Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas

Halley has been running from her problems for years.
On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery... until she doesn't.
The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.
On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more...
Jo Thomas won me over with her debut novel The Oyster Catcher four years ago and I have loved each of her novels that she has released since then. The author has such a unique descriptive writing style that manages to create such vivid settings that transport me to places I could only ever dream of visiting. What I was looking forward to most when I saw the cover and title of her new release A Winter Beneath the Stars was seeing the author step away from the warmth of her summer settings and submerge us in the chilliest of climates setting the idyllic scene in a true winter wonderland.
Our main character in A Winter Beneath the Stars is Halley who is on her way to deliver a special package to the couple due to be wed in Tallfors in North Sweden but luck is against her when she arrives to find she has the wrong case! Desperate to relocate her bag containing the special package as well as her travel journal she embarks on the trip of a life time that will put her to the test when she helps the gorgeous but ill-tempered Bjorn to move his reindeers down from the hills.
This was such an adventurous storyline that made me feel so envious of the journey Halley was undertaking and the experiences she faced in the wild. Discovering the traditions and the way of life of the Sami families was a real pleasure and interest to me.
Halley was an instantly likeable character but it didn’t take long to figure out that she had a heartbreaking secret that she keeps buried from anyone not that she lets anyone close enough to risk exposing her secret. I did know from the very early start what the secret she was hiding was but I have spoken to someone else who read the book who didn’t realise what it was until it was exposed so I won’t say anymore incase I give away and spoilers!
Although there was no decorations, celebrations or appearances from the big man in red I still thought this was a beautiful read perfect for this time of year as the setting was representative of a Christmas card scene and the inclusion of the reindeer and the snow with added helping of the Northern Lights which I have always dreamed of seeing all comes together to make a winter novel perfect.
I did find the storyline very predictable but this didn’t stop my enjoyment as there was so much more to discover in the storyline that held my interest the whole way through. There was some tender moments which were portrayed well and a dashing of romance that warmed the heart. This will definitely be making its way into a number of Christmas present packages from me this year.

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