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Thursday, 25 November 2021

Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea by Cressida McLaughlin

 



All Meredith Verren has ever wanted is to escape the holiday season without having to wear a Christmas jumper. Her new job at the cosy gift shop in a picturesque Cornish tourist spot is making it impossible for her to maintain her scrooge-like manner.

With their seasonal hampers on everyone’s wish list, Meredith must paste on a smile and fake some holiday cheer. Then she meets handsome new arrival, Finn, who wishes it could be Christmas every day and wants her to feel the same way too.

Can she embrace the holly and the ivy before the decorations are packed away for another year?


I am a crazed Cressida superfan so any time there is a book release by her it feels like Christmas to me! Book 5 in the Cornish Cream Tea series is titled Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea and has a festive cover to swoon over and will make the prefect stocking filler this Christmas.

Our heroine this time is Meredith who lives in a Cornish village working in a Cornish gift shop and is less than a fan of Christmas due to memories that she carries with her of a past Christmas. But as the shop is gearing up for the season Meredith can’t escape the festivities but can the help of the delightful newcome Finn get Meredith to begin to embrace the festive spirit and create new heartwarming feelings for Christmas?

 

Cressida really does have a skill at creating idyllic villages with endearing characters and this book is no exception. Meredith touched my heart and I loved following her every step of the way as she slowly began to open her heart and embrace the festivities. Finn was also such a loveable gentleman who brought a touch of romance to this sweet storyline.

There is only a brief mention of Charlie and our much loved Cream Tea Bus which some may find surprising but before you get a chance to be disappointed you are swept up in this festive romance with a wonderful community and friendship that keeps the series fresh and exciting. I hope future books in the series will see our characters merge together as they compliment each other. Easily read as a standalone so do not feel like you have to go back and read the first books in the series however you are COMPLETELY missing out on a fabulous series if you don’t!

This book has certainly got me in the Christmas spirits with its gift making, carol singing and gingerbread making all tied up in a bow, definitely another cracker by this author.  


Paperback            Kindle

Friday, 19 November 2021

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson

 






It’s nearly Christmas and it’s snowing, hard. Deep in the Yorkshire Moors nestles a tiny hamlet, with a pub at its heart. As the snow falls, the inn will become an unexpected haven for six people forced to seek shelter there…
 
Mary has been trying to get her boss Jack to notice her for four years, but he can only see the efficient PA she is at work. Will being holed up with him finally give her the chance she has been waiting for?
 
Bridge and Luke were meeting for five minutes to set their divorce in motion. But will getting trapped with each other reignite too many fond memories – and love?
 
Charlie and Robin were on their way to a luxury hotel in Scotland for a very special Christmas. But will the inn give them everything they were hoping to find – and much more besides?


The one thing that has really helped we through this crazy year of madness especially now the colder and darker nights are drawing in is this year’s festive releases and believe me I think this is my favourite year of festive novel releases since I have started reviewing. One author we can always rely on when it comes to a jolly good festive novel that will bring a bag laughs with it is none other than Milly Johnson and her new release, I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day is a fabulous festive delight.

As a freak snow storm reaps havoc to many travellers plans this Christmas an eclectic mix of characters are brought together as they seek shelter and land upon Figgy Hollow. With no hope of being on their way for Christmas the group waste no time in getting to know each other and get stuck into preparing for Christmas celebrations in the sleepy little Inn.

I have to admit I was a little nervous when starting this novel because having so many main characters is something that I sometimes struggle with in novels but I was relieved that there were no blurred lines between the characters they were all developed really well and I never got muddled up with who was who and I loved each and everyone of them. All 6 characters had completely different personality traits and they all have their stories to tell from matters of the heart to troubled upbringings and health matters. There was something about Charlie that reminded me of Christopher Biggins with his uplifting, flamboyant and bright nature, he was a very wise man who had a heart of pure gold. His partner Robin balanced his character out and his love for Charlie was easy to see through his caring ways. Mary was a gentle character who I was desperate for her to have her love reciprocated and see her come alive. Bridget was a complex character who really touched my heart. She is a strong, confident, fiery and successful woman on the outside but when we delve deeper, we see why she is the way she is and that her determination is a result of her childhood. Luke is a successful entrepreneur thanks to his ex but as his life moves forward it is time to try and let go of his past. Jack was a character who I wanted to shake the most, he was so blinded to what was waving under his nose!

This is definitely one of those books that will take you on an emotional journey as we begin to create bonds with our characters and we will have our hearts warmed with the little Christmas celebrations they create from getting merry on traditional tipples and filling their bellies with mince pies and chocolate, we laugh with the characters but around the corner we also will have our hearts broken so keep those tissues to hand.

Milly Johnson always weaves a hint of magic into her novels and this was certainly the case with this novel. As I was curled up on the sofa reading the last few pages of this novel I didn’t want it to come to an end, I still feel like we have so much to see with these characters so I do hope that Milly will revisit them in future novels. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day should be in every bookworm’s stocking this Christmas.


Kindle                       Paperback                    

Thursday, 11 November 2021

On A Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

 



Within days of wishing she could change her life, Fran Cooper is acting assistant to a celebrity, on a yacht in the Mediterranean, and en route to a tiny Italian island and the glittering Crystal Ball, along with the world’s rich and famous.

When she – quite literally – bumps into a handsome American called Evan, a man able to keep his cool in the face of chaos, the magic really begins.

Evan makes her a promise: no last names, no life stories, just one unforgettable night. Yet Evan belongs at the Crystal Ball and Fran is a gatecrasher. They may be soulmates, but their homes are an ocean apart, and their lives a world apart. They’ll never meet again – unless, on a night like this, everything can change forever…



On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk was my last read of my staycation this year and what a feel good uplifting modern day Cinderella story this was.

Fran is whisked away on a last minute PA job, she doesn’t know where she is going or who the high profile client is the only thing she does know is that her long term partner will not be happy that she has taken the job.

When Fran finds herself onboard a private vessel on the way to an exclusive ball with none other then THE Juliette she can not believe her luck but she is about to find out how impossible and entitled celebrities can be to work for but although things look like they are going from bad to worse will she make it to the Crystal Ball.

This is the perfect modern romantic comedy that will give you pure uplifting escapism that we come to love and expect from Lindsey Kelk novels. Fran has lost her own identity and happiness although it is only now she is away from her home life and relationship that she is truly seeing the cracks. Fran sure does face some dramas during her time working for Juliette but these all provided copious amount of comedy for us and soon starts to toughen her up.

The glitz, glam and gossip of the rich and famous oozes through the pages and I loved the prince charming romance that is weaved into the storyline.

This is another highly recommended read by the incredibly talented Lindsey Kelk.


Kindle                  Hardback

Sunday, 31 October 2021

A Cosy Christmas at Bridget's Bicycle Bakery by Alex Brown

 



Finding yourself without a home in the weeks before Christmas would break most people, but for Bridget Carrington it’s a chance to start again. Mulberry-On-Sea has always been her happy place and she’s hoping it can work its magic this festive season and heal her family after a difficult year.

Now, as the community wraps Bridget and her children in its warm embrace, she starts to feel like herself again. With a new business, kids who are starting to smile, and the promise of a second chance at love, Bridget’s holiday season might just be a happy ever after…


Alex Brown is one of my top 5 authors and every single one of her books have been an absolute dream to read. I trust in her writing so much now that I don’t even read the synopsis to tempt me I dive straight into her novels with no expectations other than to know she will blow me away every single time.

Her new release A Cosy Christmas at Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery has been on my wish list since I first glimpsed the online trailer for the book and I have desperately been waiting for the paperback release but I am going to admit I have caved in early and read the book on my kindle but let me tell you having just this moment finished reading the book I am sitting here with a very satisfied and content grin on my face desperate to get my thoughts down for you all to read.

Bridget and her twin sons and daughter will steal your heart from the start of this novel, a family huddled together nursing the grief of the loss of husband/father Ted learning to adjust to their new life with a big gaping hole where he should be. Returning to her roots in Mulberry on Sea she is hoping they can all begin to heal and adjust surrounded by a caring and supportive community but Bridget also needs to start earning a living to support her family, could her love for baking be the distraction she needs and the solution the community of Mulberry on Sea need?

The novel has a tenderness to the storyline where it follows the families struggle with the loss of Ted but also a very uplifting feel too with hopes and new beginnings opening up and new sense of purpose and direction that is helping Bridget on the next path of life. Friendships new and old comfort not only Bridget but also bring a familiar and welcome feel to the reader as we are reunited briefly with much loved characters such as Eddie, Georgie and Sam who we remember from the wonderful Carrington’s series.

I love books that have characters setting up new little businesses so this one really appealed to me and I felt myself getting swept away with the excitement of Bridget’s baking business and I was eager to see her succeed.

Alex Brown has managed to capture the modern vibrant feel from her Carrington’s series and moulded that with her cosy, uplifting feel of her Tindledale books to make this book an exceptional read that ticks all the boxes for me. As I was reaching the end of the novel I really didn’t feel ready to leave these characters behind, I still fell like there was so much to explore in this story but to my delight I then read at the end that we can look forward to reuniting with them all again in another book in the series so I am already counting down the months until I can return in A Summer Holiday at Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery.



Friday, 29 October 2021

Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas

 



When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby.

They soon discover the chateau needs major work and a huge tax bill is due . . . Unable to sell but strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B.

But Jacques, the handsome town mayor, is opposed to her plan. When it becomes clear that the only way to save the magnificent castle is to work together, Jacques and Fliss discover that they have more in common than they think...


Jo Thomas has done it again, delivered an uplifting atmospheric novel that whisked me away to an idyllic setting with a whole host of loveable and loathable characters whilst salivating over the delights on offer!

Fliss and her two sisters have found out they have inherited a chateau from their Grandfather yet they knew nothing about it. When they arrive in France expecting that they would be able to sell the chateau to share the inheritance they soon find out that there is a live in Chatelaine which prevents them from being able to sell.

Fliss decides to stay behind and try to get the chateau up and running and earning a profit again but with hostility from the locals can she really make the Chateau not only a financial success but bring the heart and life back into this once much loved part of the community.

I am a sucker for an episode of Escape to the Chateau and this novel was definitely channelling this vibe so I was hooked from the moment Fliss got stuck in on turning the chateau around. I would have loved to have read more on the clean up and fix up of the Chateau but I do love seeing a determined woman setting out to start a business so I loved seeing the bookings rolling in for Fliss.

Fliss was the perfect main character for me, she was your ordinary down to earth woman who has had her challenges in life with dyslexia and never quite finding her confidence and niche in work, however all her experiences she had learnt from previous jobs she managed to pull together to help her in her Chateau task.

There is a bumpy romance bobbing along for us romantics who enjoy watching relationships blossom. This was another wonderful storyline by Jo Thomas who never seems to disappoint, she is an author whose books I know I can always rely on to take me somewhere new and enticing with engaging characters and danger to the waist line!


Kindle                    Paperback

Thursday, 28 October 2021

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan

 


Today I am sharing my review for The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan as part of her blog tour for her new fabulously festive novel.



It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.

As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?


I love a festive novel that makes me feel all fuzzy with excitement and this is just the feeling I got when reading Sarah Morgan’s new book The Christmas Escape which is set in such an idyllic location in Sweden with snow, husky rides and to top it all the dazzling allure of the Northern Lights which is something I have always been so desperate to see for myself and this book has just made me yearn for that experience even more!

We can always rely on Sarah Morgan to introduce us to three strong female characters, this seems to be her signature thing and she aces it every time. Christmas is Christy’s favourite time of year and this year is going to be extra special as she will be spending it in Sweden in the perfect festive setting and she can’t wait for her daughter Holly to have a magical time but there are nerves bubbling as she will be meeting her rebel auntie Robyn for the first time.

When Christy uncovers a hidden secret kept by husband Seb she wants to get to the bottom of it and so asks best friend Alix to go on the planned trip taking care of Holly and she would join them a few days later.

Alix senses that her best friend is keeping things from her but she would do anything to help her best friend even if that means sharing a romantic log cabin with a young child and a man she has been successfully keeping her distance from for a long time!

This is perfect festive reading with engaging characters, wintery chills that will be warmed with the spark of romance and the heat of conflict whilst wrapping you up in the magical setting of snow and auroras. Friendships and relationships are put to the test and secrets are uncovered new and old which all add depth and intrigue to this storyline. This is another fabulously festive read by Sarah Morgan she has ticked all the boxes once again.




Kindle               Paperback

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Underneath the Christmas Tree by Heidi Swain

 


Heidi Swain is back with another fabulously festive treat in Underneath the Christmas Tree!

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Heidi Swain has gone and sprinkled her flurry of Christmas magic through the pages of her new release, Underneath the Christmas Tree. The backdrop for this novel couldn’t be more perfect for a festive novel with a Christmas tree business and quirky little Christmas huts to lure you into this sweet romance as our main character Liza returns to her late father’s business of Wynter’s Trees. Liza is determined to relinquish all ties to the business but Ned who is currently running the business along with his dad is hopeful she will change her mind plant her own roots at Wynter’s Trees.

We can always rely on Heidi to surround our main characters with a welcoming community of supportive characters and they all brought a little something to the storyline but my favourite had to be little Liam who looked like he was set to full down a slippery slope but with a bit of direction his true character becomes to flourish when he is given an unexpected opportunity which he took with glee. I really hope he pops up in future Heidi novels to see how he is progressing.

This was a festive delight that lifted my mood thanks to its feel good and lighthearted storyline that is full of romance, friendships, entrepreneurs and new beginnings and not forgetting CHRISTMAS!

This is the perfect book for any book worms stocking filler this year and currently on of my top 2021 Christmas reads so far this year.



 

Paperback                             Kindle

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