I am over the moon to be welcoming back to TWG one of my all-time favourite authors, Heidi Swain! Today is a very special day as it is also Heidi’s publication day – how exciting! I have followed this series from the get go and I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square’ as part of the blog tour. Huge thanks to Harriett from Simon & Schuster for the blog tour invite and the ARC.
Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide… a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.
Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!
Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read – you’ll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.
What does TWG think?
Someone please get me the bus times for a trip to Wynbridge and Nightingale Square, please!!
Whilst this book isn’t set in Wynbridge like many of the other books in the series, several characters you may recognise, do pop up now and again as the story progresses. If you’re anything like me, you may find that you end up squealing with ‘OMG I KNOW THEM!!!!’. Obviously, you don’t KNOW them as such, but due to the fact that Heidi Swain allows her readers to feel as though they’re catching up with a bunch of good friends every time, it is quite difficult to not get excited when places like ‘The Cherry Tree Cafe’ or ‘Skylark Farm’ pop up with your newfound besties in tow.
Kate, oh Kate – she hasn’t had the nicest of times recently. She doesn’t even share the truth with us into later on in the book! Poor Kate’s marriage has taken a nosedive and, despite the fact that the break up wasn’t actually her fault, Kate can’t help but feel guilty for wanting something in her life that her husband didn’t. With a new home to settle into, Kate is determined to make a new life for herself away from the drama of her past. However, moving to such a small village has it’s downsides – everyone wants to know your business and if you tell one person, the rest of the residents will find out by the time you’ve closed your front door.
I couldn’t help but laugh when Kate’s new neighbour, Lisa, waltzed into her new home as though she had known Kate for years. Her intentions were good then, but I have to say Lisa’s character ended up getting on my wick as the story progressed. She seemed to go from being a genuinely nice neighbour, to someone who couldn’t see further than her own nose and believed that she was right about everything. Lisa may have meant well, but in my eyes her interfering became stagnant very, very quickly.
I absolutely ADORED the historical feel to #SunshineandSweetpeas! What a brilliant idea to focus on something so grand, bringing all of the residents in the village together to see if they could get to the bottom of the unsolved mystery involving a certain house. I was probably hooked on the book way before the history parts of the storyline, but I have to say that those parts cemented my love for the entire storyline right there and then.
Just like any other Heidi Swain novel, this book contains a character who catches everyone’s eye as well as their intrigue. Who is this man? Why is he here? What is his story? As an honorary resident of Nightingale Square, I couldn’t help but feel protective towards the other characters and the history which surrounds the square, so when the new character appeared my barriers went up as I didn’t want Kate to come to more harm. Daft I know, but true.
What I love most about Heidi Swain’s novels is the way she brings her characters to life, tying them all together with relatable situations her readers would no doubt find themselves relating to in various different ways. Every visit to Wynbridge and the surrounding areas, in my eyes, is like going back home to a place where you feel safest, content, loved and energised. A place where more people are your friends, and fewer people are your enemies. I have everything crossed that Heidi Swain continues to write books which branch off from Wynbridge as I would be incredibly devastated to see this series come to an end.
I cannot fault #SunshineandSweetpeas at all. From the very first moment I started reading, I knew I was going to fall in love with the characters and Nightingale Square – and I was right, I did. I love this book (and the series) so much, it actually makes me emotional and I have no idea why. This book is utter perfection, beautifully written, thought-provoking, endearing, and beyond loveable.
Heidi Swain is a truly, truly outstanding author who delivers her stories with such magnetism, grace, and bucketfuls of hugs, never failing to deliver. Absolutely outstanding – I want to read it all over again.