Monday, 6 June 2016

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

Summer at Skylark Farm

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain
Published: 2nd June 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 464
Available in e-book

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn't quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined - it's cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

Heidi’s first novel The Cherry Tree CafĂ© is a book which sadly I have on my kindle but due to getting married the week after it was released I’ve not read it, so I was unprepared for just how much I was going to love Summer at Skylark Farm. It was just the absolutely perfect book for me as being a country girl I love reading about village life with its community spirit, village fetes, cosy teashops and everyone gather in the local pub on a Friday night and Summer at Skylark Farm has this in bucket loads.
Amber works in corporate events and has become her bosses go-to girl when he has a problem, something Amber used to dream of but now her job is overtaking her weekends and quality time with boyfriend Jake and Amber starts to realise its time for a change.  So when Jake drops the bombshell that he’s moving to the country to help his aunty run Skylark Farm Amber decides to pack her job in and join him.
Armed with her floral wellies, Boden tops and a pile of Country Living magazine Amber throws herself into farm life, even if it is a little colder and more run-down than the glossy image she imagined. Soon she’s taken charge of the chickens and keeping a watchful eye over Pip the pony and has even made friends with Annie’s dogs.
It’s not long before Amber has become firm friends with local girls Jess and Harriet and has become part of the community even offering to take over the hosting of the May fair, but with Annie and Jake both hiding secrets can Amber commit to a life on the farm once she knows everything.
Amber is one of those characters who you just can’t help but adore. Right from the start of the book you can tell she’s a very determined lady who believes in doing her best to make people happy, even to the extent of her own happiness. I was so glad she decides to leave her job and move to Skylark Farm as almost instantly she becomes happier and more relaxed, finding joy in the little things in life like baking her own cake and having a clean henhouse.  I loved how she formed easy friendships with both Harriet and Jess and it was a real friendship where you’re not afraid to say exactly what you think and this made for some funny moments.
I loved many of the other characters, especially Annie, she might be old but she’s totally clued up and doesn’t miss a thing and I loved how she sort acted as a mother figure for Amber when she was finding things tough. I also loved how the farm animals also had their own personalities and love that Patricia the hen and Pip the Pony both have their own share of the drama.
I found Summer at Skylark farm a wonderful read full of lovable characters, with a dreamy setting of the farm and surrounding orchards and it had enough drama to keep me entertained. I think it’s the perfect book to kick-start your summer reading and one which could easily become one of my go to favourites when I need a little pick me up. So go and grab yourselves a copy and spend an idyllic afternoon down on the farm.
Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinions, I think Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain deserves a big fat 5 out 5 stars.

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