Title: A Place to Hide
Author: Sheila Norton
Series: The Pets at Primrose Cottage #1
Length: Novella (Serial novel)
PART ONE of a serialised novel – a charming and romantic story about living the simple life and the joy of animals.
Emma Nightingale needs a place to hide away. Pursued by the demons left by her ex-boyfriend, she takes refuge in quiet Crickleford, a sleepy town in Dartmoor, where she can lay low.
Life in Crickleford is quiet and peaceful, but it won’t be for long if people discover the truth about Emma’s past. Not wanting to make too much of a fuss, she ends up lying about why she’s there – she’s looking after some cats, she says – then suddenly the town’s new ‘pet-sitter’ is in high demand!
While looking after an Alsatian, Emma finds all attention is on her, and the handsome young reporter from the local paper takes an interest in her story…
Note: this is part one of a four-part serialised novel. The full length paperback will be available in April 2018
Source: ARC from Ebury Publishing via NetGalley
I’m not generally a big fan of serialised novels, but I will make exceptions for those that sound interesting. Seeing that this one was set on Dartmoor and featured cute pets, I couldn’t resist.
Sadly, this didn’t really work for me, and it wasn’t because it was only the first part of a longer book. I do wish more details of quite why Emma has absolutely nothing were made clearer (because at first I thought she was guilty of fraud or something serious), but enough clues are dropped that I could mostly work out what was going on, even if I think it was a bit extreme. I also find it hard to believe that her pet-sitting exploits were so easy, considering she had no experience with dogs. But those are minor things that I could definitely get over.
If only I liked Emma. Without knowing more about her situation I couldn’t find much sympathy for her – and when she started lying repeatedly for no real reason at all, I couldn’t even like her. She’s just… not my kind of character, I guess.
Which is a shame, because this seems otherwise kind of cute and fun, if not quite as full of Dartmoor or cute pets as I’d like. There’s a nice gossipy village (that seems to support a huge array of businesses for being supposedly off the main tourist track), some interesting characters and plenty of scope for both romance and a perfect home. But, sadly, thanks to Emma it wasn’t enough for me to want to read any more.
The Pets at Primrose Cottage: A Place to Hide is Out Now.
Visit Sheila Norton for more details.