Review by Veronica

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In my head, Brack talked like Oscar Wilde, in a slightly plummy, upper-class voice and used archaic vocabulary. I had no idea why.

‘I’ll sort your run out soon, promise.’ 

If foxes could sniff in a haughty way, Brack would have done so. Instead, he just tucked his nose further under his tail. 

A Cottage Full of Secrets is a heartfelt romance about starting over and finding the courage to love again.

Cottage Two, Bracken Ridge Farm sits at the end of a pitted track, with the glorious Yorkshire moors stretching behind it.  

Just a simple two up, two down, the cottage holds the promise of a new start for two very different women, but it is also full of secrets. 

Fifty years ago, newly-wed Stella is relishing making the little cottage a happy home. But for all the lovingly handmade curtains, and the hot dinners ready on the table for her husband, Stella’s dreams of married life jar painfully with the truth.

Fifty years later, the cottage is a new beginning for Tamzin. Determined to get away from her previous life, she makes the move to the wild and vast Yorkshire countryside. 

When Tamzin finds a sepia photo of a woman, Stella, standing in the cottage’s garden, there’s a sadness in her eyes that Tamzin recognises. As the cottage reveals more of its secrets, Tamzin is desperate to find out whether Stella got her happy ending. And as she gradually makes new friends, and starts to win over her mysterious neighbour Euan, Tamzin dares to dream about her own happy ending too… 

A Cottage Full of Secrets is a dual timeline contemporary romance that follows the story of two women who have made a tiny Yorkshire Cottage their home. I want to let readers know that this book has some trigger warnings around physical and emotional abuse. Stella’s story is grim at times, and there are scenes where her husband is very physically abusive towards her. If the topic of abuse is not something you are comfortable with, I would not recommend reading this book.

I enjoyed the story and its characters. This book is a more emotionally charged and heartfelt romance with a mystery twist. I liked the dual timeline, but I wished that Stella’s timeline was structured a bit differently. I would have reversed the order of Stella’s chapters. This change would have made her story flow a bit better.

I loved Tam’s timeline and her journey of finding herself again. Her story has this perfect balance of friendship, realism, romance, and humour. Its pace and flow were just perfect. I loved how Jane approached the difficult issue of abuse and how abusive relationships can take many different forms and happen to both women and men.  

The relationship between Tam and Euan is sweet and just so charming. Both Tam and Euan have had traumatic pasts that have left them wary of interactions with others and forming a romantic relationship with anyone. I loved the romance these two characters have. Their relationship development is slow and steady; they go from wary neighbours to cautious friends to hopeful lovers.

I adored Tam’s relationship with her furry companion Brack; a recuse fox. The one-sided conversations Tam have with Brack are funny and cute, and I loved how Brack is a source of healing and comfort for Tam.

The Cottage of Secret Dreams is a beautiful heartfelt romance story that you will not be able to put down.

Thank you, Boldwood Books and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.