The Country Escape by Fiona Walker

"First, and forgive an old bat a frightful romantic indulgence here, you must promise me that you will only marry for love. You may think me quite unreasonable insisting upon it, but it's such a simple thing and I regret not doing it." 

Title - The Country Escape
Author - Fiona Walker 
Publication Date - June 5th 2014
Publisher - Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Format - eBook 
Pages - 608

The blurb

Hidden amid lush parkland, Eardisford is the ultimate English country retreat and it's just been sold for the first time in its history. Romantic daredevil Kat Mason has been bequeathed the estate's lakeside sanctuary, Lake Farm, until she dies or marries. But the new owners want her out now... In rides charming Dougie Everett, the man hired to sweep Kat off her feet and off the property. Dougie loves nothing more than the thrill of the chase, but does he risk losing his heart along the way? 

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, I'd like to thank the wonderful publishers Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK) for accepting my request via Net Galley and kindly allowing me access to an eBook copy of The Country Escape. Not forgetting of course the wonderfully talented author Fiona Walker for creating the story which I am about to review. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

In order for me to tell you how much I enjoyed The Country Escape, I suppose I should start off by saying that at first I wasn't completely convinced that I was going to enjoy this title. There were a million and one words that I didn't really understand the meaning of so I had to revert to the dictionary on my Kindle more than I ever have before. BUT, and this is a huge but, once I really got into the swing of things and began to understand all the talk of horses and hunting and all things typically English, I was hooked well and truly. Dear readers, if you at any point decide to read The Country Escape, persevere and I promise you, you will be fascinated by this rural, animal-sanctuary dominated village in Herefordshire.

Fiona's heroine Kat Mason was a beautifully created character and I found her instantly like-able. Fiona begins The Country Escape by dropping the reader into a past time, where Constance, the old lady that Kat had once cared for in her stately home known as Eardisford Estate, is recording a message, intended only for Kat. In this message, Constance states her orders about what Kat must do after she has passed on. I found this to be a very intriguing and interesting way to begin the story and I was eager to find out more about the character Constance and her relationship with the lovely Kat. Within this message, Constance is leaving a very special part of the estate in Kat's care, known as 'Lake Farm.' She also states that Kat is allowed to remain at 'Lake Farm' unless she decides to marry, and if she rides 'The Bolt'. I won't reveal too much about this in my review, but trust me when I tell you that it is bloody brilliant and also adds a very life-affirming effect to the story. 

Once the prologue is finished, the reader is then brought back to the present by Fiona, and we are shown what Kat's life is now all about. Mucking out the horses, taking care of the numerous dogs and tending to sick animals ( repeatedly brought in by Russ, a very strong-willed and opinionated character who I didn't really like), Kat is definitely seen as a country girl. She doesn't really give a damn about her appearance, which is gorgeous in it's own right with her freckled face and natural flash of red hair, and she is most often found covered in mud and dirt. I think it was this that drew me to her. The complete opposite to vain, a little self-deprecating and a nasty, nasty history left behind her, she was like a rubics cube to me. I just wanted to figure her out. A mysterious past always hooks a reader, don't you agree? The story itself really begins to get going when the villagers and Kat herself catch drift of a new owner taking over Eardisford estate. In such a small place, the rumor mill is constantly churning, and before you know it, the whole village is alive with gossip and Chinese whispers. Instantly defensive of her late friend's home, and of course 'Lake Farm' Kat begins to wonder what's going to happen to her little home and her furry friends. 

Fiona's hero, who I found absolutely addictive, was just pure bad-boy, cheeky-smiled flirtatious perfection, all wrapped up in a messy-blonde-haired, disarmingly blue-eyed box, with a sexy little ribbon on top. Dougie Everett is his name, and being a famous movie star is his game. Little does he know, his whole life is about to change with just one job proposition, and yes, you guessed it, it involves Kat Mason, the red-haired beauty from Herefordshire. The new owner of Eardisford Estate, Seth, is about to play a naughty game of cat and mouse with Dougie and Kat, but a game that I enjoyed very much! It was enticing, rather naughty at times and left Kat blushing profusely on more than one occasion. Dougie was charming, full of life and constantly spouting sexy remarks that Kat really didn't know what to do with, but in the end, he helped her to face her biggest demon of all, and I found that to be exceptionally beautiful indeed. The complete opposites of each other, one a little too forward than the other, the sparks were constantly flying between Dougie and Kat and I absolutely adored watching the sparks ignite into an open flame. I couldn't take my eyes away for a second, and it seemed that Dougie and Kat couldn't take their eyes away from each other either. 

The plot in The Country Estate did start off as being a little slow, but once I got past the language barrier of the huge, intimidating words, I honestly could not stop reading. It was delightful in every sense of the word, full of animals and secrets and pub nights. It had me hooked from back to front and I was totally lost to the lives of Kat and Dougie. Written in third person, I was allowed to pry into the minds of a number of different characters and it was the height of entertainment. Fiona Walker, The Country Escape was absolutely magnificent, bringing the small village of Herefordshire to life using descriptive details that created the perfect images of the place in my mind. 

Becca's Books is rating The Country Escape by Fiona Walker with five delicious looking cupcakes! Although slow at first, I am so happy that I have had the chance to read this brilliant story. I miss Kat and Dougie and the rest of Fiona's characters already. Superb. It really was superb. 



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