise, by contrast, usually wore bright colours although she’d opted for a muted palette today. Her mother-of-the-bride outfit was really classy – a fitted dusky pink shift dress with an ivory lacy bodice, pink jacket and matching wide-brimmed hat.