Emma Nightingale finds she’s accidentally becoming something of a local celebrity in the small town of Crickleford, and it seems that everyone wants her to look after their pets.
While looking after a hamster, she accidentally uncovers a mystery that threatens to draw even more attention to her. With nowhere to turn, soon Emma will have to make a decision that could cost her everything…
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Many thanks to Ebury publishing for my copy of The Pets at Primrose Cottage: Part Three: Trust your Heart to review and to Sharon for having my review on the blog.
So now we reach part three in Sheila Norton's Pets at Primrose Cottage series with the arrival of Trust Your Heart, which is something our main character Emma certainly needs to do. I am glad I have been able to read all parts so far in quick succession as the storylines and characters has remained fresh in my mind. As part two left us on a cliffhanger, the opening to part three sees some sort of resolution to what left readers on tender hooks. Local journalist Matt comes to the rescue when Emma finds herself in what could potentially become a disastrously, dangerous situation. Emma is grateful for Matt's help but as we have being reading so far she is still very resolutely a closed book. A person keeping everything very much close to her chest, never allowing a scrap of her recent past and the reason for her arrival in Crickleford to come to light.
I'm still in two minds over Emma as I can't believe that all her actions so far in terms of the amount of lies she has told so far can ever be justifiable, in fact the lies are only ever increasing. She gets herself into knots which are unnecessary in my view when surely admitting the truth and the reasons for leaving her ex Shane back in America would make more sense and ultimately relieve the burden she is carrying on. She can't move forward unless she does this and the spark that the reader can see between herself and Matt will never be ignited if she carries on the way she is.
Emma feels she can't even be friends with Matt as he wants to write stories about her. I felt Matt was genuine and he wasn't like a tabloid hack out to get the big scoop which would bring him money and fame. No he had a kind heart and there was nothing vindictive behind his reasons for wanting to write a story, it's just a pity that Emma couldn't see that. I understand Emma has been deeply hurt and, combined with the fact her own family don't want that much to do with her, she feels the need to keep everyone on the long finger. Her trusts issues with men are very apparent and she feels no good can ever come with any association with a member of the opposite sex. Surely her attitude needs to change if she wants to move on and make a better life for herself?
I enjoyed how we still don't know the exact reasons for Emma leaving Shane. There has to be that element of mystery throughout to make the reader keep reading, I'm hoping the big reveal in part four will be worth the wait. Although I do think Shane himself needs to make an appearance at some stage otherwise things could fall a bit flat. The one thing I would say is that despite all the people Emma meets through her newly developing pet sitting service is that there is a distinct lack of a female that she can turn to for advice and support. I know her landlady Lauren is there but Emma has only known her for a few months, a long time/childhood friend would have been a nice addition. Even just someone she could call on the phone for a chat. But then if one thinks about it maybe Emma has shut herself off from everyone and if she had the suggested friend/ally she wouldn't call on them in times of need.
Of course the book had to have some light hearted scenes and that's where the pets of the title come into play in this case Jojo the hamster was the one who provided the light relief from Emma's travails. For something so small he caused plenty of mischief which ultimately led to a lovely reveal and also helped ease the reoccurring tension between Matt and Emma. Rob Montgomery rears his ugly head again and his actions are once again repulsive and despicable.
Things got very dramatic towards the end which was needed considering I felt part three had lacked this. At the same time there are still plenty of unanswered questions which will guarantee I will be returning for the conclusion of Emma's story when part four No Place Like Home is published in February before the full length edition arrives in March. To say I am intrigued to discover the eventual outcome is an under statement as Emma is a character who will frustrate and infuriate you in equal measure yet at the same time there is a soft centre waiting to emerge. It's like the ice queen is melting and to see her on this journey has been enjoyable to read of and I hope she gets the happy ending I am sure she deserves. Can Emma get close to another man? Can she leave the past behind? Part four should reveal all.
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