BOOK REVIEW: SUNRISE AT STRAWBERRY FARM BY KELLIE HAILES

Hannah Beety never thought she’d be back working at her family’s strawberry farm, but when her mother falls ill, she knows it’s time to go home. Returning to help in time for the summer harvest, Hannah’s forced to face up to the broken hearts she left behind…

After a decade, Grey Walker cannot believe that the woman he had planned to marry, start a family and live a cosy life with is back. Working side by side with Hannah as they prepare for the annual Strawberry Festival brings back all the memories of his first love he’d tried to bury. But as the summer days lengthen, could letting her in mean losing his heart, again?

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I knew I was going to fall in love with Hannah’s story, just from the moment I laid eyes on the book cover. How delicious is it!? As a huge Strawberry lover as well, I couldn’t resist soaking up the Strawberry Farm/Festival that took centre stage. Spending time with Hannah and her family on the Strawberry Farm was everything you could ask for and more. Kellie’s detailing truly brought everything to life, so much that you feel that you have transported in to the pages and are walking amongst the strawberries and characters yourself. Although Kellie showed just how much hard work a Strawberry Farm can be, it didn’t put me off from dreaming of being in Hannah’s shoes instead of my own, soaking in the sun, picking all of the juicy strawberries to be turned in to delicious, mouth-watering desserts. One creation in particular was mentioned a lot, and that was Hannah’s Nan’s home-made strawberry ice-cream – yummy! What I would do to be sat outdoors in the Summer, with a bowl of strawberry home-made ice-cream – my favourite flavour of them all! It had my mind whirring with other dessert options that I could create if I had my very own Strawberry Farm, the list being endless! 

Hannah was such a darling character, who had really put in the hard work to make a life for herself, away from home and I envy the life she also has in London – she’s just a fabulous lady! However, no matter how admirable her life was, certain family members didn’t seem to see that themselves, making Hannah’s visit home, a difficult time. This reception did sometimes have her wobbling slightly, yet she pushed through to be there for her mother, counting down the days until she could return to London. Her time on the farm though, was used efficiently and Hannah found the determination to prove she could be a worthy Strawberry farmer, and what better way to prove that, than with the help of her first love, Grey – well, their reunion was only going to go one way or the other!

Like some of her family members, Grey’s reaction to Hannah’s return was far from welcoming and as their story unravels, you get to know a little more behind the grump and stubborn man he portrays himself to be. So, not only does Hannah have to redeem her place on the farm, but she also needs to redeem a place back in Grey’s life… and his heart? I really loved watching Hannah and Grey work together, with the farm, and with their own troubles. With each page that I turned, you could see the two of them allowing their walls to come down just that little bit more.

I have to say, Grey’s determination to be stubborn through the majority of the book, really did have my optimistic views on him and Hannah working out feeling quite troubled, however Kellie closed their story perfectly with the last chapter and the epilogue. Despite their past and their attempts to always hold a wall around their hearts, Kellie showed us all that the two of them were absolutely meant to be together. The epilogue was an absolutely stunning edition to finalise the story and had me smiling from cheek to cheek the whole way through! 

This whole story is such a delightful and wholesome read, with the most likeable of characters, not just one, but two romance stories and the most sweetest little village. It is always a pleasure to read Kellie’s stories – they’re like one giant hug and I think we all need as many hugs as we can right now!

Shelby x

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