Cover Image: The Island Cottage

The Island Cottage

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Member Reviews

Brid gets sent to Orkney to sell her inherited dwelling. She meets distant relatives and some weird locals who think she is a witch.
Strange happenings occur and she begins to realise that her life back in York may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
This was a great little book.
Thank you NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Brid is on Orkney Island to sell the old cottage, but she has to stay longer as she wants. It is not a cosy cottage like in books. It's just one room and has ducks.
And the legend says that the woman who lives in the cottage is the witch.

cosy romance with finding yourself and let plans go, sometimes the way you planned is not the way to go.


Have fun reading!

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I enjoyed this fun book set in the Orkney Islands of Scotland! A cute, mystical book about Brid finding herself and learning about the Witch of Orkney. Magnus, a local, helps Brid find her way and the dialogue between them is captivating.

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Brid arrives in Orkney expecting to quickly sell her great aunt's cottage, but finds it in disrepair and with unexpected occupants, including geese in the pantry. Despite her ties to York and her plans to sell, she begins to feel at home in the community and drawn to the enigmatic Magnus. As she navigates the challenges of selling the cottage and her growing feelings, Brid finds herself embraced by the warmth of Orkney and its magic. With endearing characters, engaging twists, and a touch of witchcraft, this heartfelt story captures the beauty of Orkney and the journey of finding home and love. A must-read for fans of charming romances and picturesque settings.

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What I loved about this book was the beautiful setting. However I found this story a little bit slow and didn't find it as enjoyable as I hoped I would. Sorry.

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This story is dominated by its beautiful setting of Orkney. Life on the island is hard at times and you can sense the connection the inhabitants have with the environment and expressed through their creative arts, their music, their daily life. Brid arrives from England and soon has to adjust to life on the island. She is taken aback by life in her cottage but also develops a sense of kinship with it, even with its bird visitors.

The romance in the story is a slow burn. Magnus has spent time away from the island and can see how some of its traditions will appear to Brid. There is a great mix of characters. Some are colourful, well meaning and friendly. Others are suspicious or have their own agendas. I enjoyed the tradition of magic which is always there in the background. Brid has a healthy scepticism but is intrigued by her aunt's journal, with its common sense and recipes. This is an enjoyable read with some surprises along the way.

In short:old traditions in a modern world ?

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This is a really fantastic read. I loved everything about it and found it to be such an easy read. Will definitely read more from this author.

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I fell in love with the witch :) I could understand her struggle in not accepting her role as a witch. I loved the setting and description of the island! Ended up searching on Google - its that good! Will check out other books by this author in the future.

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I really enjoyed reading this book, it was very entertaining. I loved the setting of Orkney and this book was very descriptive. It made me feel like I was there. It was a perfect escapism read, funny and lighthearted and uplifting.
Thank you to Netgalley and Boldwood books for my ARC.

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I have read a few books by this author but I think this is my favourite because of the unique story. The setting of this book is wonderfully atmospheric and easy to escape into. The characters are so well written, I was drawn into the story and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I think this a perfect mix of mystery, intrigue and a wonderful dash of romance.

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A brilliantly crafted story with beautiful descriptions of the area. Loveable characters and a homely charm. There were parts that made me laugh and I thoroughly enjoyed how the past had an effect on the future. I will definitely be looking up any books from this author as this was my first but won’t be the last.

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A fun read, the story of Brid who heads up to a remote island on the understanding their is a cottage there she can do up and sell. Not all is as it seems when she gets there, not least because all the locals think that whoever lives in the cottage is a witch. Will Brid embrace it or run away?

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This book was an absolute delight! It takes you to the wilds of Orkney, a place I have always wanted to visit (and had tickets to the ferry for, which unfortunately I had to cancel) and makes you feel like you are THERE.

Brid is an accountant in York and when her mother sends her to Orkney to sort out the cottage that her aunt Jennet left her, to fix up and sell, she discovers that there are a few secrets to the cottage that no-one bothered to tell her about. Like the resident goose, the lack of creature comforts, the lack of access and how very far away it is from her real life. And then there is the witchcraft aspect of it.....

With the sun glinting off the loch and the natives being friendly, some of them SUPER friendly *wink wink*, Brid's ideas about quickly offloading the cottage and going back to her spreadsheets are not really happening the way they were meant to.

I enjoyed the combination of a modern romance set in a place such as Orkney, with its incredible history going back millennia. Obviously, the beautiful, wild landscape also played a part here.

5 stars from me. Loved it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood Books.

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Award-winning author Jane Lovering’s The Island Cottage is a beautifully written, wonderfully funny and hugely enjoyable tale of love, hope and healing readers are going to love.

When her mother inherits a cottage in Orkney from her Great Aunt Jennet, Brid is sent to the remote Scottish island to make the derelict cottage habitable and saleable. Brid doesn’t plan on sticking around Orkney for long and is keen to get back to her life as soon as possible, however, she is about to realise that Midness Cottage might have other ideas…

The cottage is in a completely dilapidated state and Brid immediately comes to the conclusion that it’s going to take more than a lick of paint and a couple of new shelves to make Great Aunt Jennet’s house appealing to any prospective buyers. However, as Brid begins to get stuck into the renovations, she is taken aback by local lore about Midness Cottage being the home of the Orkney Witch. Legend says that anyone living in the cottage will have to fulfill that role and while Brid initially dismisses the rumours, she quickly realises that Orkney might have healing powers of its own.

The more time Brid spend in Orkney, the more she begins to wonder whether she has found a place to call home. As she begins to get closer to her handsome neighbour Magnus, has Brid found somewhere she could put down roots? Or will she sell up and head back home to her old life in York?

The always fabulous Jane Lovering has written another winner with The Island Cottage. Emotionally satisfying, laugh out loud funny and full of characters readers cannot help but love and root for, The Island Cottage is an absorbing and heartwarming tale about new beginnings, life’s unexpected surprises and finding somewhere to belong that touches the heart and stirs the soul.

A wonderful tale from a unique and captivating voice in contemporary women’s fiction, Jane Lovering’s The Island Cottage is another superb read from this very talented writer.

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The Island Cottage by Jane Lovering

I received an advance review copy for free thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and I am leaving this review voluntarily.


When Brid Harcus is sent to the Orkney Islands, in the far reaches of Scotland, she has high hopes for her trip being short, straightforward and lucrative.

Her mother has inherited a cottage from her Great Aunt Jennet which has been unlived in and unloved for decades, and the time has come to make it habitable and saleable. Easy, right?

But Midness Cottage has other ideas. For one thing it’s rather more ‘fixer upper’ than Country Living, with a resident goose and her goslings who have made themselves at home. And Brid definitely hadn’t planned for the strongly-held local belief that the cottage is meant to be the home of the Orkney Witch, and whomever lives in it must fulfil this role. Not the best message for the estate agent brochure and of course Brid doesn’t believe in magic, let alone have healing powers.

But Orkney does have healing powers. Its beauty and peace are enchanting, its people welcoming, and Brid’s handsome new friend Magnus is rather charming too. When her life back in York starts calling her home, will Brid sell up and ship out? Or did the last Orkney Witch cast a spell and leave a legacy of love if only Brid believed in magic…

My Opinion

Jane Lovering is one of those authors that I will not hesitate to read, of course it helps that I have heard her talk about how she writes a book. This was such a lovely book to read and at only 254 pages it was a relatively quick book to read. Every other book I have read by Jane has been set in Yorkshire, so this was a pleasant surprise.

I thought that it really showed off Jane's writing style and if you are looking for a quick escape, then look no further. I am already eagerly waiting to see what Jane writes about next.

Rating 4/5

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What a brilliant read!
Visiting Orkney is now what I need.
A story with legend, magic and beliefs at its heart
Where Brid visits, expecting soon to depart.

Brid goes to set up the home inherited by her Mum,
Expecting it to be somewhat unloved and glum.
However, family have looked after it for decades
But legends and beliefs about it never fades.

The cottage is supposedly the home of the Orkney Witch
And Brid's arrival has the local beliefs do a switch.
So many seem to believe she's the witch now
And expect her to be able to help them magically somehow!

It is in York where her home, her job and her parents are
Living in Orkney would be too far.
But as events unfold and romance grows, too,
Maybe magic has its own job to do?

Such a great read, with magic and romance
As the island cottage seems to give Brid a chance.
Will she succumb or will she still choose to run away
What will magically happen on her last day?

I really enjoyed escaping into this book
And highly recommend you also give it more than a look.
A fascinating story with family drama and more
With spooky magic and events to adore!

For my complementary copy, I say thank you,
As I share with you this, my honest review.

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Brid is in Orkney to sell Midness Cottage, it's not a holiday and it's definitely not long term. As soon as Brid moves into the one roomed cottage (with vicious goose and goslings), people start calling her the witch and asking for her help. But magic isn't real, is it?

I really enjoyed this book. The wild setting and constant wind were a great background to the conflict of Brid and the expectations in her life. The ending was a surprise twist, I'd love a follow up of Brid and her life in Orkney (and an answer to the final sentence!)

This is the first book I've read by the author and it was a wonderful introduction to her writing. The characters were well written and brought to life in the story. Brid was written to be complex, starting prickly and (nearly) softening by the end.

I'm glad I was reading it on a Kindle as I had to look up a lot of long words, which took me out of the story a bit. Magnus was referred to as her cousin quite a few times (He isn't, the shared relative is a great-great-aunt (I think)) but they are referred to as family, which was a little off-putting.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky, location-led romance novel by Jane Lovering. If you don’t come away from it with a longing to visit Orkney and make memories with your own Orcadian Viking I’ll be amazed.

Brid leads a fairly sheltered and mundane life in York, trapped by the needs of her parents and her job. You’d think she’d relish the chance of a change of scenery and an adventure in Orkney when she is sent to get her great aunt’s old cottage ready for sale, but not so. It’s a chore she could do without and wants it done quickly. Nothing is that straight forward in Orkney.

The cottage is remote, ramshackle and unloved, the locals are odd and insular and she is distracted by her handsome helpmate, the charming Magnus. She needs to get in and out as fast as possible but the islands have other ideas and seem keen to hang on to her. But what on earth could Orkney have to offer a girl used to life in York?

I defy you not to fall in love with all of the characters in this book, from the gorgeous Magnus to the interfering Innis, fey Kizzie and even the goose family. Well, there might be one character that didn’t really endear themselves to me but I will leave you to work out who that might be when you read the book for yourself.

The main character here, though, is Orkney itself, with its compelling ancient history, unpredictable weather, singular wildlife and a way of life unchanged for decades. I absolutely loved experiencing a glimpse of this beguiling place through the pages of this book and it has certainly risen up the ranks of my bucket list as a result. The writing is charming and engaging and the story is sweet and fun. All in all, a wonderful read.

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Review for 'The Island Cottage' by Jane Lovering.

Read and reviewed for Jane Lovering, Boldwood, Boldwood Book Club, Boldwood bloggers, Books and Tonic, Netgalley and Rachel's Random Resources Tours.

Publication date 9th January 2024.

This is the first book I have read by this author but it definitely won't be my last!!!!

This novel consists of 23 chapters. The chapters are short to in length so easy to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

OMG!!! I absolutely LOVED this absolutely gorgeous page turner and I cannot WAIT to get stuck into Jane's next book and see what other gorgeous stories she bas come up with!! This book is a stunning read that will whisk you off to the beautiful Orkney Islands in Scotland where you will feel the wind whip your hair, smell the fresh air and hear the goslings (yep, goslings) cheeping. Brid is sent to this beautiful Island to empty and sell her mother's Great Aunt Jennet's cottage after she passed away. Brid isn't too happy and is worried about leaving her parents and taking time away from her job but thinks that the money will come in handy to get her own place. However, when she arrives it isn't the gorgeous cottage she was hoping for and things get even worse when people start turning up asking her to heal them. There is one huge benefit and that's the wild and sexy Magnus whose brother lives just next to the cottage. However with her parents and job needing her what will Brid decide to do?? Throw in a Goose and her babies, a pregnant ex, a determined estate agent, an orca, a magic book and so much more and you get this gorgeous read that will lift your heart and mind!!! I absolutely adored this beautiful escapism read that whisked me away from rainy Wales to the (OK the weather seemed just as bad) stunning Orkney Island. This is one of those books that is perfect to read on the beach or (in my case) curled up on the sofa with the heating on!! This is one of those books that even though I told myself just one more chapter I ended up carrying my kindle around with me and devouring the whole book in one sitting so grab your copy and enjoy your trip to the Island Cottage!!!

Get ready to escape mundane life and fall in love with this gorgeous page turner!!!

Jane's evocative writing skills drew me deep into the book bringing the atmosphere and characters to life all around me. It is one of those books that I could not put down.The characters were all an eclectic mix and each one of them were realistic and strong. I was completely invested in them all. My heart went out to Brid who gets the shock of her life when she arrives thinking it will be a quick and easy job to discover the complete opposite and then struggling with her emotions on what to do with her life. I loved seeing her personality develop throughout the book as an individual and in her friendship with the very rugged, very fit Magnus!! Magnus is also an amazing character that I loved getting to know and I adore the fact that he showed and explained his feelings even when he seems to be this tough man. It wasn't just Brid and Magnus I loved getting to know and became invested in but also the other characters such as "dizzy" Kizzie, Cranky Cushie (the goose) ans her goslings, Innis and Torstein. I wasn't a fan of Donal who I thought was to be a slime ball but you can't like everyone!! They all had their own unique personalities which makes them more realistic, believable and made me feel even more for them than I normally would. Jane's fantastic and evocative writing skills makes you feel the same as the characters were. Each of the characters are memorable and unique in their own ways and they are a group of people that I wont be forgetting any time soon, will miss and would love to meet time and time again!! Grab your copy of this page turner and get sucked in to The Island Cottage today!!

Pick up this book and get lost in this absolutely gorgeous page turner!

Congratulations Jane on an absolutely stunning read that I just could not put down!!! A gorgeous book in that I fell in love with and I cannot wait to read more of your previous and future books. I would absolutely love to see this book turned into a movie!!! This is the exact reason I would like to welcome you to my favourite author list and here's to your next success 🥂

Make sure you read to the very end of the book to read the prologue and first chapter of Jane's 'The Recipe For Happiness' which promises to be just as stunning as this book and is one I'm definitely looking forward to reading myself!!!

Overall an unputdownable, gorgeous, STUNNING page turning book filled with mystery, spookiness, drama, romance, secrets, fun, laughter, romance, geese, magic, friendship and so much more!!

254 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle, free with kindle unlimited and £9.99 in paperback via Amazon, at time of review which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 5/5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

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I was invested in Brid and her story at our first meeting when she described her journey to Orkney (with the constant threat of seasickness) and her reasons for going there. I liked the honesty and the humour she projected, and I wanted her to find something good there. The story progresses with her first sighting of the island cottage she is going to sell, and it has many secrets to reveal, some of which prove to be life-changing for her. I like the folklore and witchy elements woven into the story and the complex characters she meets on Orkney. It's an adventure and a journey of self-realisation for Brid, with lovely community, friendship and gentle romance enhancing it. I like the balance of humour, poignancy, vibrant community, and setting. It's a lovely escapist read with a touch of fantasy amid the realism.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

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