Saturday, 12 January 2019

Emma's Review: Wildflower Park – Part One: Build Me Up Buttercup by Bella Osborne

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Life’s not always a walk in the park…

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn't be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

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Many thanks to Avon Books UK via NetGalley for my copy of Wildflower Park :Part One: Build Me Up Buttercup to review and to Sharon for having my review on the blog.

Build Me Up Buttercup is the first in a new series from Bella Osborne called Wildflower Park. It's a quick read but none the less a lovely gentle introduction to what promises to be another interesting, engaging and heart warming story from an author whose books I always look forward to reading. Book one has such a stunning and inviting cover that instantly makes you feel that Wildflower Park is a special place where people can come to relax and unite and share their problems. It is a sanctuary where the characters can offload their worries and hopefully plot a path to happiness and resolution. It's a story about friendship and love and how we cope and deal with what our lives throw at us and how our two main characters Anna and her friend Sophie respond to what is in store for them will set them up in either a good or bad way for many years to come.

Until recently Anna was happily engaged to Liam and due to get married in a year's time. Anna has made a cake to celebrate the fact that in twelve months time their loving union will be cemented. Unfortunately Liam has vastly different ideas and using that phrase that has been uttered countless times before, and one that no woman wishes to hear, he announces he needs a break. Really this term is used too freely and people just want to hear the truth not lies or glossing over something in an attempt to ease the pain on whom they are inflicting this news.

'I mean a break from each other. And that was it. Her engagement, her future, her neat little life unravelled by one sentence'. Thankfully Anna is not one to have the wool pulled over her eyes and she realises said break will turn into something permanent but she is disgusted and heartbroken that two years of her life have been wasted on Liam. What is it with her that she always seems to pick the bad apple, the commitment phobe who strings her along? 'She was beginning to think she was either a serial monogamist or she was destined never to find the one'.

As we begin to get to know Anna that little bit more we can see she is disappointed that things have turned out the way they have but she can't remain downtrodden forever. She isn't permanently put off men but maybe now was the chance to prove she could go it alone and that she didn't need a man for back up? She could manage perfectly well on her own but the question arose in my mind if a new man came knocking would she be willing to take that leap of faith given how badly bruised she had been in the recent past? Anna makes the move to a new area which is close to her friend Sophie. Walmsley has Wildflower Park at its doorstep, an old manor house was knocked down and when the larger houses that remained clubbed together to buy the gardens they created the park which can only be accessed by a key if you are a resident. It's a community project where flowers and bees have been introduced, a haven for wildlife and humans alike. The park didn't play a major role in this first part of the series but I can tell it will have a significant forbearing on what is to come in the future.

Anna feels she has made the right decision to move to the area and maybe this will help her in the healing process and kick start her new attitude to both life and romance. The same can't be said for her work life as a new project manager rubs her up the wrong way and puts her off plan and out of her comfort zone. I'm interested to see how this strand of the story will develop as I can see tension and sparks oozing from the pages already. Also an accidental text really upped my interest levels and I wanted to know much much more than was revealed but given there are three more parts to this series there is plenty of time for that to occur.

As for Sophie she is a character I haven't yet warmed too but maybe that will change in future parts. She is married to Dave and has two children with number three on the way. To my mind she did an awful lot of complaining and didn't seem happy with her lot at all. She feels overwhelmed and undervalued and I thought really? Sit Dave down and give him a good talking to if you aren't that happy, stop the moaning to Anna and whoever and do something about it. Take action instead of constant grumbling. I understood she felt Dave had a total lack of consideration when it came to doing things around the house and being supportive but had she allowed him to get away with things for too long. Hopefully Sophie will gather herself together and start the process of turning her life around to the way she wants it to be.

This was a lovely introduction to what I feel is going to be another great series from Bella Osborne. Despite its short length I really got a feel for the characters and setting. Plenty of conundrums and problems have been set up and I look forward to seeing how they are developed and will Anna and Sophie both find the contentment they seek or is there more twists and turns and shocks to come. Part Two A Budding Romance arrives in February and I am eager to discover what happens next.

All Amazon UK book titles in bold are Affiliate links which will earn me a few pence if anyone clicks through and makes a purchase - any money earned will go towards buying books or gifts for giveaways. 

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