The Book-Lover’s Retreat by Heidi Swain

Thank you to Tandem Collective UK for my gifted copy of ‘The Book-Lover’s Retreat’ by Heidi Swain. This was a buddy read for the publication of the paperback edition of the book, and what fun it has been. This was also my first Heidi Swain novel, so I was excited to read it.

‘The Book-Lover’s Retreat’ is definitely a book for book lovers (as the title may suggest): a book about books – can there be anything better? Emily, Rachel and Tori are each big fans of the book ‘Hope Falls’, each has their own personal connection to the book and the film, and finally they are going to have the chance to stay at the cottage used in the film and visit all the places the characters visit. There is just one snag: Tori has to drop out and they need to find someone to replace her pretty quickly to not to lose out on their long-awaited dream holiday. Along comes Alex to save the day – but Alex is not quite who Emily and Rachel expect, and the holiday possibly becomes more than any of them ever expected.

This was such a lovely book to read. It delicately handled so many key issues and showed the importance of being supported by fantastic friends. There is a little bit of romance between the pages but it is so much more than a romantic piece of fiction and, quite honestly, it had me wanting to pack my bags and head for the Lake District with my best friends.

The character development is something that made this book particularly enjoyable. It was lovely to have strong female characters who worked together to support each other and help each other to achieve their dreams, or find their correct place in the world. As well as some male characters that were just as supportive of the dreams of their friends. There is one baddy among the pages, but this allows for the difficult subject of toxic relationships to be handled sensitively, while still raising awareness of such issues.

This book was a delight to read, especially ideal as we move towards the spring and summer months. This may not be my last read from the pen of Heidi Swain.

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