I honestly don’t know whether I loved this series, or was more annoyed by it. You see, the Wildflower Park-series is basically more of a serialised novel. In other words: if you add up the four books, you get one complete story. If you don’t, well… Then you will end up like me: frustrated because you need to know what happens next and it’ll be months before the last part is actually out!
Life’s not always a walk in the park…
When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?
Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.
Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…
Build Me Up, Buttercup
The first part of this series left me with a lot of questions. I feel like there’s so much information on both Anna and Sophie that we have not yet been given… How exactly did these two befriend each other? What is Anna’s past? There’s something both in her childhood and in her university years, I think, that needs revealing. Why exactly was Hudson so antagonistic towards Anna from the get-go? How did Sophie end up with her husband as – right now – it doesn’t even appear as if she likes him? What is the story behind Maurice’s previous owner?
And here’s the thing: I wouldn’t usually like being left with more questions than answers after reading a book. In this one, however? It just works. And that’s a huge praise to the author!
Rating: 3.5/5 (Goodreads)
A Budding Romance
While some of the questions Build Me Up, Buttercup left me with were answered in the second part of this series, there’s still a lot that we don’t know anything about. I do appreciate the way that the author really takes the time to let all of the events take place slowly. Sure, there’s the occasional jumping over a couple of days, but in general, you really get to see the relationships between, for example, Anna and her mystery texter, develop.
Another thing that struck me – and that I really appreciated – is the way Osborne doesn’t hide the smaller sides of life, both as you’re single – in Anna’s case – or as a married woman – in Sophie’s case. How do you deal with that question of “is this all there is”? How do you handle life not turning out the way you thought it would? And how do you face life changing (or not changing) when it’s not what you want.
Somehow, Osborne really manages to stay realistic and detailed, but never ventures into the “redundant” or the boring. It makes for a very pleasant read, perfect for a lazy afternoon!
Rating: 3.5/5 (Goodreads)
Just when you think you know what this series is going to be like, it goes and does a spin on you. With every book, I’ve found myself liking the characters more and more (except for Connor, sorry, but I’m #teamHudson all the way). The Wildflower Park books almost remind me of those old serials. You know the ones, like Charles Dickens would do: right part of a story and stop it just as it gets good?
That might also explain why, with each of the novels I’m reading, I’m more keen to know what happens next. How do Sophie and Dave work things out? What exactly is behind Anna’s fear of heights? There are so many things I would like to know, and Osborne so masterfully twirls and spins the storylines in and out of your reach so that, even if you think you almost have “it”? Whatever “it” may be? There’s always something more about Wildflower Park that keeps everything going.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Goodreads – expected publication: April 5th)
Rooting for You!
The fourth book… The one I’ve been (im)patiently waiting on… And luckily, it didn’t disappoint.. Throughout this series, Bella Osborne has managed to keep me waiting, reading – all three first books in one afternoon, in fact! She has such a fluent style, that I honestly didn’t even notice time passing as I made my way through the story. While the writing in the last part definitely seemed a bit more halting at times, the story did have two major plot twists that left me… Well… One seemed a bit random, but then did have its purpose.
The other one, though? Well, that one… I mean… I just did not see that coming. Even though, looking back now, there were definitely a couple of hints I should (could) have picked up on. Even if this twist concerns a character I definitely had my reservations about… Really, it’s a pity I can’t tell you more, because it would give the plot away. But, yeah. I was left floundering with Rooting for You. And I really liked it!
Rating 3/5 (Goodreads – expected publication: April 29th)
So, if you’re in need of some relaxing literature? Something to look forward to summer with, to envision a beautiful, enclosed park, to dream away with… And of course – to anxiously await the next part of the serials coming out? Then this is absolutely the book for you!