New Release Book Review: A Room at the Manor by Julie Shackman

A Room at the Manor…

About the Book:

When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heartbroken, yet determined – instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room, True Brew.

Lara’s life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty’s elderly customers, the former laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost three hundred years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.

There’s something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird’s faith in Lara.

A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place in the world.




My Thoughts:

A Room at the Manor is a truly delightful novel. With its romantic sparks, Scottish humour and mouth watering tea shop treats, this is a novel that will warm you through to your toes – and have you wishing you were a better baker than you actually are!

Lara is moving on with her life, but it’s not moving fast enough until the passing of the local former Laird, Hugo, gives it a definite boost with instructions contained within his will for Lara to turn a particular room in his family manor into a teashop. Showing great faith in Lara, I enjoyed watching Hugo’s wish come into fruition as she transformed from a frustrated waitress into a dynamo business woman.

I don’t read a whole lot of romance, but when I do, this is exactly the sort of story I hope for. Lara’s ambition and success were separate to her romance with Hugo’s grandson, one not dependent on the other, and I liked that so much. First and foremost, this story was about Lara taking the reins back on her own life, growing as a person, a friend, a daughter, and an employer. That she got to find love along the way was a nice addition to the mix.

Julie has a lovely tone to her writing, inflected with a dash of Scottish humour, with a smooth flow and engaging dialogue. There is a terrific cast of characters to keep this novel moving along, the dynamics between them all fresh and compelling. I liked the slight fairytale slant to this story with its rags to riches offering, its handsome prince and the magical ending. A gorgeous novel to curl up with this winter, but be warned, you will want cake. The creations Lara and her team come up with for the teashop will have you dreaming of cake long after you close the book. Highly recommended reading!


Thanks is extended to Allen and Unwin for providing me with a copy of A Room at the Manor for review.

7845881About the Author:

Julie Shackman trained as a journalist and studied media and communication before turning her hand to women’s fiction. She lives in Scotland with her husband and two teenage sons. When not reading and writing romance, she writes verses and captions for greeting cards.

9781760632861A Room at the Manor

Published by Allen and Unwin

Released 1st July 2018

Available in Paperback and eBook

Audiobook to be released November 2018

11 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: A Room at the Manor by Julie Shackman

  1. Pingback: Behind the Pen with Julie Shackman | Theresa Smith Writes

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