I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for Starcross Manor by Christie Barlow. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour, and to Harper Collins – One More Chapter and the author for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!
Goodreads: Starcross Manor (Love Heart Lane Series #4)
Publisher: Harper Collins – One More Chapter
Release Date: 14 August 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
When Julia Coleman meets Flynn Carter again in the cosy village of Heartcross it can only mean trouble. Flynn might be rich, brooding and sexy, but Julia knows first-hand he’s ruthless and she plans to watch his every move.
When Julia discovers Flynn’s plans for beautiful Starcross Manor her greatest fears come true. Because Flynn’s dreams of turning Starcross into a luxury hotel could ruin Julia’s dreams…and finish off the community of Heartcross for good.
Flynn makes it clear he doesn’t want trouble, and he’s not the man Julia thinks he is. As he sets about convincing the community he’s changed, he hopes he can convince Julia to give him another chance too…
Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.
Although Starcross Manor is book four in the Love Heart Lane series, it can very much be read as a standalone. This was a fun and easy read about mistaken first impressions, community and good friendships that left me feeling hopeful and warm. I liked that the protagonists in this book were older (Julia, our MC, turns 40 in the book) because I feel like there aren’t many books that normalise finding love and even success above the age of 30, and that everything “good” happens when you’re still in your 20s. Real life is not like that, so I feel like this made the book even more realistic!
While this is categorised as a romance, in my opinion the strongest part (and focus) of the story was more on the community and the friendships between the Heartcross residents. Reading stories where the people in small communities fully support each other in their businesses and also in their life outside of work, is so heartwarming, and makes me wish that I was part of “the gang” too! Reading about the close friendships between the women in this book also made me wish I had read the earlier novels in this series because they all seemed like fun characters! No spoilers but one thing I learned from this book was that you should never underestimate the power of a tight knight community and that you should never get on their bad side 🙂
The story is told through Julia’s POV and what I wish we got was Flynn’s POV too. I would’ve loved to get inside his head because I ended up really liking what was shared of his character and I was sad that we didn’t get to know him better. He was a very genuine and charming character who intrigued me. I have to admit that Julia wasn’t my favourite character. There were times she came across as too immature, and she often acted impulsively and made decisions that seemed questionable and out of character. But like I said, I really liked the friendships between the women and I particularly loved Eleni. She was such a great employee/friend! As for the romance, although there is chemistry between Julia and Flynn, I didn’t really feel it because we’re told and not shown it. While there are sweet moments throughout the story, they never get much alone time to build on their connection until the very end; and while I would normally be wanting more, (as this is meant to be a romance) I actually didn’t mind it because the other relationships in the story were great!
TL;DR: This was a sweet story about mistaken first impressions, second chances, and the strength of tight knit communities and good friendships. I loved reading about older MCs and I would happily come back to the little village of Heartcross to learn more about the village and other characters.
Have you read Starcross Manor or is it on your TBR?