28 Aug 2017

Book Extract / Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne

The Escape to Willow Cottage was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.
A cosy and heartwarming seasonal romance, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley.
Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

Escape to Willow Cottage was originally digitally published as a four-part serial under the title Willow Cottage. This is the complete story.

Chapter 11 p.104-106

Three fully leaded takeaway coffees later, Carly and a sick bag were on their way back to the train station. Leo was zoned out playing a game on Beths phone, so Carly and Beth were able to have a hushed conversation in the front of the hire car.

I cant believe you were going to kiss Jack, said Beth.

I wasnt!’ protested Carly, although she was scowling as she spoke. Well, it was only going to be a little kiss on the cheek not a full-on snog fest!’

You were not heading for his cheek!’

That was probably the wine doing the steering, said Carly glumly rearranging her sick bag.
Why were you going to kiss him at all? You dont know him, hes a stranger and you have Fergus.
He said something lovely but I cant remember what, said Carly pulling the same face she pulled when she accidentally switched on University Challenge and tried to join in. She sighed. ‘Im sorry I was drunk.

And what did you talk about anyway?’

Im so sorry, but I cant remember, said Carly, hugging the sick bag as Beth went a little too fast over another village speed bump.

Nothing at all?’

Nope. Carly shook her head. Ouch. Wishing I hadnt done that, she said, putting a hand to her forehead.

Me too, muttered Beth.

Are you and he you know?’ asked Carly.

No! Seriously, do you think I would get involved with someone else so quickly after Nick? Or even get involved with anyone at all after Nick?’ Beths voice was rising.

I dont know. Carlys expression was pained. No. Of course not. Again, very sorry.

Good, said Beth, relaxing her tight grip on the steering wheel. They bumped along the hedgerow-lined lane in silence for a while before Carly spoke. You cant pledge not to have any more relationships because of Nick.

I can, said Beth with a snort.

You shouldnt, said Carly, as Beth opened her mouth to contest. ‘I dont want to argue. I’m your friend and I’m just saying, you never know. And while I’m at it from what I can remember Jack was really nice to me, so don’t judge him the same as Nick. If he wants to help you, give him a chance.’ ‘I’m thinking he might not want to do that after today,’ said Beth and she started to grind her teeth.