Review | Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh (@BeccasBoooks)

25 June 2015


Publisher: Carina

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh's sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is...

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she'd be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances...

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents' death is difficult for Jessica–they never had the best relationship and now it's too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme–and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!–opens Jessica's eyes to the potential of Bluebell House... Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica's world is turned upside down...

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

Return to Bluebell Hill is Rebecca's debut novel and what a debut it is! Return to Bluebell Hill opens with Jessica, a young woman returning to her hometown which contains painful memories for her following the death of her parents who she has been estranged from for ten years. Following their death she has to return to the place she felt she never belonged to pack up and sell up. Her heart is set on doing that and then returning to London but Bluebell Hill has other plans for her...

As Jessica makes her way back to the place she grew up, she comes across a young, beautiful man named Reuben on the train and strikes up a conversation with him. You can tell from the first conversation that they have a connection and I loved reading that interaction. I guessed this would be the main love interest of the book and I was right. He gets off at the same stop as her, although she hid her true destination from him, but it's not the last she sees of him.

I loved when they first come across each other in Bluebell Hill, it was such an awesome reunion! One of the best I think I have read. It's not the only great reunion, while she's home she reconnects with Esme, her nanny and the only person who seems to have every loved her. You could tell from the get go how much she means to Jessica and how much she loves her despite not having heard from Jessica in a long time. I think Esme was a pivotal character in this book, she was there as the support that Jessica didn't know she would even need. 

And then there's Reuben. Lovely, lovely Reuben! He is delicious! I loved his character from the start and I was really rooting for him and Jessica to be together, they just seemed like a great coupling! They get on so well and again, he's part of the support Jessica never thought she would be needing while she was home. 

Not only is there romance in this book, there's mystery too. As she packs up Bluebell House, Jessica uncovers a secret that blows her world and who she thinks she is apart. I had no idea this was coming and I loved it! This turned the book from a romance to a book with such a great side storyline and I really enjoyed reading it and finding out the resolution.

As you delve further into the book, you can feel doubt starting to creep into Jessica about selling up, especially after she abandons Esme and Rueben to head back to London and at that point I wanted to scream! But it's also the point that Jessica starts to doubt if what she's doing is the right thing and the more she thinks about it the more she starts to change her mind. I wasn't sure where this was going to go but during the latter part of the book, I really wanted her to change her mind, keep the house and stay in Bluebell Hill. It really felt like where she belonged now she had people who cared for her there. 

I can't put into words how much I loved this book! What I thought was boy meets girl is so not the case. There's romance, mystery, and heartbreak. After spending her life feeling unwanted except by her former nanny, Esme, Jessica has finally found something that could give her more and I loved that! Knowing that her childhood was rough all I wanted was for her to get her happy ending! 

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