To Nina Conte’s fans who only read her author bio at the back of her novels, it might seem like she has the perfect life. But then, it doesn’t mention: the soon-to-be ex-husband who ran off with their cash, the farmhouse in shambles, the barking fridge, or the daughter who seems to think Nina can’t do anything right. If it wasn’t for the occasional dinner with her best friends, Jack and Emma, some days she’d be entirely consumed by the stress. However, when a producer shows interest in adapting her first book, Nina can finally see a bright future ahead of her—and with dreamy movie star Luke O’Hara heading the project? That’s pure icing on the cake. But as Nina’s dreams start coming true, she must consider whether she really wants the Hollywood life or the comfort of her Cornish home.
Rarely are characters as legitimately likable as Nina Conte. Smart, funny, and at ease with her convictions, she’s the levelheaded heart of her own story. Though really, it’s author Nancy Barone’s keen sense of character and dialogue that has Nina feeling like a genuine person right from the very first page. Not only that, she comes across as a friend dishing out a good story over lunch and a glass of wine … well, with Nina, a glass of cider might be more appropriate.
And it’s a good story. Financial woes. Hollywood deals. Rebellious children. Secrets tucked behind every page. While somehow keeping things light, Barone lays the drama on thick while always remaining grounded—not an easy feat when it comes to stories set around the entertainment industry. Perhaps it’s because she’s peppered in a charming cast of characters who help catapult things along. Or maybe it’s because the action feels rooted in a Cornish village so charming that it’s disappointing it’s not real. More likely, it’s a combination of the many little things that make Barone’s expert writing feel alive.
Perhaps the most exciting part, though, comes from the most common element: the romance. On paper, Luke O’Hara, handsome and the would-be pick of many starstruck fans, seems like an obvious match for Nina. However, love is complicated, and Nina’s sensible approach forces them both to consider what they really want. The end result allows for a few surprises while remaining immensely satisfying. Somewhere along the way, it becomes impossible not to root for Nina to find her own bit of happiness.
Devilishly funny and utterly charming, New Hope for the Little Cornish Farmhouse is a perfect romance.
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.