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Amazon synopsis: “Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.
Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.
But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?”
Ava’s story was very interesting. I, like many other characters in the book, am usually quick to assume the worst of relationships when the man is old and rich and the woman is very attractive and young. It was nice to get in the mind space of a woman that had married rich.
Ava had a rough past before meeting her husband so you can almost sympathize with her desire to have things easy. Leaving a troubled childhood home, she struggled through many different jobs before meeting her husband. In some ways she understood he was looking for a trophy wife and she was willing to play that part.
To have him leave her with not much in his will felt like a slight. In the beginning I kind of sided with her husband’s adult children. I felt like she had enough to get by for a bit and she would just have to get back to work. Then she learns that she received the same amount of money as the housekeeper and she hadn’t even worked for them that long.
That’s when I felt a little outraged for Ava but also, there’s nothing that can be done now that he’s gone. Which I appreciated about her. She didn’t fight for more money or try to squat in the house. She took what was handed to her and prepared for the next chapter of her life.
Jace and Ava’s dynamic from the beginning is interesting because it’s obvious they’ll end up together but I was also curious how he’d handle knowing she was recently widowed. I pegged him as someone to stray away from harsh topics but he reacted in a way fitting for Ava.
In all, I loved Ava’s journey into accepting more than one person in her life and truly relying on friends to help in her time of need. If you’re interested, get the book here.
Before I went to make this review, I had no idea this book was a part of a series. Fourth in the series, in fact. Kate Hewitt seems to enjoy writing Christmas books so if you enjoy reading them, definitely check out her stuff. I mean, she has other genres and topics as well but I just happened to notice like three of her series start with Christmas in the title.