Friday 24 July 2020

The Little Gift Shop on the Loch - Maggie Conway

Lily Ballantine is still reeling from losing her job and the man she’s head over heels for all in one afternoon!
So with her pride in tatters, she leaves the city behind her for the charming Scottish village of Carroch.

 Bequeathed the tiny gift shop by her late, free-spirited mother, she only intends to stay until she sells the place – but instead, finds herself falling for the beautiful shop, the stray cat called Misty… and the rather handsome local, Jack Armstrong.

 Lily’s not looking for love, but as the little gift shop weaves its magic around her heart, she wonders whether her mother might just have left her the greatest gift of all?

As i am sure you have noticed i have been virtually visiting alot of cute little places lately, I've been to Malta, France, Stratford Upon Avon & now Scotland. What a lovely way to take trips when you can't. I was torn between reading something cute and something dark and thrilling. I am glad i picked this one.

I haven't read anything by Maggie yet but have a few of her books on my TBR. I really loved this light hearterd and sweet read. We meet Lily, who in the space of a few minutes has her life thrown upside down. She suddenly loses her job and the man she is in love with when she is called into his office at work, which is made 100 x worse when she actually thinks all her hard work is been rewarded.

Feeling sorry for herself and licking her wounds Lily takes the time to treat herself to all the things she wouldn't usually when she is working at a hundred miles per hour. She also finally decides its time to deal with her mothers belongings and the shop she was left after her mother suddenly passed away. Heading away from the hustle and bustle of the city to the beauty of Carroch life starts to take some unexpected turns.

Lily didn't expect to be interested in the shop, she doesn't like cats and there is in fact no way she plans on sticking around for long. So when something about the shop captures her, the cat makes her feel less lonely and the thought of returning to the city makes her feel conflicted. Could this be a new life?

"Jack had teased her about falling in love with the place and she had the slightly unnerving sensation that that was exactly what was happening - as if the loch, the hills and wild beauty of the landscape had awakened something in her."

I really enjoyed this book, meeting Lily was lovely. I felt for her - she hadn't had a bad upbringing just maybe not a conventional one which had led her to seek security in a reliable job rather than something that warmed her heart. Lily i felt was a little lost but she was such a lovely character. I warmed to her straight away and just felt for her as she tried to deal with her emotions alone.

Well, we all like a nice hunky man and Jack filled that description in this book, a man she remembers when he was a boy as Lily sat reading at the lake trying not to make eye contact. The pair don't get off to the best start (as if often the case) but i really enjoyed discovering his personality as not all is as it seems. Underneath the initial impression he cares, alot - about all those around him and his community. It was lovely to read and i could feel myself really caring for him. He hadn't had the best time and was determined to make every day the best he could.

Throw in the side characters and you have a book that is great to enjoy. I also really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the community and what their roles were as such. Its just a shame there wasn't more to read because i could of carried on for hours. It took me away from life for a few hours.

This was a light read, with beautiful description. A great sense of how important of community is also plays a massive role in the narrative too. With wonderful characters, a picturesque setting and a fast pace this is perfect for chick lit fans.

I was gifted an e-arc from netgalley but my views are my own.
If you want a copy of this you can get one from amazon here

Maggie lived the first ten years of life in London before moving to Scotland. She has a degree in English Literature and spent many years working in offices dreaming of pursuing her passion for writing.

 A perfect day would include an early morning swim, a good coffee, a great book and a few hours spent writing before the chaos of a husband, three children, a dog and a cat begins. Having landed the role of chief dog walker, she spends far too much time roaming the streets but at least this gives her a chance to think up new storylines.

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