Apr 13, 2015

Welsh Week: The Green Hills of Home by Emma Bennet

 A delightful romance that you won’t be able to put down

Gwen Jones has just signed her first book deal. She really needs it to work out so she can save her family home and look after her sick mother. But there’s a big problem. She’s falling in love with her handsome but arrogant editor, John Thatcher, and he’s got a few secrets up his sleeve.

Can Gwen save her beautiful Welsh farmhouse home? And will she ever be able to tell John her real feelings?  

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Review by Tanya
This debut novel of Emma Bennet’s is a great read.  The story flows easily and the chapters are nice and brief so easy to read. Also easy to say oh just one more chapter before I go to sleep!
The book centres around a young lady called Gwen who lives in the Welsh valleys in a farm cottage near a village called Tonnadulais. She is an aspiring author who has just been given her first publishing opportunity by Black Horse Publishing based in London. John Thatcher has been given the task of guiding her through her manuscript and helping her make alterations so that the book is better for the reader.  This is a role he does not want as he thinks that the publishing company should be focusing on their current writers and not taking on new ones as the financial problems are hitting the book market.  
Their relationship is not helped by the fact that Gwen refuses to travel to London to concentrate on the changes but insist that he goes to Wales and stays there. This is due to the fact that Gwen’s mum is in a hospital after a stroke and she is the only child. She is also trying to buy the house so that when her mum leaves they won’t be turned out as the landlord is selling the house in an auction. She knows how much the house means to her mum as she was bought up in it and then lived there with her late husband. 
John is aloof and focused on the task in hand when he first visits Gwen and struggles to accept that she has other commitments.  However, over their time spent on the manuscript he seems to thaw and begins to understand how dedicated to her mother Gwen is and actually visits her in the hospital, turning on his charm. The chemistry between Gwen and John is interesting as it can suddenly flair up into a disagreement.
John has a secret and is constantly trying to check on things and Black Horse Publishing including the bank balance. Has he got something in mind? Mind you checking your emails and phone messages can be hard in the valley. I began to warm to John during the book and wanted him to turn out to be a nice guy.  I liked the character of Gwen from the beginning and her love for her way of living.
I really enjoyed this book and loved the descriptions of the characters and the Welsh countryside.  I could imagine the town of Tonnadulais with fondness. And yes Welsh people are friendly like the characters in the village. I will be looking out for more books by this author.

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