Book Review: The Winter Garden by Heidi Swain

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Publication Date: 1st October 2020

Freya Fuller is estranged from her parents and has been following her childhood dream of becoming a gardener ever since. When an opportunity to design a winter garden opens up at a Victorian property in Nightingale Square, Freya jumps at the chance to make a fresh start. But while the majority of the residents are welcoming, local artist Finn seems determined to shut her out, and when Freya’s family make a surprise appearance, it seems that her new life is about to come crashing down . . .

I love Heidi Swain’s writing.  Her books are always deliciously cosy, romantic and fun. I was therefore thrilled to receive a copy of The Winter Garden for review. Usually by this time of the year I would be looking at posting reviews for summer novels, however with the terrible weather we’re currently experiencing a winter book actually seems fairly appropriate!

Following the death of her friend and mentor, Eloise, Freya Fuller finds herself jobless and soon-to-be homeless after refusing to work for Eloise’s dastardly nephew, Jackson. With nowhere to go, a chance encounter leads to a job with the gorgeous Finn and his just as gorgeous wife, Kate. So, after packing her bags and pinching Eloise’s dog Nell, Freya finds herself taking up residence in Nightingale Square.

As a reader of Heidi’s earlier books, I loved this opportunity to return to Nightingale Square and to catch up with some familiar faces. Freya and dog Nell prove to be great additions to the Nightingale Square community. Artist Finn is another story altogether – grumpy, gruff, with a huge chip on his shoulder. However, underneath that brusque exterior is a gentle man with a large heart. The two have so much in common, not least the fact that they are both pursuing careers that their parents do not support.

As always with Heidi’s books, community plays a significant part in the story. I love the support that the local residents show to Freya, welcoming her to the square, encouraging her to take her place in their little community and providing unwavering support of her winter garden project. Nightingale Square really does sound like an idyllic place to live.

The potential romantic attachments between Freya and both Finn and his roguish brother Zak provide a great source of entertainment. I assumed that I knew which direction the story was heading quite early on, however I was thrown a bit in the middle, as Freya’s love life became a bit more complicated. One thing I love about Heidi’s books is that she doesn’t rely only on lust when writing about romance, she also emphasises the sense of friendship, support and equality in each of her couples.  This is how relationships really should be.

The Winter Garden is a charming and entertaining story of community, friendship and love. A book to warm the heart and put a smile on your face, it really is the perfect treat for a cold and wet spring day.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with a review copy of The Winter Garden.

Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of SLEIGH RIDES AND SILVER BELLS AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR. Her other titles include The Cherry Tree Café, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, The Christmas Wish List, The Secret Seaside Escape and The Winter Garden.

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her tbr pile is always out of control!

Heidi loves to chat with her readers and you can get in touch via her website heidiswain.co.uk/ or Twitter @Heidi_Swain

Amazon UK Amazon US  |  Goodreads Hive  |  Simon & Schuster UK

 

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