My thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Lisa Hall’s Heart in the Right Place. I’m very pleased to share my review today.
Published by Manatee Books, Heart in the Right place is available for purchase here.
Heart in the Right Place
Lottie Hardwicke is Yorkshire’s answer to Kirstie Allsopp, but ten years spent raising her three children with husband, Drew, has relegated her to Saturday Girl status at the family estate agents. This is Lottie’s year; she’s turning over a new leaf and is going to make her time in property less of a borderline obsession and more of an actual career. Only, she hasn’t bet on her interfering in-laws returning to scupper her plans or her teenage crush, celebrity Tom Thorpe, arriving in the village and offering her the opportunity of a lifetime, which could compromise everything…
Can Lottie have it all? Can she be a hands-on mum and get her career back, without wrecking her marriage in the process?
My Review of Heart in the Right Place
Still half in love with her teenage heart-throb Tom Thorpe, Lottie finds life takes some interesting turns as her in-laws move in to her village.
Heart in the Right Place is the kind of book just right for a cold winter’s afternoon or a day at the beach and I enjoyed reading it. I thought the title was inspired as not only does it relate to the actions of many of the characters, it has links with the Yorkshire setting too.
Lisa Hill has created a smashing cast of characters so that there is someone for every reader to respond to. I loathed Edward from the very first moment he opened his mouth and could quite cheerfully have punched him – hard! I liked the development of Jack and Pamela in particular over the course of the story but it was Lottie’s feistiness that appealed to me most. Lottie is by no means perfect. She interferes, has a quick temper and actually holds quite a grudge, but these traits all make her all the more real and I could feel her frustrations with her.
The plot of Heart in the Right Place romps along and is very entertaining. There are several threads to the story that weave in and out in a very satisfying way. This isn’t a challenging read and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but rather that it is lovely to immerse yourself in a story that flows well and zips along.
However, even though the author’s style is easy to read, with realistic dialogue, considerable humour and some highly evocative descriptions, it was the themes that made the read for me. I loved the way Lisa Hill shines a spotlight on a wide range of relationships including romantic, platonic, friendship and family so that I really felt I had something to get my teeth into in this book. The status of celebrity, identity, media, loyalty and so on all add to the rich tapestry that underpins Heart in the Right Place so that I think it would reward several readings to appreciate it fully. The exploration of how women balance their families and working lives as well as their relationships is so well defined here.
Modern, fresh and vibrant, Heart in the Right Place is romantic, realistic and entertaining. What more could you want?
About Lisa Hill
Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.
Lisa writes contemporary romance with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’.
When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service Lisa enjoys running with her gun dog, Sparky. They are both currently training for the Stroud half-marathon although Sparky’s motivation lies much more in chasing bunny rabbits.
Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her winning the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition 2016 with her debut novel Meet Me at Number Five.