Title: Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Publication Date: 17 July 2015
Publisher: Carina UK
I’m very exited today to be helping out with the blog tour for Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm, the new release from the fanstastic Rebecca Raisin, who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
Lucy would do anything for her mom…but she never expected to end up promising to leave her. After her mom got sick, Lucy dropped everything to take care of her, working all hours in a greasy diner just to make ends meet and spending every spare moments she had by her mom’s hospital bedside.
Now, Lucy is faced with a whole year of living by her own rules, starting by taking the first bus out of town to anywhere…
Except she didn’t expect to find her next big adventure just around the corner! Especially when on her first day in town she bumps into grumpy, but oh-so-delicious Clay amidst the maple trees. Surrounded by the magic of Ashford, Lucy has the chance to change her life forever and finally discover a life she wants to live!
Fall in love with Ashford, Connecticut in this dazzling and beautiful romance from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin.
Thank you to the author and Carina UK for approving me for a copy of Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm via Netgalley.
I love The Gingerbread Cafe series by Rebecca Raisin, my only complaint being that the books are quite short and leave me wanting to read more! As such, I was hugely excited to hear about the publication of Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm – a full length novel involving some of my favourite characters from The Gingerbread Cafe series. Rebecca’s books are always so deliciously inviting and I’m pleased to say that Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm is no exception.
The story begins with a touching observation of the close relationship between Lucy and her sick mother, Crystal. They are not only mother and daughter, but also the very best of friends. We observe Lucy’s struggle to come to terms with the idea of complying with her mother’s wish that she take an entire year to concentrate on herself rather than looking after her mother. Her aim is to help Lucy experience an adventure of her own before it’s too late. Crystal tells Lucy to enjoy life, save some money and then apply for a scholarship to the Van Gough Institute, a prestigious art school in Paris.
Ever the good daughter, Lucy does as she is told and jumps on the first available bus out of Detroit. On the journey, Lucy meets a fellow passenger, CeeCee. The reader is not initially told where Lucy is travelling to, however as soon as I saw CeeCee’s name mentioned I knew she was heading to the gorgeous little town of Ashford, Connecticut. I must admit that I got a little bit excited when I realised her destination!
Ashford is a small town, full of charm and with a huge sense of community. The large-hearted residents give their own time freely to help any neighbour in need. Ashford truly sounds like the an idyllic place to live. It is here that we meet some old friends including Lil (the owner of The Gingerbread Cafe), her larger-than-life assistant CeeCee and Sarah who runs the town’s bookshop. CeeCee is one of my absolute favourite characters! She is a woman with a huge personality and an even bigger heart. Lil and CeeCee immediately take Lucy under their wings and she quickly becomes part of the close-knit town, revelling in the sense of community that she’s never previously experienced.
Lucy is just an adorable character – hippy and artistic, despite being weighed down by the burden of being the sole carer for a sick parent, she remains hopeful and optimistic (when she’s not worrying about her mother!). She is a kind-hearted and generous soul who sees life through an artist’s eyes. Her faults lay in her lack of confidence in her own abilities as an artist and her refusal to open up fully to other people.
Lucy’s aim is to save enough money to send herself to Paris and, with that aim in mind, she gets a job working as a farmhand at Maple Syrup Farm, owned by the gorgeous but grumpy Clay, who seems to hold on tight to a deep-seated mistrust and dislike of all people in general. However, he needs an assistant for the Maple Syrup harvest and he agrees to give Lucy a chance. Despite their initial butting of heads, Lucy and Clay gradually get to know each other and she starts to see a softer, more caring side to Clay. As the reader, we get glimpses of a deeper side to Clay’s character and I found myself eager to get to know him and understand him better.
As Lucy gets to know Clay better, she also gets to know his deceased uncle through a box of old diaries they find under the floorboards. The diaries contains exquisite artwork which really motivates Lucy to think about her own plans to progress as an artist. She thinks she recognises the artwork but cannot think where from. This little mystery adds a welcome air of intrigue alongside the main storyline.
As always, the author has created a colourful and utterly delicious world for the reader. Rebecca Raisin has a naturally decriptive writing stye which engages all of the reader’s senses so that you can almost smell and taste the world she has created for us. Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm is a captivating story, telling of the importance of friendship, family, love and trust. It is full of smiles, laughter, tears and a lot of sweet treats! This is a truly lovely, cosy, heartwarming book and definitely one for you if you are a fan of stories that make you say “awwwww” and leave you feeling all gooey inside.
Amazon UK: Kindle – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OQD8HNY
Amazon US: Kindle – http://amzn.com/B00OQD8HNY
Check out the other books in the Once in a Lifetime collection:
The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy:
Book 1 – Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe
Book 2 – Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe
(The Bookshop on the Corner)
Book 3 – Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe
The Little Paris Collection:
The Little Bookshop on the Seine (coming October 2015)
The Little Antique Shop under the Effiel Tower
The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees
About the Author
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.
Come chat with Rebecca on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor