Monday, 30 November 2020

Book Review - Jingle All The Way by Debbie Macomber

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Title: Jingle All The Way
Author: Debbie Macomber
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 13th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

The instant New York Times bestseller bringing home joy this Christmas!

Everly Lancaster always dreamed of leaving behind her hometown in rural Illinois, but her new life running a burgeoning startup in Chicago leaves little time for friends . . . or a holiday.

When a massive snowstorm hits, Everly's mother urges the workaholic to come home for Christmas, but she hesitates to return to the life that she tried so hard to escape. Searching for other holiday plans, Everly tasks her assistant with booking her a cruise - an ideal escape. She embarks on a week-long tour of the Amazon guided by charming naturalist Asher Adams, but slowly realises just how important her relationships are to her.

Everly makes a bold decision to abandon her lonely holiday plans - but can she make it home in time for Christmas Day?

A warm and wintry delight by #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

Whenever I read a Debbie Macomber book it feels like coming home to a big hug in a book, and this was no exception.  The story was under my skin within a chapter or two and I knew I would be ignoring the calls of real life to read it in as few sittings as possible. 

And given I started it around 6pm, and am writing this review just before 3am - and I did do some work in between, I think suffice to say this was a quick and absorbing read, that hit all the right spots for me. 

I don't think I'd particularly looked at the blurb before opting to read this book, drawn in by the Christmas title and the knowledge that I've never read a bad book from this author, thus I was delighted to learn that there was a cruise involved. 

I love cruising, but like Everly, I had visions of luxurious cruise ships and ultimate in fabulousness of holiday, but her assistant had other ideas, so the reality is a fortnight on an explorer cruise taking in the Amazon rainforest. 

Not exactly what Everly had in mind, but at the same time an eye-opening vacation, full of mishap, adventure, exotic scenery and Asher! 

I was hooked on everything to do with the cruise, especially as we are unable to travel in real life at the moment, I'll take any opportunity for some armchair travel, and I've never read a book featuring an Amazon cruise before which makes this rather unique in my eyes. 

It has all of Debbie Macomber's normal flair and storytelling ability, fabulous writing and realistic characters, but for the most part with a far more exciting backdrop! 

I love, Love, LOVED this book and really am puzzled as to why I have left it so long since my last Debbie Macomber book, given how much I adore the author! I definitely need to read her more regularly, as this is utter comfort reading! 

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

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Book Review - Christmas at the Little Waffle Shack by Helen J Rolfe

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas at the Little Waffle Shack
Author: Helen J Rolfe
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self  Published
Publication Date: 18th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Heritage Cove is in full swing for the festive season and as the temperature dips, who will be lucky in love this Christmas?

It's December in Heritage Cove and along with the village Christmas tree, frosty mornings and the promise of the most wonderful time of the year, the new waffle shack is about to open. And its owner isn't a stranger to the Cove, because after all this time, Daniel is back to make amends with his brother Harvey – as well as a few other locals he might have offended along the way.

Fairly new to the village, local blacksmith Lucy has kept up the pretence of being with her ex for the sake of his gran but she’s fed up with all the lies. Determined to come clean and live the life she wants to live, she’s devastated to find that her attraction to Daniel is tainted by the fact he’s hiding a few things of his own. And his secrets are ones she isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to get past.

Heritage Cove is full of friendship and community; it’s a welcoming place people visit and never want to leave. But will it work its magic for Daniel and Lucy?

A festive read packed with Christmas romance, love and second chances, this is Book 2 in a series of standalone novels set in Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea…

Anyone for waffles? Who knew waffles came in so many different shapes, sizes, flavours of batter, not to mention toppings. Although I didn't see any mention of chicken and waffles which may be a good thing as even thinking about those in passing normally makes me crave them! 

Well unsurprisingly given the title, this book does indeed feature waffles - I mean it features people too, but wow the waffles!  Don't read this when hungry,  in fact best read while eating a stack of waffles! 

I'm guessing you would like me to stop waffling along about those delicious lattice shaped treats and instead comment about the rest of the book! 

It was lovely to be back in Heritage Cove, and this time the action is centred on Lucy, the Cove's new blacksmith who makes wonderful bespoke items including some lovely sounding metal Christmas presents for the villagers.  And the male lead goes to Daniel, who is the estranged brother of Harvey (who we met in the previous book). 

Although this is a second book in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone, but anyone who has read the first book will be delighted to see so many familiar faces, and to see how Harvey and Melissa's relationship is going. 

Daniel many years ago left the cove as a youngster, and a bit of a trouble maker, and now he is back and is happy to make ammends, but whether his brother will ever listen to him is another matter. I enjoyed hearing about his past as it is revealed, and could understand some of his potentially iffy decisions.  

Whereas Lucy is stuck in a pretence with her ex, which drove me mad as he seems like a nightmare of a pathological liar. 

Set to a backdrop of Christmas, the season of forgiving and miracles, this is a heart-warming, delicious (yes my mind is still on waffles), and truly enjoyable gem of a Christmas book.  I thoroughly enjoyed every last word, and it was a shame it came to an end.   

Another really great book from Helen J Rolfe, one that I would happily recommend.

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

Friday, 27 November 2020

Book Review - Strictly Come Dating by Kathryn Freeman - #HolidayReading Malta

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Amazon UK

Title: Strictly Come Dating
Author: Kathryn Freeman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 26th November 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Fun, feel-good and a must read for fans of Strictly Come Dancing!

Saturday nights are strictly for dancing… 

As the glitter ball shimmers and sequins flash, forty-year-old Maggie remembers the pull of the dancefloor.  But now, as a newly divorced mum of two, Maggie’s certain her dancing days are over.  Or are they…?

Encouraged by her friends, Maggie dusts off her silver stilettoes and enrols for dancing classes, all she needs now is the perfect partner.

Enter Seb.  Young, carefree and hot as hell, Seb is definitely a perfect 10!  Even though everything about him is outrageously inappropriate! But as Seb sweeps her across the dancefloor every week, Maggie begins to see a new side to him; kind, caring, funny, strong. 

And Maggie realises that he’s the only one she’d like to foxtrot with…perhaps even forever?

A lovely romance for fans of Strictly. 

I found this a bit slow to start with, but once Seb starts learning to dance with Maggie then I couldn't get enough of it. 

I loved their chemistry, even if Seb is the annoying younger brother for Maggie's best friends, and Maggie is scared for her children to get to know anyone who could turn out to be rather special. 

But Seb is fabulous with kids, and I loved the scenes involving Tabs, Penelope and Seb.  Seb is at times like a big kid at heart himself, and others just an all round sexy nice guy!

You wouldn't' think Maggie and Seb would worth together past the chemistry but they really do, and I enjoyed seeing how their fledgling relationship develops. 

Another very enjoyable romance from Kathryn Freeman,  complete with sequins and glitter ball!

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

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Book Review - The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

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Amazon UK

Title: The Christmas Swap
Author: Sandy Barker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 16th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Will all three women have their Christmas wishes come true?
Christmas is coming and best friends Chloe, Jules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three, and this wonderful festive novel is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Holly Martin and Karen Swan.

So this is like the film The Holiday but on drugs. 

We have the fabulous locations of Melbourne Australia, Beckenridge, Colorado and a small village in Oxfordshire England. 

We have three women - one who has always dreamed of a white Christmas, one who has always wanted a traditional family Christmas, and one who likes Christmas but hates the cold and wants to break out of a rut.  All three have been best friends since they met age 11 on holiday and despite living at opposites ends of the world, they have kept in touch and have holidayed together plenty. 

Then there are three incredibly sexy men, the snowboarder, the film star and the winemaker.   

As you may have guessed from the title, all three women swap Christmases, and stay with the family or friends, of each friend, allowing them all to have the Christmas of their dreams. 

The action alternates between the three women, the differing locations and I loved seeing how each of them spent the fesitve period and few days afterwards. 

You can expect amongst other things from this book, snow, Winter Wonderland, a Christmas fair, embarrassing relatives, horse riding, wine, winter sports, being papped, and a great deal of laughs and happiness, and instant chemistry. 

Now I'm not going to tell you who goes where, or what of those things happens where, but suffice to say I loved all three story lines, even if I could have done with drawing a diagram of who  is who and where they went and normally live - as my head just couldn't retain it all at the same time!!  

Although our three leading ladies are all lovely, it was the men in this story that caught my eye, and I can honestly say I'd happily have all three of them as book boyfriends at the same time!! 

I loved the location details, and just well everything about this book.  I think it would make an even better film than The Holiday too, and would be a lot easier to keep things straight if you are watching!   So please big film companies, or Hallmark, put this on the big screen! 

Easily my favourite book from one of my favourite travel romance authors! 

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

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Book Review - Winter at Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey

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Amazon UK

Title: Winter at Wishington Bay
Author: Maxine Morrey
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 3rd November 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Eighteen months ago, Sophia Jones finally walked out on her unhappy life.
With a tricky divorce ongoing, money is tight and so when friends offer her a housekeeping job while they’re away travelling, she accepts.

Nate McKinley is hesitant when his brother, Gabe, offers him the use of their home in the picturesque village of Wishington Bay. But he has a book to a write and an imploded marriage to recover from, so maybe a change of scene is exactly what he needs. 

As Wishington Bay works its magic, friendship blossoms between Sophia and Nate. For Nate, finally feeling able to be himself with someone who is honest and down to earth is a revelation. 

But Sophia has a secret and a jealous colleague is determined to blow her cover. Can she really keep her old life in the past or is it destined to destroy this new, happy one too?

Take a trip back to Wishington Bay this winter and find out…

How lovely it has been to return to Wishington Bay. 

It is such a stunning location for a book, and I can't help but want to live their myself,  Sophia has forged out a really lovely, low key life, in her 18 months in the bay, she's working as a waitress and a cleaner, neither of which she had a clue about from her previous life. 

It is obvious the whole time that Sophia is hiding something from her old life, but the specifics aren't revealed until quite close to the finale, and I wasn't quite expecting the way it would all pan out! 

Meanwhile their is Nate, who just wants to hide himself away to write his book, and ignore life, and the initial conversations between Nate and Sophia are really amusing. 

The characters in this were very believable and realistic and I loved disliking the horrible ones! Although this is a second book in Wishington Bay it can easily be read as a standalone, as the protaganists are different and the main focus is their story. 

I loved the various secrets, and the way Sophia has transformed her life. 

Set in the winter, I should say that this is not specifically a Christmas book, more a cold wintery one, with many amusing moments, Sophia appears to be rather accident prone - and the scene with the Christmas tree was hilarious - so yes Christmas features but it's not a focus and this is a book that could easily be read at any time of the year. 

This is just an all around enjoyable book that I was really entertained by. 

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

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Book Review - Christmas Island by Natalie Normann - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas Island
Author: Natalie Normann
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 30th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Fr√ły, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.

There is something about this book that was just incredibly more-ish. I found it to be really quick to read, and whenever I wasn't reading, I was wondering what Holly and Tor were getting up to in my absence. 

And it all starts with a rather dramatic and atmospheric opening sequence, as Holly arrives on the island and promptly gets lost, but is saved by the local hermit and his yellow-eyed beast. 

Ok for beast, I mean cat that I swear sounded more like a dog at times, but is utterly amazing. Froy is easily one of the best characters in the book by far, and being a cat he doesn't even say anything! 

And the local hermit is the rather ruggedly good looking Tor, who has kept himself to himself since renting a cottage on the island and no one really knows much about him, but somehow Holly may be the one to change things. 

Set in a Nordic winter, it was fascinating to learn about Norwegian Christmas traditions, and all manner of Nordic foods which especially their sweet treats sounded really yummy.  We learn a bit about trolls (not the internet variety), and also see just why is is both Holly and Tor are trying to hide from real life in the wilds of Norway! 

The descriptions were so good, I could really picture the island, and also the various locations and ferry crossings, boat trips, and Christmas activities that were happening. 

This is the authors second book in English, and it is connected to Summer Island in that Holly is Jack's sister and Jack and Ninni do put in an appearance during the second half of the book - but other than that it is definitely readable as a standalone. 

I am really enjoying Natalie Normann's writing style and I'm already very eager to see what she writes next, as I have loved both Summer and Winter Island.  I'd love to see more from this Island if possible, as it's such a different setting, it feels like you really have been on a vacation while reading. 

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



Monday, 23 November 2020

Book Review - Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot - #HolidayReading Malta

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Title: Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea
Author: Jane Linfoot
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 3rd September 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Return to your favourite little wedding shop by the sea for love, laughter and a romance to sweep you off your feet!
It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop!

Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!

If you love anything to do with fictional weddings then you will adore this book. 

And even if weddings leave you cold, then the characters in this story will warm your heart and possibly turn a cynic into a believer. 

It was wonderful not only to be back in St. Aiden but also back at The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea,  I think pretty much all of Jane Linfoot's St Aiden's based heroines make an appearance at some point in this story. 

But rest assured that this can easily be read as a standalone, as Milla, this book's main character is brand new to the series too. 

For a long term fan of the series this felt like coming home, I love those Wedding Shop girls and their friendships and spirit of teamwork. 

It was fabulous to see Poppy's wonderful cupcakes, Sera having a small but pivotal role in helping the main bride feel special, Jess being scarily amazing as always. 

Then there is Milla who amongst other things is offering a high end bespoke planning service and her big customer is someone who knows nothing about weddings but is putting together one as the bride lacks the time. 

I had tears in my eyes at one rather special moment of the book - if you read the book, when you get to that point you will know what I mean - it was just so beautiful and special. 

I loved how Millla and Nic interacted at all times. 

This was just one highly enjoyable way to spend a few hours, amongst my friends in St. Aiden, and celebrating some lovely weddings. 

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

Friday, 20 November 2020

Book Review - The Chalet by Catherine Cooper - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cbalet
Author: Catherine Cooper
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 31st October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

Woah! How on earth is this a debut, and more importantly how long do we need to wait for another book, by this clear up and coming talent. 

From the first few pages I was hooked, and I was making excuses to read this book at any opportunity I could over the past 24 hours. 

There are many different view points, two timelines but because everything is labelled so well, at no point did I feel lost, plus all sections in the past were in italics which helped separate things in the mind. 

There is the story from 1998, of the blizzard and just what happened on the mountain that day.  And then the current day story which you wonder how it must connect (as after all multiple timelines with different characters to the present in books always connect to the present day story somehow).. and well things are drip fed to you at just the right pace to keep you hooked. 

I felt as though I was this ski resort alongside all the characters, the descriptions were that vivid, and I really felt for some of the characters.  Although I'm not sure how much I liked most of them, there was just something about them, that kept me reading, as I wanted to know what would happen, and they weren't horrible on the whole, just hard to like! 

Although strictly speaking that isn't true, there was one voice that I really did connect with and I could understand their motivations as various revelations were made including as to just who they were! 

Fairly quick paced, and ultimately very gripping, this is one impressive book that I am incredibly happy crossed my path. Just wow! 

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



Thursday, 19 November 2020

Book Review - One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

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Amazon UK

Title: One Kiss Before Christmas
Author: Emma Jackson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion Dash
Publication Date: 2nd November 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Could it be the start of her happy ever after?

Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She's still living in Brighton with her Nan - who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable - her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa's elves, and not even the prospect of a friend's winter wedding can cheer her up...

That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.

When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash's neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.

If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash's life, it's Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas...

This is a very sweets romance for this festive season, set to a backdrop of Brighton.  

It's not the most Christmassy of books, but its a lovely romance none the less,  a real will they, won't they ever get together sort of a thing! 

For fans of Emma Jackson's previous books, there are some recurring characters that you will be delighted to see, but if you are new to her don't worry this definitely works as a standalone book. 

This is the story of Ashleigh who is currently working as an Elf, at a fabulous sounding Christmas farm, that I would have loved to visit, and her next door neighbour (well when he's visiting his mum), Olivier. 

Olivier on this visit home this Christmas, has the opportunity to design the window in his mother's chocolate shop and wow what they can do from chocolate sounds so impressive and tasty. 

This was just such a relaxing book to curl up with, and lose yourself within the pages.  There are various incredibly amusing moments, and I loved Ashleigh's best friends and just what Romesh was going through. 

All in all a really enjoyable story that I had a good time reading. 

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

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Book Review - The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

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Amazon UK

Title: The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Author: Jenny Bayliss
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 28th September 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

On the first day of Christmas, a dating app offered me
Twelve tailored chances for perfect harmony . . .

Kate Turner is happily single – a bit too happily, in fact. Since returning to her hometown of Blexford, a sleepy village where everybody knows each other, and between catching up with her oldest friends Laura and Matt, a flourishing career as a fabric designer, and taking care of her beloved dad, love hasn’t really had a look in.

But Kate does love Christmas. So when Laura insists she signs up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a brand new dating app service, she doesn’t need too much persuading. Twelve perfect festive dates with the area’s most eligible men – who could say no?

Amongst the twinkling lights and over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, romance is easy to find. But with each date, Kate learns more about the men, and even more about herself.

As the big day approaches, Kate’s left wondering – is it really the season for true love, or will this Christmas be the coldest yet?

I loved the concept of the dating agency's 12 dates of Christmas, where in December they will match you with 12 different men, you have a choice of activities for each date, and hopefully come out of with with a new love. 

At least that is what is meant to happen, but well things don't go that smoothly for Kate, as you may imagine with this sort of story! I don't think it will spoil things to say she is stood up on the first date, but there are some good guys in amongst the 12 - there are also one or two complete and utter sleazeballs. 

And its a good variety of activities for the dates, and if this was real, then I would be tempted to sign up myself as it would certainly get you out of your comfort zone, and able to meet some new people. 

But between the dates we get to know Kate a lot better and her childhood friends Laura and Matt, and also her family.  I loved that she is a fabric designer for Liberty's which sounds like such a creative job, and Kate is also a fabulous baker and there are so many yummy treats mentioned to make you very hungry. 

I'll admit I had an inkling very early on as to who Kate would end up with, which didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story, as I was keen to see what would happen on each of the dates, but at the same time my head kept wishing she would come to her senses! 

The village of Blexford is charming and I loved the small town gossipy community vibe going on, where others knew what was going on with you, almost before it happened! And it sounded so lovely in the snow. 

This is a rather charming debut novel, from an author I would happily read again. It's not the most festive of books, although it does have a wintery / Christmas backdrop to the whole book, which means you could easily read it quite far out from Christmas! 

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

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Book Review - A Kiss in the Snow by Rosie Green

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Amazon UK

Title:  A Kiss In The Snow
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 10th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

After a cruel twist of fate sends her hurtling into a black hole of despair, Carrie is absolutely dreading the festive season - especially with sister, Krystle, being even more demanding of her time and energy than usual. But then friend Maddy offers Carrie a lifeline: the chance to get away from it all in a holiday cottage in the gorgeous little village of Silverbells. Deciding that a few weeks of tranquillity - reading, baking and going for long walks in the countryside - might just restore her mood, Carrie is quick to take up the offer. But on arriving, it very soon becomes clear that this break is going to be anything but peaceful!

An unwelcome houseguest proves unsettling enough - especially one who whistles loudly first thing in the morning and is far too cheerful for his own good - but finding herself drawn into the spooky mystery of her missing neighbour means there really isn't much time for personal reflection. And then love comes knocking, and Carrie is forced to decide exactly where her heart lies.

Will this festive season be the disaster Carrie predicted? Or will Santa be good to her and deliver her heart's desire? One thing's for sure - this will be a Christmas Carrie will never, ever forget...

13 may be unlucky for some, but when it comes to Book 13 in this story its even more than a charm - its fabulous! 

And I'll address what must be on your minds first, can book 13 on a series really be read as a standalone, and it truly can - the main character has only been seen briefly in previous books, so this is the first time we have really got to know Carrie.  In addition there is very limited presence of the main Duck Pond Cafe ladies, and Silverbells is a whole new setting. 

So if you are new to this series, this is a very good place to start, plus is a very good story. 

I really enjoyed the little village of Silverbells, and although Carrie's story interested me, what gripped me even more were the lives of some of the Silverbells residents, who really even within the shortish time we are with them felt like real people. 

I loved Nora, Ronan, Anita, the various mysterious happenings at Moon cottage that need to be explored, and also the dynamic Carrie has with twin sister Krystle. 

There are some very strong storylines, and a whole lot seems to happen over a short space of time,  and I loved every second of it. 

Words are seeming to escape me as I write this but rest assured it is a story well worth reading, and another fabulous addition to this already impressive series.  It's Rosie Green at her best, with a mix of romance and at least one thread with a more serious tone. 

I already can't wait for the next book, this author writes fast, but never quite fast enough for me!  Such an enjoyable book that I read in about two main sittings, really quickly. 

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

Monday, 16 November 2020

Book Review - The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

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Amazon UK

Title: The Christmas Killer
Author: Alex Pine
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 29th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.
 
But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.
 
As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….
 
Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

I was hooked from the first few pages, and as the story proceeds, I was more and more intrigued, and just couldn't work out who the killer was. 

With hindsight it seems rather obvious, but that is the beauty of hindsight but as I went through, it never occurred to me once. 

What we know is that there is the possibility of 12 murders in 12 days, that the police were warned in advance, that there was about to be a serial killer, although was hard to know whether to take the threat seriously or not, and that given they are in a small village, in December, the snow is about to make things so much harder for the rather small police team. 

I loved this rather unlikely setting for a thriller and am delighted to see this is the fist in a new series, as I have a feeling there is someone rather unpleasant from this book that may reappear further down the line. 

I enjoyed getting to know DI James Walker and his family, and seeing how he would approach this case, and whether or not he would be able to relax for Christmas for not.   

It's a really gripping book and excellent debut novel.  Bring on book 2! 

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