Sunday, 16 October 2016

Not Just For Christmas by Alex Brown

Kitty, who runs the Spotted Pig Tea-rooms in the picturesque village of Tindledale, thinks she's come to terms with her husband Ed’s death on active duty. When she learns that Ed’s army dog, a black Labrador named Monty, is being retired and needs rehoming, it awakens her heartache once more.

Amber runs the pet parlour, but her love of dogs extends to rescuing abandoned pooches and now her tiny cottage is overflowing with homeless hounds. The only answer is to open a proper rescue centre but where will the money come from? 

Kitty knows she could never take on Monty – it would be too painful, but with more than one dog needing a home this Christmas, is a miracle too much to hope for?

Every time author Alex Brown has released a book I have wasted no time in jumping straight in and I have loved each and every one of her books. I have always been honest in that I am not a fan of short stories as I have never found they have enough depth for me and I am greedy and am always left wanting more but when I saw that Alex Brown was bringing out a short story set in her much loved village of Tindledale I knew there was no way I could miss out on another visit to the village.

Our main character in this novella is Kitty who we have met in the previous Tindledale books running her café The Spotted Pig Café. Kitty is a single mum to the adorable little Teddie after her husband died a true hero. Kitty and Teddie have adapted to life but when Kitty receives a phone call from Mack who was her husband’s best friend, with news that her husband’s dog Monty has been retired and needs a home. Will Monty bring everlasting love to the family or will he bring up too many memories and prove too much for Kitty?

I am over the moon that the novella focuses on Kitty’s story as she is a character who has touched my heart in the Tindledale books and I have desperately wanted the author to explore her character more. The storyline is very moving but also uplifting too with a lovely touch of festivity. We also get a glimpse of some of our other favourite characters who have made an appearance before especially the animal doting Taylor who also holds an important role in this novella.

This is the first novella I have read where the author has managed to put all of the feels from a full length novel into a novella, the characters are well developed and soon work their way into your heart. The storyline also has depth to it thanks to the emotional and challenging issues the author weaves into the plot. There are some touching moments and the one that really touched my heart was the comment Teddie made about her father and Mack's legs ( yes lump to the throat moment at the sensitivity and innocence from a child).

I would say you could read this novella as a standalone but you really are missing out if you haven’t visited Tindledale in the author’s three previous books.

This novella will keep you entertained on your commute to work in the morning stealing your attention in one fell swoop there is no part of this book that allows you a break to put it down so read it in one greedy burst and then get ready to crack open that tin of Quality Street.


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