Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops – Book #1) by Gill McKnight

Rated 4.40 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Book One in the series The Wallops

Author: Gill McKnight


The villages of High Wallop and Lesser Wallop have graced either end of the Wallop valley since medieval times. And competition between the two has never ceased since, especially over the famous Cheese and Beer festival.

As head Judge of Show, Jane Swallow has always struggled to keep peace, friendship, and equanimity within the community she loves, but this year everything is wrong. Her father has just been released from prison and is on his way to Lesser Wallop with the rest of her travelling family and their caravans.

Her job is on the line, and her ex-girlfriend from a million years ago has just moved in next door.

Her life is going down the drain unless she can pull off some sort of miracle.

Additional information

Publication Date

June 2016


epub, mobi, and pdf


67,000 words




978-3-95533-560-1 (mobi), 978-3-95533-561-8 (epub), 978-3-95533-562-5 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

5 reviews for Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops – Book #1) by Gill McKnight

  1. Ameliah Faith
    Rated 4 out of 5


    I love little English villages

    Jane and Renata meet again after many years apart. A lot has changed for the both of them but each carries pain from the past. Can they move beyond it or will they be destined to despise each other forever?

    Ms McKnight does a wonderful job of describing the little English town of Wallops and it’s people. Jane and Renata are both lovable, each has a unique quality that makes them more interesting and a bit quirky. I loved how Renata was determined to leave Jane alone with her problems but could not stop herself from helping the other woman, protecting her and making her happy. She’s angry but there is a softness to her. Jane has a lot of weight on her shoulders both from the people from her past and the fear of where her life was headed. In spite of her anger to Renata, she needs her and her strength.

    I liked the secondary characters as well. Some of them are a funny bunch of intrusive busy bodies. Well meaning but just as likely to spill a secret as they are to keep it to themselves. Of course this DOES happen often in quiet little villages. Jane’s family was another matter entirely. That sorry lot was more often in trouble, causing it and running from it no matter how it might affect poor Jane. Then there is Colin always doing his best to intimidate her and discredit her for his own gains in mind. They had me feeling a lot of compassion and sympathy for her.
    I enjoyed this story very much and I can not wait for the next book in the series.

  2. Lisa T.
    Rated 4 out of 5


    A Charming Romantic Comedy

    Welcome to the Wallops is a charming romance set in a quaint English village. The story is infused with unique British humour and provides an interesting social commentary on the changing way of life in England’s small villages.

    When Renata buys a house in Lesser Wallop in Sussex, she’s surprised to find that her neighbour is her ex-girlfriend, Jane. They haven’t seen or heard from each other in the fifteen years since their relationship ended abruptly and badly. Their reunion begins on bad terms, and they find that dislike and distrust of each other from the remnants of their past relationship lingers. Jane and Renata realize that so much has changed in both of their lives and they are not even the same people they were when they knew each other. Essentially, they are strangers.

    The reader slowly learns about the current life situation and past of Jane and Renata at the same time as the characters learn about each other—and there are some surprises. Jane’s life, past, family, and the way she came to her career and present job are particularly intriguing. The rekindling of Jane and Renata’s relationship is a slow build, from hate to realization that there are still feelings between them.

    The setting of Welcome to the Wallops is a strong point—from the village of Lesser Wallop and the larger town of High Wallop to the surrounding countryside. However, it is not quite perfectly idyllic—it wouldn’t provide the setting for such an interesting story if there wasn’t village gossip and animosity between neighbours.

    Welcome to the Wallops incorporates a broader examination of the changing way of life in the British countryside in recent years. I found it interesting as I’ve read news articles about the closure of a large number of pubs across the UK in recent years. This story addresses the same type of issue—the hollowing out of English villages, which are losing shops and facing dwindling populations, as houses are bought up as weekend or summer homes by residents of larger cities. While the village of Lesser Wallop is still quite well-preserved—it has unique small shops and a pub—it is not immune to the forces of change, as its historic church faces possible closure. Nearby High Wallop with its larger chain stores is increasingly attracting shoppers and churchgoers, and may even take over hosting the historic Cheese and Beer festival, the pride of Lesser Wallop.

    A mystery involving the background of the historic church of St. Poe’s in Lesser Wallop provides an interesting secondary plot.

    Gill McKnight’s writing is smooth and flows nicely. The story caught my attention right away and held it throughout.

    Welcome to the Wallops has an interesting cast of secondary characters, just the sort you might expect in a story set in an English village (and perhaps some you might not expect). The characters include the Bishop, the Archbishop, and the Police Community Support Officer, Wendy, who patrols the village on a bicycle.

    The locale and the secondary characters make it an interesting setting, not just a for a single romance, but for a series. And that’s exactly where Gill McKnight is heading with an upcoming second Wallops book, which I’m looking forward to reading.

    I can’t think of a similar book to compare it to right now, but if you like British TV comedies like the Vicar of Dibley, you’ll like the humour and storyline of Welcome to the Wallops.

  3. Kurt
    Rated 4 out of 5


    I was provided this book by Ylva publishing in exchange for an honest review

    This is my first Gill McKnight book and I have to say I enjoy her style of writing. I didn’t always enjoy her story but I certainly appreciated the quality of her descriptions and written dialogue between major and minor characters set in this small British village south of London.

    It’s unfortunate that this work must compare to another author’s story, Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton, dealing with similar themes of long lost loves and the return of prodigal daughters. Both books were released just ten days apart. Ashton’s book had a Welsh country village as its setting almost engulfed by a larger, modern city to its north that also wished to gobble up the historical fun of their neighbor. There were more than a few similarities. I imply nothing but just felt bad for both authors as they are probably mystified.

    There are two mysteries laid out in the beginning. Why on earth did the main characters split up so long ago and what is the historical significance of a small church that seems to be the center of different ley lines in the area. I love how I can now insert “ley lines” into my conversation as I had no idea what the author was initially on about when she referred to them in the story.

    So. This is a small village and as always seems to be the fate of small villages, it is packed full of interesting, eccentric characters. We are introduced to Jane Swallow, who is one of the most unsympathetic main characters I’ve come across. Jane’s dog is more interesting and much more humorous. Jane’s ex-girlfriend from a “million years ago”, Renata, is much more intriguing, actually possessing intellectual pursuits, a sharp wit and humor that she displays continually. It is no wonder that this Renate easily befriends all of Jane’s friends as the story progresses, much to the ire of Jane.

    As long as this book was not functioning as a romance I quite enjoyed the story and quality of language. As I said, McKnight can write well, capturing a mood or delving out the laughs. If the story is centered on Renate, the story was quite good. Renate’s interactions with Jane’s friends and the Bishop, Janes boss, are hilarious. This Bishop is the funniest Bishop I’ve yet come across by the way. Renate is a strong person and easily deal with the idiotic ‘villains’ in the story and is able to also laugh at herself which is a terrific quality in a person. When the story came down to the pursuit of Jane the story bogs down and becomes a bit of a drag. It just goes on way too long. Jane being celibate for a decade and a rector in the local church was off putting, for me anyway, and she frequently just appeared to be sullen. We are not privy to her sermons which would flesh out her personality and could show her brilliance, wisdom or wit. Her dog was more interesting a character regardless of Jane’s Florence Nightingale past. I would say a solid 3.5 stars using a five star system

  4. pharridge
    Rated 5 out of 5


    I got great enjoyment reading this book. At first I thought it was going to be a little difficult to get into the story, but before I knew it I was immersed in Jane’s life!
    The quaint English village setting makes you want to visit Lesser Wallop and stay a while. Jane and Renata, Wendy, family, friends and a handful of well developed local characters enhances the storyline and gives the reader a great picture of their village life.
    I look forward to the next “Wallops” book by Gill McKnight!

  5. Enrico
    Rated 5 out of 5


    I loved it.
    I think this author is great in portraying characters under the stress of great emotions and kindly mocking them from the outside. This creates a delightful comedy. And yet there’s authenticity in characters as well as in the small village environment.
    Family problems and little town mean individuals add a touch of reality and depth to a story that remains a hymn of simplicity, romance and good feelings.
    Sometimes romance means insecurity and heart’s racing and a bit of detour.

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