A Year at Appleyard Farm by Emma Davies

Today I’m pleased to share my five star review for this gorgeous romance novel by a new author to me. Thank you to Bookouture for a digital review copy via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free copy. The book is being published in the UK today.

Synopsis:

Down a winding lane lined with strawberry trees and wildflowers lies Appleyard Farm, a beautiful orchard in the English countryside. And in a little farmhouse in the furthest corner, a young woman has a difficult decision to make…

Life on Appleyard Farm is all Freya Sherbourne has ever known. Having spent her childhood playing in the emerald green meadows and berry picking until sunset, Freya intends to call the farmhouse home forever. But when her father suddenly passes away and Appleyard Farm goes up for sale, Freya’s world comes crashing down.

Holding back the tears, she starts packing boxes while waiting for a buyer. Now the river no longer sparkles, and the apples taste a little less sweet. Until Freya learns the exciting news that her best friends Merry and Willow are moving nearby to open a local shop. And when someone from her past re-emerges, handsomer than ever and offering to mend the cracks in her broken heart, Freya’s eyes begin to twinkle once again.

But falling in love is scary, especially when you don’t know what the future holds. And when Freya discovers that her new love has been keeping a secret, one that threatens both their fragile relationship and the farm, she risks losing everything.

With the clock ticking, will Freya choose to follow her heart or save the farm? Or can she find a way to do both?

Told in four parts, this is a gorgeous story about love, friendship and new beginnings. Fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson should grab a cup of hot chocolate, curl up on the sofa and prepare to be carried away!

A Year at Appleyard Farm was previously published as four short stories: Merry Mistletoe, Spring Fever, Gooseberry Fool, and Blackberry Way.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

My thoughts:

After reading some dark thrillers and historical fiction novels recently, I needed to find something to make me smile and this book certainly did that.

As I said above, I haven’t read any books by Emma Davies before, but I will be looking out for them in the future. This book was originally published as four novellas – each set in a different season of the year but always linked to Appleyard Farm and Freya.

The four sections all feature different stories but link together perfectly. For the main characters, this is a year of huge changes in relationships, jobs and homes. Some need to let go of their past, whilst others need to help them. The book is all about friendships and leaves the reader feeling warm inside. I loved the development of the characters, especially Freya and Laura. Emma Davies brought the Somerset area and the characters (including a large dog) to life beautifully for me.

A 5 star read for me – this was a virtual hug in a book, perfect for an autumn evening snuggled up with a dog and a hot chocolate.

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