When Thea Thomas needs an escape, she finds the perfect opportunity: leading the restoration of a Victorian manor, Mill Grange. And while she’s more than capable of taking on the job, the volunteer team and their leader, Mable Hastings, don’t seem keen on relinquishing any control. But with time running out, Thea and Mable will have to team up—and nab a number of new volunteers—if they ever hope to return the estate to its former glory. However, when a televised appeal for more help leads to Thea’s troubled former boyfriend showing up along with a handsome TV host, there might be more than just dust flying before the cleanup is over.
Poor Thea. Smart, focused, and an expert in her field, all she wants is to successfully complete her project … and to avoid a thorn in her past that keeps popping up. Fortunately, there are far worse places to soak up a challenge than Mill Grange. Author Jenny Krane expertly wraps Thea’s problems around one of the most enchanting settings of the year, and it’s fascinating as she taps into the nitty gritty and some of the challenges—especially the financial—that come with large scale restoration projects.
Of course, while the landscape provides plenty of fun and tension, the real heat stems from Thea herself. Krane has written her with such a vulnerability that, when she senses the first bit of tension on the horizon, there’s genuine worry. Will the project finish on time? Will she get the volunteers on her side? How will she handle her ex? Thea has a headache around practically every corner. Even so, Krane balances everything out with plenty of levity. A cast of quirky cast, small town drama, and the potential spark of romance all blend together to keep things jaunty.
A total joy from beginning to end, Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange, unlike the titular property, needs no renovation. It’s downright sweet.
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.