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08 July 2022

Book Review: The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall ahead of the blog tour.

The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall is the third book in the Portuguese Paradise series - but you can absolutely read it on its own.

The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall book cover

Layla is calm, in control and is definitely not about to lose her serenity for the man next door!

Surely it can’t be hard to stay peaceful at one of the oldest yoga and mindfulness retreats in the Algarve, surrounded by sea, sun and serenity? Mostly, owner Layla Garcia manages it – with the help of meditation and plenty of camomile tea, of course.

But keeping her grandparents’ legacy alive is stressful, and Layla has become so shackled to the work that, for her, The House on the Hill is fast becoming ‘The Fortress on the Hill’.

Then writer Luke Mackie moves to the villa next door, bringing with him a healthy dose of chaos to disrupt Layla’s plans, plus a painful reminder of a time when she was less-than-serene. But could his influence be just what Layla needs to ‘dance like no-one’s watching’ and have the fun she’s been missing?

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Yoga, family, friendship, love, paradise.

I've been practising my sun salutations since I picked this book up.

We meet Layla first - she's very much the main character of the story and I loved learning about her. Her past is slowly drip-fed to the reader, and it meant I couldn't put this book down. I wanted to know her big secret! Layla is simultaneously the most chill and chaotic person ever. All of her rushing around and alarm setting really built her character, especially against her role at House on the Hill 

When we first met Tomas I didn't like him at all - all I can say about that is that I loved how the story went for him.

I loved the mystery that Luke brought to the story - he's a figure from the past that Layla keeps so hidden. I loved the instant tension, the spark of attraction, the quick withdrawal when she recognised. I loved the reactions he provoked in Layla, it made for some hilarity.

I loved the settings in this book, they really came to life on the page. I was there doing yoga, eating at the restaurant, gazing at the beach and contemplating a class there (I've always wanted to do yoga on the beach, sand aside).

This was the perfect summer escape, and it has made me long for hot sunshine and cool shade. It made me laugh and smile, and I couldn't recommend it more.

The House on the Hill by Chris Penhall full blog tour banner

Chris Penhall won the 2019 Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, for her debut novel, The House That Alice Built. The sequel, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun was published in August 2020. Both are available in paperback, e-book and audio and are part of the Portuguese Paradise series. Finding Summer Happiness, which is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales is available in e-book, audio and paperback, and The House on the Hill - A Summer in the Algarve, the third novel in the Portuguese Paradise series, is published in e-book on 28th June 2022.
Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio.

She also has her own podcast - The Talking to My Friends About Book Podcast in which she chats to her friends about books. Good title!

Born in Neath in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it!

A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

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