It has come to our turn on the Now and Then Friends blog tour! I’ve been excited to let you all know about this new book for a long time. Now and Then Friends is a ‘Hartley-by-the-Sea’ novel by USA Today best selling author Kate Hewitt. Now and Then Friends can also be read as a stand-alone novel, meaning anyone can enjoy the absolute loveliness that is Kate Hewitt’s writing! Keep reading for a summery of the book and an exclusive excerpt!
Childhood best friends Rachel Campbell and Claire West have not only grown up, but after fifteen years, they’ve also grown apart…
After her father left, Rachel had to dedicate her life to managing her household: her two younger sisters, her disabled mother, and her three-year-old nephew. When Rachel’s not struggling to look after all of them, she makes her living cleaning the houses of wealthy families—including the Wests, where a surprise now awaits her. . . .
A lifetime of drifting in other people’s currents has finally left Claire high and dry. First it was her parents, then the popular crowd in school, and finally her fiancé. Now she’s returned to Hartley-by-the-Sea to recover. But running into Rachel brings back memories of past mistakes, and Claire wonders if she now has the courage to make them right.
Soon Claire’s brother, Andrew, asks Rachel to keep an eye on Claire, which is the last thing either woman wants. But as their lives threaten to fall apart, both Claire and Rachel begin to realize what they need most is a friend. The kind of friend they once were to each other, and perhaps can be again. . . .
It’s a novel about friendship, family and most importantly, it’s set in a really cute little town that will make you want to live there in the end. If that’s not enough to make you pick up a copy, here’s an exclusive excerpt from the novel!
Now Claire stood in front of the village shop and checked that the help wanted sign was still in the window. Of course it was. Who really wanted this job?
Rain blew into her face, and she wiped her cheeks of moisture before stiffening her spine along with her resolve and heading inside.
No one was by the till, and the shop had an empty feel to it. Claire stood there for a moment, her gaze wandering around the shelves of dusty packets and tins, before she decided to go around to the back, where the post office was.
Dan Trenton was just coming from behind the post office counter with its wall of Plexiglas, and he was moving at a clip that nearly had Claire smacking into his concrete wall of a chest.
She took a hasty step backwards and Dan grabbed her by the arm. “Whoa.” He righted her even though she hadn’t actually been losing her balance and then released her with a scowl. “You again.”
“Yes, me again. I wanted to ask about the job. Again.”
Dan moved past her to the till and then turned, his arms folded. Claire glanced at one of the tattoos: the name “Daphne” with an intricate design of vines and flowers around it.
“I thought you weren’t sure how long you were staying.”
“At least six months,” Claire said firmly. “Probably longer.” She was lying, because she had no idea how long she’d end up being here. But she wanted this job. The more Dan resisted, the more determined she felt to get it, to actually achieve something on her own merit.
“Do you have retail experience?”
“I worked in real estate for the last four years, showing villas to prospective buyers. That’s kind of like retail.”
His lip actually curled. “You don’t need to showcase a tin of beans. I’m talking about handling money. Working a cash register. Basic stuff.”
“Well then, no. But I could learn. I’m a quick learner.” Dan looked unconvinced and no wonder. She was a decidedly slow learner. “I could really use a job,” she added, hating that she’d resorted to begging, and so quickly. Dan Trenton did not seem like the kind of man who would be moved by pity. “And I’ll work hard. Promise.” Still nothing. “It’s not like you’ve a queue of people lining up to interview,” she finally burst out.
She held his gaze even though it was hard, and her breath too because this was incredibly nerve-racking. Then he gave one short, terse nod.
“Fine. You can work on probation for a fortnight, four days a week, at minimum wage. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday do you?”
“You can start tomorrow?”
“Eight o’clock sharp.”
“Okay. Thank you. You won’t regret it.”
Dan Trenton didn’t answer.
What honestly is better than a novel in a series that can be read as a stand-alone?! If you’re thinking about reading this novel, go for it! There is nothing stopping you from getting tucked up with this cosy and fluffy chick-lit novel.
If you really want to, the first novel in the Hartley-on-the-Sea series is still available to buy. Rainy Day Sisters is based in the same small town in the Lake District in England where two sisters meet as strangers. They later start to find small miracles tucked in to the small corners of every day life. This sounds like the perfect start to the series if you have time to get stuck in!