Book review: Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley

17 Feb

wickham hallHolly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

As Holly falls in love with the busy world of Wickham Hall – from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos – she also finds a place in her heart for her friendly (if unusual) colleagues.

But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications…). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic happens…

Cathy Bramley writes lovely warm, feel good stories and is fast becoming my ‘go to’ author when I’m looking for a cosy read.
Wickham Hall is Cathy’s fourth novel and I think it’s her best yet. I’ve always loved the idea of working at a stately home so Holly’s story really appealed to me.

Holly lives in the village where Wickham Hall is and many of her memories are associated with the Hall which her mum also loves. As Holly gets her dream job managing events at Wickham she begins to find out more about its history and surprisingly about her own history too. I loved the way that the Wickham Hall was linked to Holly’s and her mum’s lives and made the story extra special.

This book was originally published in four ebook parts based around the seasons and the movement through the year gave the story great pace. I also enjoyed the variety of events that Cathy put into the seasons from an eventful spring wedding to the grand summer fair, a dramatic bonfire night and a beautiful Christmas,  Cathy has assembled a wonderful cast of characters for this book and I could have read about them all day. There’s so much going on in all the different parts of the hall and in the lives of Holly, her mum, her best friend Esme and the owners of Wickham Hall; the Fortesques that there was never a dull moment and this book has huge potential for spin offs and further stories.

Holly’s best friend Esme and her mum were just two of the characters I’d like to hear more about! Jenny Plum the chef is another! I’d love Cathy to write a sequel to Wickham hall and I’d also love to read a seaside set book by Cathy. The descriptions throughout are amazing and the details of food and decoration had my mouth watering which bodes well for Cathy’s next book set in a cookery school.

But the icing on the cake in this book is the romance of it. Ever since Mr Darcy got out of that lake, me and I’m sure millions of others have been dreaming of being swept off our feet by the handsome lord of the manor! Well meet Benedict Fortesque! Ben, as he prefers to be known is the cheeky, impulsive son and heir to Wickham Hall and currently residing somewhere near the top of my ‘book boyfriends’ list ;-)

The chemistry between Ben and Holly is just wonderful and there are some seriously dreamy moments in this lovely book. It was so lovely to read a romantic comedy that was just that – a wonderful colourful celebration of romance and love. I can’t wait to read Cathy’s next book and thankfully we don’t have long. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food  – part one is out next month in ebook formats with a paperback to follow in June!

5/5

Wickham Hall is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Cathy and her writing at: http://www.cathybramley.co.uk/

With thanks to Transworld for providing a review copy of this novel.

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