‘Seriously? The rumours about Elderflower Grove having it own library are true? It really is like the Beast’s castle?’
‘There’s a surprising lack of sentient cutlery that makes dinner for you though.’
I snort out another laugh and then try to swallow it down. I’m pretty sure you should be scared of men you find sleeping in haunted houses in the middle of the afternoon, but there’s something about him that’s impossible not to like, whether it’s his honesty, his dimples, or his cheeky smile. ‘Well, that settles it, they cannot bulldoze a place that has its own library. No books are being destroyed on my watch.
The Beekeeper of Elderflower Grove is a sweet and captivating book that is perfect for reading on Sunday afternoon.
Having moved into her mum’s spare room after a disastrous break-up, Kayleigh Harwood is desperate for a fresh start. When she sees an opening for a new beekeeper at Elderflower Grove she jumps at the chance – despite not knowing a thing about bees…
The abandoned manor house holds a mystery of its own – the previous owner vanished years ago – and locals have been inventing stories about the manor ever since. Unable to resist the urge to look around, Kayleigh is shocked to find drop-dead-gorgeous gardener Carey living inside!
Carey explains that the house and surrounding land is at risk of being demolished, endangering the bees, and he has been staying there to protect it.
Convinced the secret of the house holds the key to saving Elderflower Grove’s bees, Kayleigh is prepared to do everything she can to help. But is she ready to find her own happy-ever-after too…?
I fell in love with Jaimie’s writing last year when I stumbled upon a few of her Christmas books. They instantly became my favourite reads during the holiday season. So, you could only imagine how excited I was when we were asked if we wanted to be on the book blog tour for Jaimie’s latest book, The Keeper at Elderflower Grove. This book was everything that I needed to read this weekend. It was such a wonderful blend of a sweet romance and a cozy mystery read. The story has all that charm and wit that I have come to expect from a Jaimie novel and is choke-full of cheeky and delightful characters.
If you love gardening, bees, and Jane Austen, then you will love this book! I am a huge gardener and have been working hard at turning my gardens into pollinator gardens for the bees. So all the gardening talk was just right up my alley. I also couldn’t get enough of the scenes where Kayleigh took care of the bees. They were just so informative and fascinating. I felt like I was learning something while enjoying a wonderful story.
All the characters in this book were amazing and had so much to offer this story. I loved Kayleigh; she is fun and bubbly, and watching as she pretended to be a seasoned beekeeper was delightful. I loved all the Disney movies and Jane Austen references, and the fact she is a big old bookworm made me love her even more. Carey is that perfect charming book boyfriend. At times, he does come off more unsure of himself, but that vulnerability only makes him more endearing. At least in my eyes.
The mystery component in this story was completely unexpected and really well done. Jaimie did a marvelous job at creating this mystery around the disappearance of Josie, who was thought to have died in a fire seven years ago, but her body was never found. Kayleigh and Carey both set out to try and discover what happened to her while also trying to see if Carey is Josie’s long-lost grandson. I couldn’t believe how much I was at the edge of my seat with this part of the story. I found myself coming up with different theories and trying to figure out whether Josie was actually dead. It was thrilling and fun joining our main duo as they looked for clues in this mysterious and haunted house.
I would be amiss if I didn’t talk about Elderflower Grove. The descriptions of this house and its vast grounds were stunning; they became a character in their own right. When this book starts, the house and surrounding area are gloomy and dark and really live up to the haunted creepy vibe villagers have given it. But as Kayleigh spends time there, the love she has for this place transforms it into the charming and magical place it once was. Kayleigh treats and interacts with the house and various other objects as if they can understand what is happening. I loved her slightly one-sided conversations with gargoyles, wishing wells, and the house. Honestly makes me feel a bit more normal since I tend to talk to my car and my house as well. LOL
The romance between Kayleigh and Carey is just honey-sweet. They really are a bee-utiful couple. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. This book is full of wonderful cheesy puns). The meet-cute in this story is hilarious and just so unique (kind of like the meet-cute in The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane). Kayleigh thought Carey (who was sleeping inside a sleeping bag) was the long-lost corpse of Josie and decided to approach the body with a “How to Beekeeper Book” and a fire poker, only to scare the living crap out of Carey, who thinks she is a maniac. The whole scene was laugh-out-loud funny. Their relationship has that charming feel and slow, sweet burn that I adore in these English romances. The conversations between them felt raw and real. I loved how they could joke around with each other but still have deep, meaningful conversations.
The Beekeeper of Elderflower Grove is everything I could ever want in a sweet English romance.
Thank you, HarperCollins UK and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.