Hall of Fame Review: Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

Thursday, 18 June 2015
Title: Return to Bluebell Hill
Author: Rebecca Pugh
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 288
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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 was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015, and it feels like years since Rebecca made the announcement on Twitter about being signed by Carina! For those not from planet Earth Rebecca Pugh is a book blogger and her blog is one of my favourites to read. She just has a way with words that makes her reviews and blog posts an absolute pleasure to read. Rebecca sent me a piece of writing she was working on a while ago, and I knew then that it wouldn't be long before I was reading a published novel, and here it is! You just know Rebecca is somebody with a very active imagination which is buzzing with ideas every waking moment, and there's nobody better to write stories than somebody like that.

I kind of wish Return to Bluebell Hill had been released under a pseudonym just so I wasn't aware who the author was but I do think Rebecca has a very distinctive writing style, one that is easily recongisable and that shone through when I was reading this stunning debut. I set my alarm an hour earlier than normal (I was in work at 5.30am) and woke up at 3.30 to download and start this book because I was that excited. I think that's something you often miss out on as a blogger when you are fortunate enough to receive books months in advance. Nothing beats that feeling of finally purchasing that book you've waited so long to be released.

Our main character in Return to Bluebell Hill is Jessica McAdams and she's one of those characters that you very quickly fall in love with, or at least I do because I love those heroines that have lost their way a little bit, or haven't yet found their place in the world. I think it's because of knowing that they are about to go on a life-changing journey and that excites me when starting a book. Jessica has felt like she's never really belonged anywhere, and has never truly felt at home. She returns to the village of Bluebell Hill after the death of her parents, parents who she had a strained and distant relationship with. Jessica's plan is to box everything up, sell the beautiful family home - Bluebell House - and return back to her life in London. Throw in the reveal of a jaw-dropping secret and a hunky gardener and soon Jessica's torn over just what direction her life should be going in.

Bluebell Hill is a fantastic little village, even with Jessica returning under unpleasant circumstances. She is reunited with Esme, an elderly lady who was her nanny when she was younger, and the only person she has ever felt close to. I loved Esme, but I wouldn't be able to cope with her chirpiness at stupid o'clock in the morning! There's some beautiful and heartfelt scenes between Jessica and Esme throughout the book. I did guess early on why Jessica had always felt so alone in the world, but if anything the whole thing just made me fall in love with her even more. I was desperate for her to find happiness, and found myself becoming frustrated with her when she began to push people away. I was almost shouting at my Kindle! Especially when she meets gardener Rueben, who female readers should prepare themselves to fall in love with. I love how natural their connection felt, and how believable the whole thing was. I obviously can't say too much except their parts in the story are perfect. I'm not an emotional person (I'm lying, I so am) and certain parts in this book were a tad emotional because of the very quick connection I established with the characters.

Return to Bluebell Hill really is a beautiful and wonderful story. One of those that you read in a day but one that you wish never had to end. My time spent in Bluebell Hill was sadly not long enough and I'd love to return again in a future novel! The character of Jessica can be explored so much further, and I'd also love to see best friend Sarah featured more prominently as she too was such a likeable character and I especially enjoyed her friendship with Jessica, that kind of friendship few people are lucky enough to experience. I finished Return to Bluebell Hill and wanted to read it again. Rebecca has an army of bloggers behind her, and the book is already storming up the charts, but those great reviews and sales only highlight what a great book this is. This is the first book I've read as a blogger where I feel I have been there for the whole journey from signing to publication day and I am so incredibly proud of Rebecca and hope the wait for another book isn't too long!

5/5

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Shaun!

    Just popping by to say a HUGE thank you for such a glowing review. I'm utterly delighted that you enjoyed 'Return to Bluebell Hill' as much as you did, and absolutely over the moon to be included in your 'Hall of Fame' category, how amazing is that?

    Becca xxx

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  2. What a fantastic review, I haven't managed to read Return to Bluebell Hill yet but sounds like I need to move it up the TBR pile, thanks for the tip

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