When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.
But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.
To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too
Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children and two spoilt spaniels she calls her ‘hairy daughters.’ Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela has won and also been shortlisted for several writing competitions. She reads avidly, makes book-related jewellery and loves a nice cup of tea. Having recently planted a field of lavender with her husband in south-west France, she is looking forward to spending more time writing in Charente and watching their lavender grow.
Angela is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Angela writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.
Loved this book. Although I’d guessed about Nora before she was uncovered, I really enjoyed the twists and turns and the comic elements.
A lovely easy read. I particularly enjoyed the Ace character, most refreshing.
With an element of mystery, fun, hope, endurance and surprise too!
Well done…..I will certainly be searching out Angela Barton books. Thank you.
A great novel
This is a lovely, easy but emotional read with believable, well rounded characters I could empathise with and care about. The story of a young widow, Rowan, who turns her house into apartments and rents two of them out. The novel deals with relationships, has a good pace and a satisfying ending for most of the characters and some very funny moments. I didn’t want to put it down. Thank you Angela Barton, I loved it and can’t wait for the next one.
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Rowan is the main character and she has suffered a terrible loss, through no fault of her own. However she eventually moves forward in life and faces future challenges with bravery and good humour. I love her relationship with her sister-in-law, who faces her own challenges. The story is beautifully written with a nice touch of humour. Highly recommend it – 5 stars!
This story starts well and then improves. It is hard to review without giving too much away but suffice it to say this is a a great romance. The heroine, Rowan, is a believable girl trying to make the very best of her life and eventually succeeding. You will love following the downs and ups of her life, willing things to work out well for her. The men in her life, Tom, Ace and James are so well written I almost heard them speaking to me! A very readable, gentle story which keeps you reading.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of Magnolia House, Angela Barton’s latest novel from Choc Lit Ruby. I’d read Arlette’s Story and loved it but realised this was going to be completely different. Magnolia House is set in modern day London. Tom and Rowan Forrester have purchased a dilapidated Georgian town house near Clapham Common which they have completely renovated. Tom has a thriving photographic business and Rowan makes jewellery. Relocating from Cheshire with their spaniel Jet they look forward to settling into their new home and having Tom’s sister Libby and husband David as close neighbours. Rowan dreams of starting a family, but in the blink of an eye, everything she holds dear is ripped away from her.
I was rooting for Rowan all the way. She’s a strong character and needs to be after going through such overwhelming life changing experiences. Although sister in law Libby is there for her, she has her own problems and a marriage spiralling out of control. When Magnolia House is turned into three flats, Rowan takes on two tenants: Mason ‘call me Ace’ – an outrageously camp character who runs a vintage clothing store and loves colourful designer clothes – and Nora. Nora is a part time model and single mum to toddler Primrose.
I’m not going into any more detail, only to say there’s a huge range of emotions here: love, humour, betrayal , deception with some suspense stirred into the mix. I mentioned love? Well that comes in the form of Ace’s younger brother James, newly returned from America and staying with him for a while. As we know the course of love has a reputation for being bumpy and just as Rowan begins to form an attachment to James, in walks his ex- Helen who makes no bones about wanting him back. And as for suspense, who is the anonymous person sending cryptic messages to Rowan through the post, and why?
The characters are well written and the story pulls you in right from the beginning – in fact at times I honestly felt quite frustrated having to leave my Kindle to do other things. The settings were vividly brought to life too, whether I was dog walking on Clapham Common with Jet or wandering through a French market with Rowan during her holiday with her parents.
I expected this to be a book I could dip in and out whenever spare moments occurred. I was so wrong. Magnolia House became compulsive reading for me. The characters were fun, the plot seemed gentle, until the author decided to shake up and shock me with heartbreak and loss for the heroine. I won’t give more away about the plot, except to say this is a compelling read that I thoroughly recommend.