‘The Winter Cottage’ is the first book in the ‘Applemore Bay’ series by Rachael Lucas.
When Rilla Clarkâ€™s long lost father dies, she leaves New England and heads to his cottage in the Scottish Highlands to sort out his affairs. Rilla’s determined that her visit will be a fleeting one. The little village of Applemore holds a lot of memories for her, but looking back might just open up her heart, which sheâ€™s kept well-guarded until now. Lachlan Fraser is less than delighted with his inheritance. He left the grand, crumbling Applemore House as soon as he could, and he canâ€™t see why his three sisters love it so much. Gathered together at their family estate, the battle of wills over what to do with the house is just beginning when into their life walks Rilla, who they havenâ€™t seen for over fifteen years. Old friendships and long-hidden emotions are rekindled as the romance of a Highland winter works its magic – will Rilla and Lachlan discover that home isnâ€™t a place, but a feeling?
At only 256 pages, the first book in a new series by Rachael Lucas can easily be consumed in one sitting with plenty of tea for company.
Seen through the narrative of Rilla and Lachlan who have both returned to the village of Applemore to sort out their houses after their fathers have passed away.
Lachlan is heir to a huge, old castle thatâ€™s in dire need of work and a huge tax bill hangs over the family. Whilst Rillaâ€™s family home is located on the Lachlanâ€™s family home and is a much more humble affair.
Rilla was friends was Lachlan and his 3 sisters as a child but was taken away when an incident occurred. She thinks that coming to the town many years after leaving she wonâ€™t be remembered but sheâ€™s wrong and finds herself with her childhood friends as well as her crush on Lachlan returning, completely unaware the Lachlanâ€™s feeling are the same.
Whilst theyâ€™re clearing out the houses and trying to think of ways to find funds to fix the castle, Lachlan and Rilla have plenty of projects to work on together and their bond begins to strengthen. And itâ€™s so lovely to read the interactions between the two of them as they are blissfully unaware of each otherâ€™s feelings and both deal with grief in different ways.
This was the first book that I read by Rachael Lucas and it was an absolute joy from start to finish. Filled with warm and charming characters, a close knit and picturesque village with an adorably hyper dog, â€˜The Winter Cottageâ€™ has all the makings of the perfect romance novel, love, hope and new beginnings.
You can pre-order ‘The Winter Cottage’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 25th October 2021.