But with the rundown Inn threatened with closure, Belle may be forced to leave, unless a buyer can be found … quickly.
So, when her oldest friend Pete Kennedy returns from working abroad with a plan to save the Inn, Belle should be overjoyed. The trouble is, Pete has some rather radical ideas for the renovation which Belle disagrees with.
But when a snow storm hits, Belle and Pete are forced to put aside their differences and work together to help the village.
Can Belle realise her dreams to stay in Cranbridge and can Pete ever stop running from his past?
As they try to save The Black Swan Inn, secrets are revealed and just maybe they’ll finally find out how they really feel about each other.
The Village Inn of Secret Dreams is the third book in the Riverside Lane series.
Belle Clarke sees the village of Cranbridge as her home. She wants to stay there forever, working at her Uncle’s inn, The Black Swan.
When the inn is threatened by closure, Belle may have to leave. Cue Pete Kennedy, her oldest friend.
He buys the inn and has plans but these are the opposite of Belle’s vision.
It was so lovely to be back in Cranbridge. It was really like being back with old friends. The descriptions and setting of this village sounds so stunning, especially as it’s set during Autumn and Christmas (I am feeling so festive now.)
I was pleased to see that this book centred around Belle. Since the first novel in the series, I have been curious about her backstory.
Even though this is book three, you can read this one as a standalone. Everyone is sufficiently introduced without stopping the pace of the story and focus on Belle and Pete.
Belle is a real, vulnerable character with a heartbreaking past. Everything that makes her feel safe is suddenly on the verge of being taken away and I really felt for her.
Pete, well, it took me a little while to form an opinion of Pete. To begin with, I wasn’t sure what to make of him but the more you find out about his personality, the more the similarities between he and Belle become evident in terms of being scared and vulnerable. I really liked seeing how they developed through the novel. Sometimes I did want to bang their heads together. Haha.
It was lovely to be able to catch up with Grandma Tilly (who is brilliant,) Cathy, Josh, Amber, Lucy and Tom.
I really didn’t want this book to end and I hope this isn’t the last we see of these characters.
The Village Inn of Secret Dreams was a warm, funny, book full of romance and second chances and I loved it.
About Alison Sherlock:
Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold village and the first title was published in July 2020.
The Village Inn of Secret Dreams was released by Boldwood Books on 30th September 2021. Click to buy on Amazon UK.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.