Review by Veronica

Buy from Indigo.ca
Buy from Amazon.ca

Series Name: Seabreeze Farm, #2 

‘You too.’ Ollie picked up his briefcase and kissed her one more time. It was just like hundreds of other mornings, so how could Freya have possibly known just how significant it would turn out to be.

Fans of Jo Bartlett’s books are going to fall in love with her latest, Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm. 

Freya Halliwell is looking forward to marrying the man of her dreams and starting their new life together. After the death of both of her parents, Ollie, along with Freya’s aunt, are the only family she has, but all the family she needs.

Until Freya discovers a shocking secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her once happy family and especially the man she used to call dad. Devastated and feeling more alone than ever before, Freya needs time and space to come to terms with the news. But until then the wedding is off!

Seabreeze Farm is the perfect place for Freya to recover. But could this beautiful farm perched high on the cliffs, also hold the answer to Freya’s past and reunite her with the family she never even knew she’d been wishing for? 

I can never say no to reviewing a Jo Bartlett book; because her books always have so much charm and depth. Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm is a novella (less than 150 pages) from the Seabreeze Farm series. It takes place four years after Welcome to Seabreeze Farm. You could read this book as a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it because this story builds on events that happened in the previous book. This book is a fun, easy breezy read. I have found that The Seabreeze Farm series tends to be more fun and lighthearted; compared to Jo’s Cornish Midwife series, which often tackles more serious issues and will usually have you reaching for the tissue box. 

This book introduces us to Freya, who is having a terrible, no-good day. It turned out that the man Freya believed was her father wasn’t actually her biological father. Freya is devastated and hurt. She cannot believe that her family would lie to her about something so important. Things get even worse for Freya when she stumbles upon Ollie (her finance) and Sophie (her best friend) having what appears to be a very romantic lunch. Freya confronts the two, and the argument results in a broken engagement. Freya heads to Seabreeze Farm for a much-needed escape and to discover who her birth father is. 

This book starts with a bang! The drama unfolding in the first few chapters will capture any reader’s attention. The story’s main focus is around Freya trying to discover who her birth father is. This is a challenging journey because Freya’s mother passed away two years ago and left little to no information about her life before Freya’s birth. I found myself quickly becoming invested in Freya’s search. I was curious if her father was a character I already knew or someone we hadn’t been introduced to yet. I got frustrated when setbacks in the search happened and excited when new facts came to light. The man who turned out to be her father was a real surprise to me, and I loved how that part of the story wrapped up. 

Fans of Welcome to Seabreeze Farm will be thrilled to know that parts of this book are told from Ellie’s POV. She and Ben are happily married and are expecting their first child. My heart burst with happiness when I saw that these two got their happily ever after. I loved their part in this book and the friendship between Ellie and Freya. It was so heartwarming. It was a joy to return to Seabreeze Farm. The animals are just as crazy and adorable (of course) as ever. They are a source of fabulous entertainment. 

The romance in this book takes a backseat in the overall story. Freya and Ollie split up right at the beginning, and the majority of the book is about Ollie trying to reach and talk to Freya. I struggled with Freya’s rash decision to end her relationship with Ollie. Part of me understood that she was under a lot of stress, but I don’t know if it justified ending her relationship and cancelling her wedding without actually having a conversation with her boyfriend. I understand that having Jo leave her relationship allowed for the story to go in the direction it did, but having these two go on a break would have been more believable and not as jarring to the overall story. 

Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm is a charming and heartwarming story. 

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