Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spring at Moss Hill - Review

The Spring at Moss Hill (Swift River Valley) by Carla Neggers
Rating: Good
Source: NetGalley
Description:  Kylie Shaw has found a home and a quiet place to work as an illustrator of children's books in little Knights Bridge, Massachusetts.  No one seems to know her here - and she likes it that way.  She carefully guards her privacy in the refurbished nineteenth-century hat factory where she has a loft.  And then California private investigator Russ Colton moves in.  Russ is in Knights Bridge to keep his client and friend, eccentric Hollywood costume designer Daphne Stewart, out of trouble.  Keeping tabs on Daphne while she considers starting a small children's theater in town doesn't seem like a tough job until he runs into Kylie.  Her opposition to converting part of the old hat factory into a theater is a challenge.  But his bigger challenge is getting Kylie to let loose a little... like the adventurous characters she depicts in her work.  Kylie and Russ have more in common than they or anyone else would ever expect.  They're both looking for a place to belong, and if they're able to let go of past mistakes and learn to trust again, they might just find what they need in Knights Bridge...and each other.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed the past books in this series and how can I resist a main character who illustrates children's books and lives in a hat factory?

My Impression:  I always love a visit to Knights Bridge but I do have to say that this one wasn't my favorite.  My primary problem was that secret that Kylie was keeping just didn't seem that big of a deal.  I can get why she didn't want to advertise who she was but I had a hard time understanding her level of worry about being discovered.  I kept expecting there to be a crazed stalker or something in her past but there wasn't.   I was also surprised with how much of an impact some rumors about faulty construction on Moss Hill had.  Both the contractor and the architect are trusted members in Knights Bridge and they were both confident in the solidness of the building but we seemed to spend a lot of time on Ruby's worries about the building and that would impact the class she had scheduled with Daphne Stewart.  Ruby herself needs to learn yoga breathing or something.  I get that she's young but she's also incredibly wound up and at times just rude - especially to Kylie who she doesn't even really know.
But there was a lot I enjoyed in this story as well.  Kylie is an interesting character and I loved seeing her process for her work.  It was good to see her allow herself to have fun and become more involved in the community.  I liked Russ' character as well and I liked how he handled his discovery of Kylie's secret.  They're both pretty closed off private people so watching them get to know each other was really lovely.  I also liked catching up with the O'Dunn clan - especially the mother who I haven't seen much of in awhile.
As I have come to expect from this series Carla Negger's writing is immediately engaging and the world of Knights Bridge is beautifully drawn.  I liked seeing a bit more of Dylan and Olivia and I really like both the characters.  It was also nice to catch up with Julius and Loretta and Daphne is always entertaining.  Even though this wasn't a favorite I still enjoyed reading it and will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series!
While both characters are new to the town there is a lot of discussion about Daphne and her costumes so if you're interested in reading this I definitely recommend reading That Night on Thistle Lane first.  It's a wonderful story in it's own right and will clear up the hows and whys of who Daphne is and the rest of the details.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I thoroughly enjoy all my visits to Knights Bridge

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction I think you'd enjoy this series though I recommend starting at the beginning of the series or at least with That Night on Thistle Lane.


  1. When couples have secrets - well sometimes it works, but I know I have read a number of books where, when the secret is revealed, all I can think is "that's it?"

    But I do really want to try out Carla Neggers. And this cover is just so adorable.

  2. I still haven't read this author yet but it does sounds good. I also like the idea of an illustrator and I don't think I've come across a character like that before. I love small town setting so I'll have to check this out. Nice review!

  3. I plan to read this one, and am glad you liked it even though you had issues with it. I always wonder about those secrets that really don't seem like a big deal to us as readers. It seems rather anticlimatic then, doesn't it?

  4. It has been forever since I read a Carla Neggers book. I am sometimes annoyed when the big deal in a book doesn't seem like a big deal to me at all. This does sound like a nice book. Great review!

  5. Yes think this would be for me but would need to read previous one you mention first. Love the idea of her being an illustrator. Don't like it though when something is made a big deal of but you think to yourself "really'!