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on 10 August 2012
If you fancy a quiet afternoon in the sun (or curled up in a cosy armchair) this is a book I would recommend you choose for company. I warmed immediately to the characters and quite simply knew I wouldn't be distracted (not even by my inner-guilt gene telling me I should be doing something else!).

Exploring the lives and loves of six very different couples, linked by The Restaurant @ the Mill, I couldn't help wondering whether the author had set herself a bit of a challenge. She had - but pulled it off beautifully. I started reading and immediately wanted to see how the individual stories panned out. I was particularly impressed at how believable the characters were, from Charlotte and Sadie, just embarking on love's young dream, through more mellow middle-aged love, to a couple scared their relationship might not survive retirement, and beyond, each character was unique and totally relatable to. We have the heartbreak of separation and loss, people damaged by life and love, people just dealing with life - all wrapped up in a beautiful cover. The ghost was a nice touch.

Go on, indulge.
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on 5 June 2014
I can honestly say that this is the most emotive novel I have read recently. Each character came alive through Ms Halton’s truly talented writing and it has everything you could possibly want to keep you engaged. I picked it up and it’s one of the few books I have honestly not been able to put down again until I had finished – luckily I was on holiday because I was still reading in the wee small hours, just me and a box of tissues.

The characters have real depth and totally pop off the page fully realized, so you feel you are going through their individual issues with them. Throughout the book your emotions take a real roller coaster ride, I found myself sad, desolate, overjoyed, cheerleading, rooting for the underdog, grinning like an idiot, giggling and sobbing into my pillow.

I heartily recommend The Restaurant @ The Mill. It cannot be confined to one genre as it is far too good a book – if you're looking for great chick lit then this is it and if you're looking for something a little paranormal then again this is it. Love story? Yes, it ticks that box too. It’s moral, funny, heart wrenching and above all a stonkingly brilliant read.

My only problem is that having already purchased and read Ms Halton’s other novels, and stormed through this at such an astonishing pace, I am now left feeling a little bereft as I have nothing more from this truly gifted writer until her next release. So I can only hope she has a new book waiting in the publishing wings, as I don’t want to have to wait long!

review by Noemie T Verlan on behalf of BestChickLit.com
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on 5 February 2014
Hilary, a successful talent in the cookery world, teams up with Ben to open up their own restaurant called The Restaurant @ The Mill. They quickly establish a wide variety of regulars who wine and dine at their place. Each and every one of their visitors has their own little story to tell.

This is another one of Linn’s books I devoured in only a couple of hours. There is always a certain “warmth” about Linn’s books that lulls me in and doesn’t let me go until I finish the book.

This story introduces the reader to a vast amount of characters (the regulars who are eating at the restaurant). All of these are extremely interesting to meet! I loved the fact that this novel is told from many different view points – not only from Ben’s and Hilary’s point of view, but also from the ones of all the different restaurant regulars. Because this book encompasses such a big cast, I would recommend reading this book in as little sessions as you can manage. Linn, however, introduces the characters brilliantly. There is no need to be afraid that you can’t follow all of them.

I loved the way story unravels. Linn keeps so many details and secrets of the single characters back in the beginning. I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what had happened to all of them. There are so many “surprises” and revelations along the way that I would have never suspected when I first started reading this book.

Grace was by far my most favourite character. Her story is incredibly moving, but with such an endearing happy ending (of sorts anyway).

The Restaurant @ The Mill has a deeply emotional storyline that centres around trust issues, anxiety, secrets, friendships and so much more.
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on 23 January 2014
A business opportunity suddenly presents itself to Hilary in the form of the very shy but very talented chef Ben. Together, the couple buy an old mill and renovate it to become a popular restaurant set in idyllic countryside. The Restaurant @ The Mill soon becomes a local meeting place. Its a retreat for some, a meeting place for others and somewhere that many find friendship. The mill soon brings together a unique group of people each with their own story to tell. As if this wasn't enough to make such a place special, there is a resident ghost looking in on the patrons personal struggles. Will the Mill change Hilary and Ben's life too?

I love books such as The Restaurant @ The Mill as they weave the individual stories of groups of people together in such a way that each becomes connected somehow by a common theme. The story is told through the personal accounts of the group of 6 couples and the reader is given a history behind their story and follows them on their journey. Some are searching for love, some are battling personal demons and others are merely searching for direction. Ben and Hilary have secrets and buried heartbreak and soon find that The Mill changes them too.

This book is extremely well written and flows at a steady pace. The characters are interesting and the reader soon has an interest in what is going on for them. Many have problems that we can all relate too, thus making their stories believable. The reader becomes invested in the outcome for each character and I found myself wishing for a particular outcome for each. This is a lovely book to curl up with. I'd highly recommend it. I love Linn B Halton's books as they never disappoint.
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on 10 November 2013
The Restaurant @ the Mill is the heart of the story. The restaurant is run by Hilary Marks and Ben Adams and not only do we get to read their story, but we have six completely different stories about characters who work, or are customers of the restaurant. Each of the characters are facing their own problems and overcoming obstacles, in their lives.

Can Hilary learn to trust again after her first marriage ended badly? Will running the restaurant with Ben be just what she needs to move on? And can Ben leave his own private world and find the confidence to speak and share his feelings?

After tragedy strikes Sadie finds herself getting close to Sam. But is she getting too close and does she now need to distance herself, so that they can both move on?

David and wife Isobel have shared a long past, but David worries that once he retires things may change. What will become of their future?

Grace and Lawrence reunite after parting fifty years ago. Can a secret they share be the bond that brings them back together?

Charlotte is married to Nick; they have a perfect life, until Nick is involved in a serious accident that will change their lives forever.

Thomas is lucky as far as money is concerned, he has it all and is so rich he could have everything, but when it comes to love, has his luck run out?

I love books about people, and books that have a good variety of characters make such interesting and fascinating reads. And this is what you get with this book. The characters in the book are all completely different and are somehow connected with the restaurant. Has we read their stories we become completely involved in their lives and their emotions, taking us on a journey of discovery about people and what and how they deal with what life throws at them. I also enjoyed that there is a touch of the paranormal to the story too that also connects the characters. Just a wonderful, warm and touching read from author Linn B Halton.
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on 16 August 2012
I struggled to get into the story to begin with but I'm not sure if that was the books fault or because I had just returned from holiday, either way it didn't last long and I was soon hooked by the characters and each of their personal stories, which were told through the seasons.

Hilary was a lovely character who was always there for others, she definitely gave off a caring agony aunt vibe. She knew that Ben wasn't telling her everything about himself and yet she still didn't push him to open up, instead waiting for him to share when he felt ready. It took me a while to figure Ben out, he was very quiet and reserved and this just made me want to know his secrets more!

I absolutely loved Sadie, even after a family tragedy she was still a happy and bubbly character and this made her really likeable to me. I enjoyed watching her grow in confidence throughout the book as she came to some firm decisions about what she wanted out of life.

Thomas was a shrewd businessman but wasn't so good with his personal life, the reasons behind this were something that I hadn't expected and I liked that I hadn't been able to figure it out before.

At times I found Charlotte and Nick's story difficult to read but only because I felt so worried for them, they were struggling with their life together and I found myself really hoping things would turn out for the best between them.

Grace was an amazing character, tales from her past made me feel so sad and later on when things were starting to go right for her she received some devastating news that brought tears to my eyes.

I really enjoyed reading about Isobel's first steps into writing fiction, it was fascinating to find out about the thought processes that go along with writing a book. When she met Lionel I had a feeling that it would only end in disaster especially with David being around so much after his retirement.

On top of all these characters was the addition of a spirit called Sarah, she was a fabulous twist to the story and her tale was as interesting as the rest. The epilogue was great, it was very different and really left me smiling!

This book covered some very difficult issues (bereavement, family rifts and an unplanned pregnancy to name just a few) but I felt that they were written well and with care, I feel confident that most people would be able to relate to at least one character and that is what makes this book so readable for me.

I loved how the individual stories tied together and made me feel personally involved with them all, also the descriptions of the mill and it's surroundings enabled me to picture everything so easily.

This is a thought-provoking book that has everything from romance to ghosts, definitely worth a read!
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on 3 February 2014
This story dips into the lives of six couples who have a connection with The Restaurant @ The Mill, either as the owners, staff or patrons.

Beautiful setting for a novel and I loved the way we dipped into the lives of these characters.
I especially loved Grace and Lawrence's bittersweet story. Heartbreaking not just once but twice.

I would love to see some of these couples stories extended, especially Grace and Lawrence.

I really enjoy this author's writing and often she touches on subjects that I would not normally read about such the paranormal. I found this story very touching, and the paranormal element was explored in a way I could understand.

On my Top reads list for 2014!

5 star read.
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on 24 September 2012
I was immediately interested in the idea of this novel; different couples, different stories, all being told by the characters dining in a restaurant. It works really well. I really felt like I was part of it all, sitting at a table in The Restaurant @ The Mill, owned by Hilary Marks and Ben Adams, having a delicious meal and drinking in the wine and the atmosphere. The first person view point that the author has chosen is crucial in my opinion, to the success of this wonderful novel, as it is cleverly done - being both indepth and emotive. It's as if each character is personally telling you their unique story. You will care about these people, who by the end of the novel will have become your friends. Highly recommended.
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on 3 October 2012
I loved this book! It's a story about the relationships of the owners and the customers of The Restaurant @ The Mill. You will be drawn into all their lives by Linn Halton's wonderful writing. Dealing with love, relationships, spiritualism, retirement, death, divorce, the characters are well-rounded and instantly likeable. Sections of the book are told in different points of view and this worked well and was seamlessly woven together. Another great read!
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on 23 January 2013
Full of detail characters were exciting and believable. Some of the issues I could relate to personally. I felt that the end was a bit abrupt. Almost like the target number of words had been achieved. I wanted to know more. Too many loose ends.
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