June 27, 2022
Genre/Categories/Setting: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Complicated Relationships, Animal Rescue, Rural UK
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thank you #NetGalley @BoldwoodBooks @BooksandTonic for a complimentary eARC of #ChasingDreamsAtHedgehogHollow by Jessica Redland upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow is #5 in the Hedgehog series. While Samantha and Josh are the main characters in book one of the series, each of the subsequent installments features a family member or a character in the community who is close to the couple. In this story, we learn about Lauren with a few chapters from Samantha’s point of view. In each installment, the author keeps us up to date with Samantha and Josh and the hedgehog rescue operation.
Stand-alone? Although this fifth installment of the Hedgehog series can be read as a stand-alone, a series is always best read in order for a richer reading experience (in my opinion). The author has created a large cast of characters (family and community) with complicated relationships that are somewhat difficult to remember and track unless you are reading the installments one right after the other. Redland does provide a list of characters at the beginning of the book for handy reference that I found myself referring to frequently. Despite the list, I think a reader jumping into the series with this installment might be a bit lost or overwhelmed with the number of characters.
Samantha and Josh: I appreciate that the author keeps us up to date on the foundational couple in the series. They won my heart in (book one) Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow (my favorite of the series) and I continue with the series to follow their story arc.
Lauren: Our main protagonist in Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow is Lauren (Josh’s aunt) and I love the themes of second chances and taking risks that her story explores. Lauren’s story is an interesting one. At midlife, Lauren has had two failed marriages and recently finds herself unemployed as a result of redundancy. This could be a story of despair, but the author infuses it with hope.
Themes: Several thoughtful themes include second chances, family and friendship, hope, sexual identity, secrets, starting over, supportive community/family, animal rescue, and complicated relationships.
Amimal Rescue: If you enjoy stories that include animal rescue, the hedgehog rescue operation will add to your reading enjoyment! Jessica Redland has taught us a great deal about these cute creatures throughout the series.
Content Considerations: domestic abuse/controlling spouse, death from cancer (not a main character). ***The author explores difficult content in each of her books but with a light and sensitive touch.
Recommended for fans of heartfelt, page-turning women’s fiction, for readers who appreciate stories featuring animal rescue, and for those who love rural English settings. Again, I recommend the series in order.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Jessica Redland
I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.
I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.
My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.
In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.
Is Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow on your TBR or have you read it?
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