Welcome to the Wallops by Gill McKnightWelcome to the Wallops by Gill McKnight is a lesbian romantic comedy set in Lesser Wallops, England. Jane Swallow lives on Rectory Row with her rescue greyhound Whistlestop, who has some typical rescue dog fears, and a need to chew. She is quite content with her garden, her neighbors, and the life she’s built.  During a dark and stormy night Jane fights her way to the house next door to try and cover open windows and shut the front door, which has blown open. Jane loves her little neighborhood and is miffed that the new owners are remodeling the quaint little house, pulling up shrubs, and if the gossip is correct, even putting up a garage.

While she is trying to batten down the hatches of her neighbor’s house she comes face-to-face with the new owner – and surprise – she is Jane’s ex, Renata. Jane is furious that Renata has encroached on her territory. Renata is just furious. Their relationship ended when Jane left without a word, and neither has spoken to the other since.

The Characters

Jane Swallow has her life in order and lives in a postcard perfect tiny village. But Jane isn’t who she first appears to be. Renata is Jane’s ex and the author of several successful new age self help books. Many of the villagers have read Renata’s books and can’t believe Renata has agreed to come to their village to help with the annual cheese festival. Police Community Support Officer Wendy Goodall, or as she is referred to in town, PC Wendy,  is that friend who could do just a little better than she has, a little naive, loyal to her friends, and earnest in a good way. Her family owns and runs the Winded Whippet, a pub and community gathering place.

The Writing Style

The point of view moves between Jane and Renata and I liked hearing both sides of their stories. The dialogue is fun, snappy, and moves the story along nicely. The author paints a vivid picture of Lesser Wallops and the quirky characters who live there. I want to go to the Tuesday night bar quiz at the Winded Whippet and have a pint and a laugh. The sex is  fade to black, this is a sweet character romance, not an erotic romance, so if you’re looking for descriptions of tingly body parts you won’t find it here.

The Pros

Swoonworthy and satisfying for this reader. If you’ve followed my reviews you know that I love les-fic set in the UK.  I was at the mid-point of the story and stopped because I had to find my wife and tell her about this town and these characters. I loved it. Bonus – there is a laugh-out-loud scene near the end of the book.

The Cons

None. She had me at “Jane Swallow freewheeled down the main street of Lesser Wallop. …. A messenger bag bumped against her hip and her spectacles misted up in the light mizzle of rain”

laney-favourite-booksThe Conclusion

I read this while on vacation and enjoyed every minute of the read. Pick it up if you want a warm, fun read with great characters and little gold nuggets of information sprinkled throughout the book. Who knew about Ley Lines? I didn’t, but after reading this book I want to find out more. I love when an author gives me a great storyline, wonderful rich setting, believable characters, and new information that enhances the story, but never interrupts  or takes away from it. Ms McKnight ticked all those boxes for me.

Excerpt from Welcome to the Wallops by Gill McKnight

She was glad to leave Jane’s house. She didn’t want to talk, not now that the Gerrards had seeped the anger out of her. Jane could stew a little longer. God knew, she’d left Renata sitting on simmer for years.

I don’t need closure. I need suturing. It upset her how flaky she felt, how quickly the old hurt had overwhelmed her. How the past had come crashing into the present as if she’d barely moved two steps ahead? And Renata knew she’d done more than that. She was proud of who she was and of her hard-won success. So why were her hands shaking?

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Bits and Bobs

Publisher: Dirt Road Books

Gill McKnight Online 


Note: I received a free review copy of Welcome to the Wallops by Gill McKnight. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.