Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

Titles in the Willoughby Close series include:  A Cotswold Christmas – Meet Me At Willoughby Close – Find Me At Willoughby Close

Title:  Meet Me At Willoughby Close
Series:  Willoughby Close #2
Author:  Kate Hewitt
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 31, 2017
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Sometimes packing up and starting over, fresh, somewhere far away is the only way to kick start your life – or protect your child.  Ellie and her daughter, Abby have set out on an adventure.  A new town, new home, new school, new job.  And maybe it’s asking a lot for all of that to move smoothly without any bumps along the way.  As a young, divorced mother, Ellie has been suffocating under the doom saying of her parents back home.  Their lack of belief in her abilities as a person and a mother hurts to the quick, and it’s time to prove them wrong.  Abby has been experiencing trouble at school, bullying because she’s different in her likes and activities from many of the other kids.  Looking for that fresh start they’ve moved far from home, and now are setting up their new lives – slowly, but still on their own.

Unfortunately, their new lives  hit road bumps almost immediately.  When Ellie’s position as a secretary at university is suddenly changed both in start date and in position, she’s taken by surprise.  Oliver, her new boss, is chilly and distant and Ellie has visions of failing before she even starts.  But Ellie is a lot stronger than even she believes – and no one is taking this fresh start away from them.  She buckles down, does the job well, and learns how to fit in with her new home.  In time things begin to look brighter, and perhaps finally happiness is on the horizon – if the past doesn’t mess it all up.

Meet Me At Willoughby Close is a charming, slow burner romance between unlikely people.  This story reminds us to look beyond what the surface shows and find the person underneath before giving up on them.  I really liked Ellie, she’s been overlooked her entire life, not quite good enough in other people’s opinions.  She’s breaking out, learning how to be herself for herself and out to proved those that had put her down as so very wrong.  It takes guts to uproot yourself and start over, that’s a strength that many see as a weakness, unfortunately.

While Oliver and Ellie, again on the surface, may seem like an unlikely pairing they actually fit well, bringing out the best in each other.  I liked them together, and although they will face difficulties, they stick and that matters.

I’m enjoying this series and would definitely recommend this story to any Romance reader who enjoys a solid story, engaging characters and a story that simply feels good.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle