*Thank you to Kiley Dunbar, Hera Books and Netgalley for my copy of this book.*
Beatrice Halliday needs a break from life. Booking a trip to the Highlands on a whim, Beatrice hopes learning Gaelic in a beautiful Scottish village might help her heal her grief after losing her baby, her husband and her much loved job in a space of months.
But Port Willow Bay isn’t exactly as the website promised. Instead of learning a new language, she’s booked in to learn the ancient skill of willow weaving, her hotel room is Princess and the Pea themed (with a stack of mattresses for her bed!) and worse still, her tutor is Atholl Fergusson, grumpy landlord of the hotel where Beatrice is staying – and she’s the only one doing the course.
But as Beatrice finds herself falling in love with Port Willow Bay and its people, and as she discovers the kind heart beneath Atholl’s stony exterior, can she really leave?
Another absolutely stunning book from Kiley, that allowed me to jump in to the pages and embrace the gorgeous Highland setting’s and the lovely people surrounding it. I really admired Kiley tackling miscarriage within Beatrice’s story, as many people don’t ever consider the emotional and mental impact losing a child can have on a woman and I think Kiley did a great job of showing that throughout Beatrice’s road to recovery. When we first meet Beatrice, she is very angry and not very pleasant to those who are only there to do their job, including the very handsome red-head, Atholl Fergusson. As the story flows, you understand more and more, the anger within Beatrice and when she finally allows herself to let the Scottish folk in and show her their world, she begins to relax and feel right at home with the locals.
Beatrice and Atholl’s friendship was so endearing once they both got over their stubbornness, it was just a shame that there was a lot of baggage stopping them from exploring more. You could tell from the get-go how extremely fond they were of one another, to the point where Beatrice found herself getting involved with a bit of match-making, gardening, party planning, etc to help Atholl and everybody else who had been nothing but kind to her. I also adored the magical locations Atholl introduced Beatrice to – they sounded incredibly gorgeous and while I have never imagined visiting Scotland, I definitely have an itch to explore the country now! She may have felt out of place to start off with, but she couldn’t have belonged there more. She just had to open her eyes and heart to see it for herself.
This a great and cosy escapism romance, focusing on hope, growth and a whole lot of healing. I really hope this isn’t the end for these characters because I completely fell in love with them! P.S. Thank you Kiley, for the Harry Styles shout out and a little shout out for myself in the Acknowledgements, it made me very happy!