FIND ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE
BY KATE HEWITT
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 14/03/2017
Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she’s left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.
Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life–but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible…
Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts–but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.
“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”
The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.
She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets and kilims from various holidays, watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life.
And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.
The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.
She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.
“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”
ABOUT KATE HEWITT
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at http://www.kate-hewitt.com.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt
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Five Must-See Places in the Cotswolds by Kate Hewitt
The Willoughby Close series is set in the Cotswolds, and I sometimes worry it gets a bit of a bad rap in the books. Admittedly when I moved to the area I struggled with some of the wealth and snobbery I encountered, especially as I had moved from an area that was remote and economically deprived, and everything and everyone just seemed so… entitled.
However, I don’t want readers to think that the Cotswolds is all snooty mums decked out in Burberry, or overpriced coffees at organic farm shops, although there is a fair amount of both of those! So I thought I’d compile a list of some great places to visit in the Cotswolds.
1.) Cotswold Water Park: This sounds like a pool with slides and inflatables but is actually a nature preserve with a lake and a lot of water sports. There is a lovely man-made beach and some great swimming, although it is sure to be crowded on a sunny Saturday!
2.) Cotswold Wildlife Park: This is a small zoo with a great playground and a surprisingly good collection of exotic animals—lions, tigers, giraffes, and gorillas all feature. It’s a lovely day out, especially if you have under 12s.
3.) Burford: This is a lovely village with a medieval bridge, a long high street with lots of quaint shops and cafés, and a beautiful church. It’s called ‘the Gateway to the Cotswolds’, although I gather there are several of these!
4.) Blenheim Palace: This is the only non-royal, non-episcopal palace in the country, and it is quite magnificent, both for the house itself and its gardens. It’s also the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and there is a nice exhibit on Churchill, including the room where he was born.
5.) Thirsty Meeples: This isn’t technically in the Cotswolds, as it is in Oxford, but my family has had a lot of fun there. It is a café with over two thousand board games and if you make a reservation, you can come and play any of them for up to three hours, with café staff who will help explain the rules. If you don’t have enough people to play a game, you can join tables. So much fun!
The Cotswolds is a great place to visit, and even though I don’t live there anymore (I moved sixty miles away, to Wales, which feels very different!), it’s also a great place to live—as all the characters in the Willoughby Close books come to discover!
Happy Reading, Kate