Book Review: The Spanish Garden by Cherry Radford

Posted May 18, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 20 Comments

The Spanish Garden
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Half a Flame

by Cherry Radford
Publication Date May 12, 2022
Published by Head of Zeus
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

She plans to save a garden, might she end up saving herself instead?

Andie Butts is escaping a series of unfortunate accidents which have left both her career as a garden designer and her relationship with fellow TV presenter Johnny up in the air. She's heading for Almería in southern Spain so she can visit the house by the sea where she stayed with her Grandie when she was a girl. She's not sure why it's taken her twenty years to return but she's shocked to discover the beautiful and beloved Mediterranean garden is neglected and overgrown.

But then, Accident Andie strikes again as she is attacked by a wild boar, only to be rescued by a reclusive stranger and his strangely silent son, who are living in Grandie's house. To repay their kindness, she offers to restore the garden; since her life back home is anything but thriving, it feels like breathing life back into her childhood retreat might be a way of restoring the balance. But after forming a tentative bond with the odd little boy - and his darkly brooding flamenco dancer father, Vincente - perhaps she can breathe life into more than just the garden?

An unputdownable romance set under the beautiful Spanish sunshine, perfect for fans of Rosanna Ley, Jennifer Bohnet and T.A. Williams.

The Spanish Garden by Cherry Radford is a lovely story set in the Almeria region of Spain.  This book is almost like a guidebook of the region and it’s clear that the author has first-hand knowledge of the area.  The story is also lovely as well as the beautiful descriptions of the garden.  

Andie is a garden designer and works on a television show called Challenging Gardens with her boyfriend, presenter, Johnny.  When a scandal ensues with her boyfriend and his family, she decides she must lay low for a while.  She retreats to Spain, where she used to spend summers with her beloved Grandmother, Grandie, working on her fabulous garden on the Almeria coast.  

Andie was troubled when she found out that someone else was living in her Grandmothers home.  Her parents sold the home, years ago, and it’s now an Air B&B.  When she booked her stay, she made a mistake and didn’t confirm her reservation and found Vicente and his shy son, Rafi staying there.  She finds a place nearby and decides she wants to spend her summer fixing up her Grandie’s garden, but first, she must get permission from Vicente, a former Flamenco dancer and now a recluse, who doesn’t want to talk to anyone.  

The Spanish Garden was a fantastic stay on the Spanish Coast.  I loved the details of the garden, and I wanted to explore the garden and all the pathways and little spots for lounging and taking the trail down to the sea.  

This is a slow-burn romance, as neither Andie nor Vincente want a relationship.  I really liked Vincente’s transformation from grumpy recluse to loving boyfriend and father.  Vincente’s son, little Rafi was so cute, and adorable, and he was my favorite character.  I also enjoyed the other side characters very much, the small but friendly ex-pat community was a fun bunch and I loved how they took Andie under their wing.  

I recommend The Spanish House to anyone who loves a good romance and wants to armchair travel to Spain.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Cherry Radford

Cherry Radford

Cherry Radford was a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet Junior School, a keyboard player in a band, and then a research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. She now lives in Almería, Spain.

Her first two novels, published by Indepenpress, were MEN DANCING (2011) and FLAMENCO BABY (2013). THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER was published by Urbane Publications in April 2018.

THE SPANISH HOUSE (Aria Fiction / Head of Zeus) is the first of three novels set in the unspoilt Cabo de Gata region of Andalucía where she lives.

20 responses to “Book Review: The Spanish Garden by Cherry Radford

  1. I had not heard about this book, Wendy, but I like the sound of it. Armchair travel, slow romance and a cut kid are all drawing points for me. Great review.

  2. I’m seeing many books with this retreat concept these days. This sounds heartwarming and readers who love gardening will thoroughly enjoy this. Great review!

  3. This sounds lovely. I like the idea of the Spanish setting especially since the author lives there. The inclusion of the ex-pat community is a nice touch too. I always enjoy cute kids in my reading. Great review, Wendy!

  4. I would love to do garden design! When we first moved into our last house 22 years ago I did a crude sort of plan but I loved the way it turned out and filled in over the years. I already have a million ideas for the house we’re hopefully getting (still in escrow). I enjoy adorable kids as secondary characters, too. I need to add this one. Wonderful review, Wendy!

  5. Wow, this sounds like a great story filled with beautiful imagery. The cover itself is gorgeous. I’d like to escape to Spain and and see the gardens! Thank you for sharing your review!

  6. I love the setting. The Spanish coast is one of my favorite places in the world 😍. This book sounds lovely. Excellent review!

    • The descriptions of the coast are so beautiful in this book, you can tell the author loves the Spanish Coast as well!