Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Book Review - One Week Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

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Amazon UK
Title: One Week Til Christmas
Author: Belinda Missen
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 1st November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.

Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…

When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.

It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.

There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?

It seemed rather fitting that as there really is only a week to go until Christmas to be reviewing One Week Til Christmas today... 

.. and given the way its written you really could read it day by day until the big day if you wished but frankly I'd recommend reading it in one go. 

What a simply charming and festive romance, from the first meeting between Isobel and Tom, which is rather memorable, to them meeting again and learning each others names, to just how they have spent a week in London. 

If you are wanting a guided tour through some of London's best love festive occasions and events then this is certainly worth a read.  As a Londoner I loved seeing the touristy side to my city, and was delighted to even note that the tube journeys and time to cross London underground, were pretty much spot on, which just adds to the authenticity of the setting. 

I loved the interactions between Isobel and Tom the whole time, and found myself whizzing through the pages eager to spend more and more time with our leads. 

An incredibly charming novella that had me smiling, giggling, despairing at times and hopeful for the HEA that I was craving.  This is only the second book I've read by this author and its clear how much her writing and story development has improved, as I loved every second of this book. 

Thank you to HQ Digital and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone - I'm off to Mexico!!


With 10 days to go, until the big day, I would like to take this opportunity to wish every last one of my readers. authors that I love and publishers that kindly let me review their books, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   

I though am even more excited about tomorrow morning, when I get to fly to Mexico, for two weeks of sun, relaxation, and reading.  

For those of you with good memories, will recall I was in Mexico last Christmas, unfortunately I wasn't able to book the same hotel, as no UK Airline seemed to be flying to that coast this winter, at least not from London  so I'm flying to Cancun and staying in this utterly gorgeous looking hotel in Playa Del Carmen. 


For those of you who love seeing my holiday photos on Facebook and Twitter (when I remember), I'm sure I will be posting some, but realistically my only aims for this holiday are to sleep (in the shade), read, and generally relax and do not much, while being outside all day, plus watching the evening entertainment and seeing how Santa arrives.  Last year he arrived at that hotel by parasail so really am hoping for flying reindeer this year!! 

I do still have one more review going live while I'm away, on Wednesday to please check back for the most aptly named book I could put on a date that is only 7 days til the big day!! 

In Madeira in August I somehow read 36 books in the two weeks, which is a new record for me, and frankly if I ever replicate that I would be utterly shocked, I think I must have been a reading machine!! But you never know.  How many books do you typically read on a holiday?

My review TBR is at around 82 books currently and I would dearly love to make a dent in it.  I'm sure you will agree though that the more choice you have, the harder it is to decide what to read next as you know you want to read them all, but how do you pick. 

Well yet again, I'm going to share with you the Netgalley portion of my review list, and ask for your suggestions of which ones I need to read, which of the 2020 releases you are looking forward to most, and generally arghh... what on earth do I read on the plane tomorrow to set my holiday off on the right reading foot! 

For some completely illogical reason only known to me that I can't really explain other than it seemed like a good idea while I was making the graphics, I decided to split the Netgalley list into graphics grouped by publisher this time around.  

Hopefully with less books per graphic if I come back to this post while I'm away, which I tend to do, to look at the lovely comments and suggestions,  I may spot ones that I forgot I had but then remember desperately wanting to read them.

Or I may just pick all books randomly all holiday alternating between my newly formed kindle collections for 2019 and 2020, while panicking that I'll never read enough of these to ever make a sizeable dent!! 

Ah well enough rambling, as I say however you are spending this holiday period no matter what you are celebrating, or just trying to survive through, I hope it goes incredibly well for you.  Remember to lose yourself into a book and let's hope 2020 is the start of a fabulous new decade! 

And here is the Review TBR - all suggestions and comments on anything in this post would be greatly appreciated. I may not get a chance to reply to everything but I promise I do read them all with a smile. 

And a quick note to the publishers, I do greatly appreciate every opportunity to read these books, please do keep approving me and I will get to these as soon as I can, or when I shut my eyes and stab them open on my kindle at random. 

.










So which publishers do you read the most of? Which of these are books that you think I should drop everything and make sure I read next? Which of these are you curious about and would like to see a review of?

Book Review - Christmas at Silver Dale by Lucy Daniels

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Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at Silver Dale
Author: Lucy Daniels
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 17th December 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Although Christmas should be the most wonderful time of year, Mandy Hope is struggling. Her relationship with Jimmy Marsh is on the rocks, while her best friend James has a gorgeous new son which only confirms how much Mandy wants children of her own.

Desperately in need of a friend, Mandy strikes up a close relationship with new Welford resident Geraldine Craven, who is only too happy to offer a shoulder to cry on. Geraldine looks to be a lifeline in these troubled times, until she reveals a devastating secret about Mandy's past.

With so much uncertainty, is there still hope for a happy Christmas?

Another wonderful addition to this series, I loved being back among the Hope family at both Animal Ark and Hope Meadows. 

More troubling is the state of Mandy and Jimmy's relationship and there were many scenes between them where my heart was actually breaking, and at no point was I completely convinced there would be much hope for a reconciliation. 

There is a new key character to this instalment, Geraldine and just from the hints in the blurb and a weird gut feeling I spent most of the first half of the book looking for clues to confirm my instincts, and I was in this instance spot on. It added a new dimension to the book, and made me see another side of Mandy. 

Actually I was on the verge and tears off and on throughout this book, in part due the wonderfulness of the writing, and how connected I am to these characters, that I was really feeling for them, and possibly in part due to fear this may be the end of the series, as at the time of writing this review, I can't see the next one up on pre-order which is usually the case by now, and that worries me, as I don't want the series to end. 

And the animals, some utter cuties in this one, and even some alpaca, which you don't tend to see every day.  Plus there is a great scene with an eagle too.  The dogs are wonderful as always, and there are some very cute sounding kittens too. 

I loved seeing how best friend James was adapting to being a father, and seeing glimpse of Taresh. Also how Mandy's relationships with twins Max and Abi was deepening and growing despite not being sure of her future with Jimmy. 

This could probably be read as a standalone, but why miss out on five other fabulous books to get to this point, and catching up with the other key characters is always great. 

I loved this book and the series too, I can't get enough of it.   I love all my time spend in the company of the animals and people at Animal Ark and the rescue centre.  

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley  for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Book Review - Those People by Louise Candlish - #HolidayReading Madeira

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Amazon UK
Title: Those People
Author: Louise Candlish
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 27th June 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS YOU'LL LOVE TO HATE

Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don't follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.

Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone's story is the same: They did it.

But there's a problem. The police don't agree. And the door they're knocking on next is yours. 

Those People would make an excellent film, with an all star ensemble cast.  There isn't really a main character, just a group of neighbours that are all united against the new people in their street. 

For the new people, Danny and Jodie aren't like the rest, they seem a bit dodgy, and they aren't even attempting to fit in. 

And all the neighbours are left with an unpleasant feeling whenever they try to interact. 

It is clear initially that something big happened, from the snippets of police interviews with each neighbour, as we get the background to the day in question. 

And then once we are up to the present day bits in live time, as such, you slowly realise that every time you think you have got to grasps with the situation, something else happens, and you are left re-evaluating. 

For nothing is what it seems with those people!

Louise Candlish has written a compelling story about how you can never truly know your neighbours, your friends, and even your other half until you are pushed to breaking point from nightmare neighbours. 

At times I felt sorry for all the characters in this and at others, I really disliked them too!  Definitely a book that will make you feel something towards the characters. 

And that leaves you pondering what on earth you might do if someone unsavoury moves into your road, and becomes the source of your life being utterly wretched.   Would you consider revenge?

Thank you to Simon & Schuster on Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Book Review - The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

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Amazon UK
Title: The Christmas Wish List
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 3rd October 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

The Christmas Wish List is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

I love a Heidi Swain book, and I really enjoy Wynbridge and this was a incredibly enjoyable story. 

I was hooked from the first few pages and was shocked to realise I'd read the first 50 on a relatively short tube journey, always a sign I'm enjoying the book. even from an early stage. 

I loved the concept of The Christmas Wish List and seeing how Hattie's feelings towards the season changed as she and Dolly worked through the list.  I also was pleased to see Hattie grow as a character in many directions, especially at the point here eyes become wide open to her current relationship. 

There were a few revelations during the story, but to be honest, I had strong inklings towards them while I was reading, so they seemed more inevitable than anything, but it didn't impact my enjoyment at all. 

And Beamish is such a great new character who I really enjoyed getting to know, while also seeing familiar faces in passing from previous books set in Wynbridge is always a delight. 

I love this community, and its zeal for all things Christmas, and just wish I could have been on the ice-rink with Hattie, Dolly and Beamish.  

Filled with the authors trade mark writing style, and warmth, this was a truly enjoyable story to read in the run up to Christmas, and may even inspire me to one day have my own Christmas Wish List! 

Book Review - Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran

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Amazon UK
Title: Christmas Every Day
Author: Beth Moran
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 17th September 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose - no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better...

Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.

Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.

Warm, wise, funny and utterly uplifting, what one thing would you change in your life before Christmas comes around?

You know a book has gotten under your skin, when you realise the dream you were having includes some of the characters from what you were reading, somehow morphed into family members.  If was a weird and oddly vivid dream, but once I remember I don't have anyone in the family with five children, I realised it must have been due to reading this before I went to bed. 

Given that almost never happens to me, I think you can see how much I was enjoying what I was reading. 

The writing is  fabulous, as is the story, I loved seeing Jenny develop, and watching her try to turn her life around, after she flees to her grandmothers cottage in the Forest, despite never having met her grandmother.  

And its not in a great state but its all Jenny has, that and a reclusive new neighbour, Mack, who its hard to tell if he actually likes or hates Jenny initially but leads to some amusing moments. 

There is so much to enjoy with this book, it is really hard to know where to start.  There is a large amount of story fitted in, and the threads from the other book club members are a mix of heartbreaking and inspirational while also amusing and give hope to all about possible new love. 

Although I understand where the title came from, I will say I felt it slightly misleading as it really didn't feel like what I want a Christmas book to be, with very little festive feeling being generated.  But that is on me, and if I ignore that small thing - then the book is utterly brilliant. 

What I do know is this may have been my first book by Beth Moran, but it certainly won't be my last. I am very keen to read more as the quality was great and I really enjoyed myself reading it. 

Thank you to Boldwood and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily 

Friday, 13 December 2019

Book Review - Christmas at the Chateau by Lorraine Wilson

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Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at the Chateau
Author: Lorraine Wilson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 1st December 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

A Christmas she’ll remember forever…
Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Ch√Ęteau. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.

There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. Only family pressure and uncertainty about her future in France can threaten to cast a shadow over the holiday.

When the treasure hunt takes an unexpected turn Poppy knows for sure this is one Christmas she’ll remember forever.

What a sweet and romantic little story this was, and its a perfect follow up to Poppy's Place in the Sun. 

It was great to be back in France with Poppy and her trio of adorable dogs, and Leo and his Chateau.  Although I couldn't fully remember everything from the original story, bits started to come back to me as I read this, and equally I do think this would work well as a cute standalone festive short story. 

It's romantic, its got animals, it has a treasure hunt, and I loved the emails that Poppy was receiving from her best friend and mother back in the UK.  

I'd say this would be good to read in a lunch break (well if you have an hour to spare), its quick, easy, romantic and just very enjoyable and has left me with a smile on my face. 

Once again Lorraine Wilson has written a book that I have just loved, and I do think the length was pretty spot on, which is hard to do with a short story or novella. 

Thank you to One More Chapter on Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Book Review - Notting Hill In The Snow by Jules Wake

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Amazon UK
Title: Notting Hill in the Snow
Author: Jules Wake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 11th October 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

It's mayhem in Bethlehem…unless they can work together!

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra (yes really!), but this year she's been asked to stretch her musical talents to organising Notting Hill's local nativity.
Nate Williams isn't looking forward to Christmas but as his small daughter, Grace, has the starring role in the show, he's forced to stop being a Grinch and volunteer with Viola.

With the sparks between them hotter than the chestnuts roasting in Portobello market, Nate and Viola can't deny their feelings. And as the snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one…

I have fallen in love...

...not with the the simply amazing story that really does sum up London and Notting Hill in the snow

...not with the simply fabulous sounding Nativity that Viola helps to put on

... not with Viola's family who frankly were driving me mad, but equally amused me 

...  not with Nate the incredibly sexy and wonderful man

... but with Nate's daughter Grace, who has crept completely under my skin and is key to the whole story.  She is old beyond her years, and doesn't seem to know how to relax and just be a child.   Which is of course due to her high flying mother and Elaine's need for perfection and appearances. 

Grace was in some ways so wise, but in others so insecure and adorable. As Viola spends more time with Grace and Nate, it starts to feel like they are a family unit, but they also know nothing could ever happen between them. 

It was wonderful to see a familiar setting and faces from Covent Garden in the Snow, but if you haven't read that then don't worry, this will easily work as a standalone novel.   

Written with Jules Wake's trademark warmth, wit and incredibly relatable to characters, this is a sure fire hit book for me.   I loved every second of it, and just couldn't seem to read it fast enough. 

I thought it was incredibly clever to have so many references to Frozen 2, not in detail but just to help show just how excited children this winter will be for the film, and I desperately want to see it myself.   I loved all the Frozen references, although I have just had to look up LOL dolls.  It is clear Jules has definitely researched well what children will be enjoying this Christmas. 

Oh and the nativity,  and the children in Grace's class, so adorable, I loved George the innkeeper.  Some incredibly touching moments throughout this book. 

This is a wonderfully heartwarming story to read this winter.  I adored it! 

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Book Review - A Friend Called Alfie by Rachel Wells

Amazon UK
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Title: A Friend Called Alfie
Author: Rachel Wells
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 17th October 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


The Sunday Times bestseller returns for a sixth book! Alfie and his mischievous kitten George are back for more adventures – this time with a puppy in tow…

At Christmas time we all need a friend…

Alfie and his kitten, George, have always known that a human is for life and not just for Christmas. So when George learns that one of the residents of Edgar Road has been taken into hospital, he realises it’s up to him to provide some comfort at this difficult time of year.

The only problem is that they now have a little puppy in tow – Pickles the Pug, who is convinced he can be a cat if only he sticks with his new found friends.

As George tries to do everything he can to make the world – and its humans – happier, Alfie struggles to keep Pickles in check and out of trouble. Because even the best laid plans can be destroyed by a well-meaning – but mischievous – little puppy…

Join Alfie, George – and now Pickles – as they come to the rescue of some lonely souls. The perfect read for fans of James Bowen from the Sunday Times bestseller.

I have no idea where to begin with this review other than saying this is a purrfect festive read, that is incredibly funny but also full of an important message about being lonely at Christmas. 

I loved the new addition to Alfie and George's family, Pickles the Pug.  Pickles is determined to be the best cat he can be which leads to all sorts of hilarious antics, and fabulous lines.  He really isn't the smartest of puppies, and is just that bit mischievous too, without really intending to be. 

Seeing the cat's friendship group essentially adopt a dog is so amusing. 

And then there is George who is growing up before our very eyes and now has let's just say a close friendship with a female cat which is so cute to see, as well his determination to get a job.  I loved George's job, I had guessed what it might be and the section leading up to Alfie discovering what his son is up to was so amusing.  

These cats have such human qualities to them, and are far smarter then their humans, although all the 2 legged people in this book are great too, and I enjoyed catching up with them. 

Then there is Alfie's own love life, which seems complicated, and the fact he is forever being tasked with puppy sitting!!   I mean a cat looking after a dog, when have you ever seen that before, but yet it felt so believable.  

There are so many subplots and threads running through this book, it was like watching a tv series but being able to binge watch it so you didn't miss a thing!! 

I adore Alfie, George and the rest of the felines (both real ones and the pug), and this has cemented itself to my mind as a series I need to continue to follow forever as I love the characters and writing so much. 

Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Book Review - Five French Hens by Judy Leigh - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK
Title: Five French Hens
Author: Judy Leigh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 5th December 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

The best days of your life might be still to come…

When 73 year old Jen announces that she is going to marry Eddie, a man she met just a few months previously on a beach on Boxing Day, her four best friends from aqua aerobics are flabbergasted.

The wedding is booked and, when the groom decides to have a stag trip to Las Vegas, the ladies arrange a hen party to beat all others -a week in the city of love, Paris.

From misadventures at the Louvre, outrageous Parisian cabarets, to drinking champagne with a dashing millionaire at the casino, Paris lives up to all their hopes and dreams. But a week can change everything, and the women that come home have very different dreams from the ones who got on the plane just days ago.

Funny, fearless and with a joie de vivre that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last, Judy Leigh has once again written the perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Cathy Hopkins, Dawn French and Fiona Gibson.

What a delightful book this is! 

I absolutely adored this group of women, as they celebrate Jen's recent and rather rapid engagement to Eddie.  They have all only known each other for a few months, but its still a couple of months longer than Jen has known Eddie. 

I also think this may be one of the more tasteful hen party trips I've read about, mostt likely as all five of the hens are in their 70s. 

So we have Jen, the bride to be, Rose who was widowed years ago and is only starting to find herself,  Della who is married to Sylvester and still utterly devoted to him, Tessa who's husband Alan seems to spend more time at the golf course and pretty much neglects her, and Pam who's love of her life is her dog Eddie! 

From the opening chapter, the view point would swap around within the chapter, so after a few pages of say Jen, we would then see what Rose is up to at the same time. After  a chapter or two, once you have picked up the basics of each woman, it is not confusing and you just go with the flow. 

I loved seeing how the friendship between the ladies developed over the story, and also each of their own personal growths and realisations.  And from the moment they decide to go to Paris, the book steps up another gear. 

What week in Paris would be complete without meeting an exotic man, spending time in a drag club, rediscovering your joie de vivre, some meals in a fabulous Moroccan restaurant,  a friendly taxi driver, a trip to the casino, a couple of hours in a cemetery - oh and some far more regular sight seeing too!!   A fair amount of the more typical Parisian tourist activities were also enjoyed too. 

From quite early on I had a feeling about the upcoming marriage, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but by the story's conclusion I was a lot happier with everything.  

Rose and Tessa's stories are fabulous and I loved seeing how they changed over the week, and the others are just as great to read. 

It was a joy to spend time with these wonderful women, and I can't help but hope for a sequel as I'd love to see how they are all getting on with life now.    A fantastic book that proves that life definitely isn't over at 70, no matter what you may think when you are younger!! 

Thank you to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 

Please do follow along with all these other great bloggers on this blog tour


Monday, 9 December 2019

Book Review - Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans

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Amazon UK
Title: Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm 
Author: Jaimie Admans
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 9th October 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

All she wants for Christmas…

Leah Griffiths has woken up after a few too many glasses of Prosecco with a hangover – and discovers she’s accidentally bought a little Christmas tree farm in Scotland!

At first she’s horrified, but perhaps it’s the perfect way to forget all about her cheating ex.

And when she meets grumpy (but ridiculously gorgeous) pumpkin farmer Noel underneath the mistletoe, Leah begins to believe that at Christmas time, anything can happen…

I'm sure we have all seen a Christmas Tree farm up for sale, at the other end of the country,  gone onto the auction site while drunk and purchased the farm without having ever seen it in real life, and then been shocked when it looks nothing like the pictures?

You mean you haven't done that - well it must just be Leah Griffiths, the heroine in this book, where she does exactly that and then has to somehow make a go of it, given she has sunk all her savings into the purchase. 

Leah wasn't expecting the handsome pumpkin farmer next door, and from there first meeting you would wonder why I'm even mentioning him at all, apart from the obviously adorable Gizmo the Chihuahua! 

And for a book about a Christmas Tree Farm I was shocked at the amount of pumpkin that gets into the story, in fact I think this could almost be re-titled 101 things to do with pumpkins, or how to be a pumpkin farmer - as that is exactly that Noel is, but thankfully unlike Leah he also knows everything you need to know about Christmas Tree farming. 

I have learnt a lot about how to be a tree farmer, to if the opportunity ever arises to drunkenly purchase a Christmas tree farm, sight unseen, then I will at least know a whole deal more than Leah did at the same stage. 

If you ever need to gain some new tree puns, please do talk to Noel, he is full of them, most will make you groan, but still rather amusing. 

The community feel of the small town was really strong and I enjoyed seeing Leah's ideas for their Christmas market, and the various tree decorations were really inventive.  The well meaning gossipy new friends were really sweet too, and I just had a wonderful community, feel good feeling from this book. 

I loved, loved, loved this book.  It flowed so well, the writing was great, and it has such imagination in it. I adored the concept and the story was just fabulous - easily one of my favourite books from this talented author. 

Thank you to HQ Digital and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Book Review - Justice at Christmas by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK
Title: Justice at Christmas
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 11th November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Santa is dead...

Or is he?

DI Lorne Simpkins investigates the murder of a man wearing a Santa suit in the week leading up to Christmas.

Why was he inside Jilly Cartwright’s home?

Ho...Ho...How did he die and who killed him?

Perfect length to read with a meal, this had me hooked from start to finish. 

After all it's not often that you see a dead Santa inside someone's house, and no one is quite sure who killed him.

Of all the various scenarios the actual one is not anything I would have every guessed. 

It was great to be able to read a fresh Justice series short story, and always a pleasure to read anything featuring DI Lorne Simpkins, and her early team. 

The pacing was great, it was quick, engaging and a puzzling case to solve.  My only regret is that I now have no idea how long it will be before I next get to read a book featuring my favourite DI. 

If you are looking for an excellent piece of festive crime to devour, either in the run up to the big day, or to give yourself a bit of me-time, on Christmas Day itself, then this is certainly worth a read. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
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