Review – The Little Village of New Starts

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title The Little Village of New Starts

Author Donna Ashcroft

Description from Amazon

Sometimes turning everything upside down feels just right…

Evie Stuart is playing it safe. She lives on her family’s remote farm in the Scottish Highlands and never ventures beyond the local village of Lockton. The most unpredictable events in her life are the antics of Miss Daisy, her grandmother Agnes’s pygmy goat. She’s learned that bad things happen when she’s impulsive, and she’s determined not to get burned again.

Callum Ryder is exactly the opposite of what Evie wants in her ordered world. Six foot two of reckless energy with twinkling eyes and a dangerously charming smile, he’s a thrill-seeking American firefighter with no idea how to slow down. Callum enters Lockton like a whirlwind, fleeing his problems in New York City in search of the truth about his Scottish family.

Yet the pair might have more in common than they think… When the well-meaning Agnes persuades her to help Callum find his grandfather, Evie finds herself being challenged more than she has in years: from swimming in the fabled Bonnie Lochan to exploring an ancient castle and even entering the village jam-making championships. Turns out it’s easy for Evie and Callum to connect when they let go of their fears and enjoy the most surprising summer of their lives.

But getting close to Callum so quickly soon starts to look like it might ruin everything for Evie: she’s heading for a disaster exactly like the one that destroyed her a year ago when she fell for the wrong man and let him change her life. Maybe a fresh start isn’t going to be so simple after all… Is the safe haven Evie’s built about to crumble down around her?

Release Date May 12, 2020

Initial Thoughts

I loved The Christmas Countdown by Donna Ashcroft so I knew when she had a new book available, that I wanted to read it. It is wrong that I kind of want to read Christmas books right now? Anyway, back on topic. I was excited to read this book. I really enjoy books set in Scotland and I also like Donna Ashcroft’s writing style.

Some Things I Liked

  • Scotland as a setting. Lochton sounds like such a great place to visit. Filled with family and warm memories. I loved the rich descriptions and this book only fueled my desire to travel / retire there.
  • Miss Daisy and Tiki. I loved the role animals played in the story. It can be hard to give animals real personality in contemporary stories, as there is no magical element to lean on. But, I think it was really well done in this story. I felt like I knew both the goat and parrot well by the end of the story and they felt like they were characters just as much as anyone else in the story.
  • Nana Agnes. I loved her. She reminds me of a Scottish version of my grandma. She was a perfect side character and I loved her story almost as much as Evie and Callum’s.

Series Value

I would definitely continue reading this series if Donna Ashcroft chooses to set more books here. I’d like to see stories about Meg and Lilith as well as a bit of an epilogue for Evie and Callum. I liked the ending, but I wouldn’t be opposed to more.

Final Thoughts

This was a super fast read, started at around 9pm and finished at about 1am. I liked the story, engaged with the characters, and confirmed what I already knew, that I was a fan of Donna Ashcroft. If you are looking for a quick, rom-com, definitely check this one out.

Final note, this book is available for free with Kindle Unlimited.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Christmas Countdown by Donna Ashcroft – if you liked the writing style and small town setting, try this Christmas release by Donna Ashcroft.
  • The Little Teashop in Tokyo by Julie Caplin – if you liked the themes of a main character who didn’t totally trust her judgement in men (or herself), try this upcoming June 2020 release.
  • The Move by Whitney Dineen – if you’re looking for a bit of a gender bent version of The Little Village of New Starts look no further. In The Move, our heroine moves to a new town, discovers a part of herself that she had lost, and meets a nice local guy.

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