Monday 13 December 2021

Viva España!! I'm off to Tenerife! Merry Christmas!

Let's start by wishing everyone that is reading this a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I greatly appreciate everyone that reads this blog whether its only once, or a tad more regularly. I would love to thank the authors and publishers that trust my to review their books, and especially Netgalley which has been my main book source for many years! 

Unless there are any new rule changes from the UK or Spanish governments in the next 14 hours or so, which would be coming in immediately - I am off to Tenerife in the morning to spend Christmas in hopefully the sun, or at least warmer weather than here. 

I can't wait and I should be able to spend some of the festive period with my sister who lives out there, when she isn't working. 

So I'm going to be staying in this absolutely gorgeous looking hotel, and for those of you that are Facebook Friends with me, (and possibly those on twitter depending where I remember), I will be posting pic during the holiday (after all how else do I prove to my mum that I'm still alive otherwise), so feel free to take a look and hopefully there will be sunny vibes coming off the screen to warm you all up! 

This should be a relatively relaxing holiday, I will be reading, sunbathing, sleeping, hopefully finding good food to eat and spending some time with my sister although fairly sure that will be doubling up with eating... and hopefully watching some evening entertainment. 

I have no plans for excursions I've been to Tenerife plenty of times in the past, and frankly just want a fortnight of no work, no thinking, no real energy expenditure just relaxation and remember what it is like to be somewhere that isn't where you live! 

Ah to have time to hopefully make a dent in my 81 strong Netgalley shelf. But would you believe I've had the following running on a loop for the past few days in my head...

Which book should I start my holiday with? How should I pick books this holiday? Will I ever get to those books I've had on my kindle since 2019? Should I focus on just reading my favourite authors? Will I just opt for books that I know should be quick to read? Should I make sure to read the books, I have copies of in paperback which mum wants to read, but I won't give her until I've read my copy? Or perhaps I should make sure to read those books that I am touring with ahead of their tours? And other thoughts along those lines - which are all pretty standard thoughts for me ahead of a holiday!  And if anyone has the answers to any of those questions I'd love to know! 

So before I share what is on my Netgalley shelf and thus on my radar to be read this holiday, I would just like to apologise to all the authors and publishers that are about to show that had books out this year and last year that I haven't got to yet... I get there eventually, just checked my pre-Christmas holiday post from 2019 and only 1 of those books remains unread... so I do get there eventually!! 

And like in that post just referenced, decided to do my end of year / pre holiday / what's on the bulk of my TBR separated by publishers, in the hopes that when I inevitable come over all indecisive on what to read next, that either the comments from you lovely people with suggestions will help, or I'll try to even out how many outstanding I have with each publisher, as that may be a fair way of doing things. 

Anyways, take a look at all these fabulous looking books and let me know what you have enjoyed? What you would like to see reviews of? What of the books not out yet that you may be looking forward to yourself?

And above all no matter what you are doing over the Christmas holiday season, make it a good one if at all possible. 

Currently my next post is on 3rd January but I may between returning home and then do a couple of posts depending on whether I remember or not!  So Happy New Year too! 

Having just sorted those I have to say I'm impressed to see how many publishers I am requesting books from, I keep thinking it's the same few but I am reading across many! 

And how many books do you think I'll read on this holiday.. place your guesses now! 

Book Review - Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market by Nicola May

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Amazon UK

Title: Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market
Author: Nicola May
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 11th November 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

When Star Bligh got pregnant at the age of sixteen, she thought her life was over. Now thirty-three, mother to Skye and owner of the successful jewellery stall in Ferry Lane Market in Hartmouth, Cornwall, she wouldn't change a thing about it.

Well, maybe one. A few months ago she fell hard for American visitor Jack, but then he left without even saying goodbye and ever since she has struggled to get him out of her head. Until the handsome, roguish Conor turns up and sweeps her off her feet. But then one day, Star is shocked to bump into Jack. He's back in Hartmouth to tell her why he left - but is she ready to listen?

As things get more complicated with her love life, another revelation threatens to turn the lovely world she has built for her and Skye upside down. But could this be the one thing that will make it complete?

I am loving this Ferry Lane Market series.  From its completely believable and relatable characters, to the masses of plot and development not just for the main characters but everyone in Hartmouth, it's just a sheer pleasure to read. 

We get to catch up with Kara Moon from the first book, but the main focus for this story was Star, her daughter Skye and the interesting relationship she has with mother Estelle. Plus seeing just which of a couple of possible men she may just end up with. 

I love the down to earth way all the characters talk, as though you could hear them at your own local market.  They really are just salt of the earth sorts of people, trying to earn a living and are completely real! 

This was a rather absorbing read which once I got back into the swing of life in Harmouth again and had regained my bearings, I was completely hooked. I was enjoying insights into Jack's life, Star's interactions with Connor, and a touching revelation from one of boys working the ferry. 

With action and drama and emotion plus various secrets to uncover this is a wonderful addition to the series and I'm already looking forward to seeing what will come next. 

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

Sunday 12 December 2021

Book Review - The Winter of Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

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Amazon UK

Title: The Winter of Second Chances
Author: Jenny Bayliss
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 2nd September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Annie Sharpe has it all – an acclaimed restaurant she owns with her handsome husband Max, and two gorgeous grown-up sons. But after one indiscretion too many, she leaves behind the only life she’s ever known.

In search of a fresh start, Annie takes up a position as a caretaker of Saltwater Nook, a creaky but charming beach house on Kent’s beautiful, wild coastline. The village community is an eccentric but tightknit bunch, and Annie is swept up in a whirlwind of their traditional festive celebrations, from pumpkin carving to bonfires on the beach. It soon feels like home – she even reopens the long-dormant seafront café.

The only thorns in her side are John, the owner’s rugged but totally unreasonable nephew who has his own agenda for the house, and a persistent Max, intent on winning her back.

Salwater Nook has been the perfect escape, but Annie can’t run from her problems forever. Will she give her first love a second chance? Or step into the promise of a new life?

For around 80% of the book you have a lovely gentle slow burn romance, included with a story of Annie transforming her life after finding her husband cheating again.

And it was all rather enjoyable, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the characters that locals to Saltwater Nook.

Yet it was all building to a dramatic climax in ways I wouldn't have predicted turning the last bit into addictive, I have to read it all now, utter brilliance.

This is the authors second novel and I have loved them both. She is clearly a talented writer and it was a pleasure spending time between the pages of this book. 

There is humour including memorable scene involving little John and the newly formed book club. The banter between Maeve and Gemma is brilliant,  and Alfred has a special place in my heart. 

I only hope this isn't the last we see of this setting and these characters, as I want more!!

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

Saturday 11 December 2021

Book Review - The 12 Days of Christmas by Poppy Alexander

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Amazon UK

Title: The 12 Days of Christmas
Author: Poppy Alexander
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 11th November 2021 
Rating: 5 Stars

The most magical time of the year...

For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she's never felt less festive.

Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she's going to need a distraction - fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the '12 Days of Christmas'. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there's even the flickering of romance...

She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass - and Finn - steal her heart forever?

Heartwarming and such a pleasure to read, this really is a truly lovely story. 

And just for a change it is set around the actual 12 days of Christmas (plus Christmas Eve), so although it does have Christmas theming, on the whole this could easily be read at any time of the year. 

For this is the story of Freya who has rushed back to Middlemass, to see her dying mother, losing her big job in Paris as a result, and needs to decide just what she wants to do now, well after she gets through some of the hardest days of her life. 

So although there is a big Christmas Day celebration it is in contrast to how Freya is feeling, and the resurrection of her acquaintance with Finn is rather well timed, as it is clear he remembers Freya and has has a habit of taking in waifs! 

Knowing that Freya needs a distraction, he challenges her to cook the 12 days of Christmas, so a dish inspired by each of the days in the song, of which the birds are arguably a lot easier had me completely intrigued to see just what she would come up with each time.  And the dishes were certainly inventive. 

Foodies will love some of the food and descriptions mentioned, especially since Finn lives above and runs his own Deli and has a wonderful array of local produce for sale. Add in Freya's talents as a cook and there is a lot of food. 

But there is also a lot of guilt from Freya that she has barely been home in 10 years, has let old friendships slide and is unsure if anyone will even remember her.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest book by Poppy Alexander who has a real talent for writing incredibly readable books.  I look forward to seeing what her next book will be. 

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

Friday 10 December 2021

Book Review - The Country Village Winter Wedding by Cathy Lake

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Amazon UK

Title: The Country Village Winter Wedding
Author: Cathy Lake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Zaffre
Publication Date: 23rd September 2021 
Rating: 4 Stars

Clare Greene and Sam Wilson are getting married and everyone in Little Bramble is excited for the event of the year. But Clare and Sam are busy people and have left organising their wedding to the last minute.

Luckily, wedding planner Hazel Campbell has recently moved to the village. She had what she thought was a wonderful life in Edinburgh with a successful business, a loving fiance and her own wedding coming up. But when she caught her groom-to-be in bed with her best friend she fled, leaving everyone and everything behind.

Little Bramble seems like the ideal place for Hazel to start over. As she throws herself into planning the perfect country village winter wedding, she starts to find herself again. And soon she realises that a second chance at happiness might just be on the cards . . .

Escape to Little Bramble with the rest of The Country Village Series - The Country Village Christmas Show and The Country Village Summer Fete, available now, and The Country Village Allotment, coming in Spring 2022.

It was truly lovely to be back in Little Bramble again and to be able to catch up with Clare and Sam, who are struggling to plan their wedding. 

Thankfully Hazel our leading lady of this book has just moved to Little Bramble and is setting up as a Wedding Planner and attempts to come to the rescue.  She is also sworn off men after discovering the truth about her fiancee the night before her own wedding, and isn't really sure where she can trust women either. 

And as much as I enjoyed the focus on Hazel it was the alternating chapters where we get to know Josh in great detail that I couldn't get enough of. 

I was hooked on seeing how his story would evolve, plus I loved the rest of his family especially Bobbie. They just seemed like a fabulous family to be a part of. 

And Kyle, Clare's son is utterly fabulous too, I loved some of his one liners, his teasing banter and generally the energy he brought to any scene. 

This is such a heat warming and cosy read, bringing with it the best elements of Christmas and Weddings into one compelling package of  book.  I loved it! 

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

Thursday 9 December 2021

Book Review - The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd

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Title: The Arctic Curry Club
Author: Dani Redd
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 9th December 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’

Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.

In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.

But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…

A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!

I can't believe this is a debut novel.  It feels so accomplished and had me completely enthralled early on.

The Arctic and curry are not necessarily two things you would expect to fit together so well but yet everything about this book just works. 

The descriptions of the Arctic in winter, the never ending darkness, the cold, the dog sledding and snowmobiling are all there and presented so vividly.

And then there are other equally impressive sections set well not in the Arctic but also conjure up the sense of that place so impressively.

Then there is the mental health theme running through the book that I'd dealt with sensitively, and I really felt for Maya at times. Especially when more of her family history is discovered.

And then there is food, and the descriptions left my mouth watering and feeling like I could smell the aromas and spices.

It wouldn't be the Arctic without some wildlife and there is a rather memorable scene involving something whiter and more savage than your average Teddy bear!!!

I've always been a sucker for a book with an exotic location and you can't get much more different to regular life than the Arctic. This gave a  wonderful feeling of what life in the Arctic must be like in winter that transported me from the comfort of my garden. Somehow I ended up reading this in a rare hot day in September and not curled up in front of a fire all cosy are you are more likely to be!!  

A gem of a book and I'm excited to see what the author will write next.

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

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Book Review - The Dating Game by Sandy Barker - #HolidayReading #UKCruise

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Amazon UK

Title: The Dating Game
Author: Sandy Barker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 10th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Once upon a time, twelve women joined the hottest reality TV show looking for love. Except one had a secret identity…

Abby Jones is a serious writer. Or at least she will be, one day. Right now, she spends her time writing recaps of reality television under a secret identity.

When a recap for The Stag – the must-watch dating show – goes viral, her editor thinks she should be on set, writing the drama as it happens. The good news: the next season will be filmed in Sydney. Sun, sea and a glamorous trip abroad, this could be Abby’s big break.

The bad news: the producers don’t just want Abby to write the recaps, they want her to be on the show. Abby can’t think of anything worse than being undercover and followed around by cameras. But her career depends on it, and when she meets gorgeous producer Jack, Abby begins to wonder if this job might not be so bad after all…

Easily my favourite book from Sandy Barker so far.

This is a fantastic look featuring a dating game show The Stag.

Abby who has written scathing recaps for previous seasons, has now been asked to be a contestant on this new series to be able to provide even better insight in her recaps.

Abby is a rather reluctant contestant, and watching her deal with everything with multiple hats on is rather impressive.

I loved seeing how Abby deals with all the situations, her thoughts on the Stag, and her fellow does, as well on the stunning Sydney backdrop. 

In addition the recaps of each episode are pure Gold, and greatly entertaining.

This was pure escapism from start to finish and I greatly enjoyed every last word of this book. i felt as though I was right there on the set of The Stag too.

Just wonderful!

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

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Book Review - Make Do and Mend In Applewell by Lilac Mills

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Amazon UK

Title: Make Do and Mend in Applewell
Author: Lilac Mills
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 26th August 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Can their marriage be mended in time for Christmas?
Lottie has always been thrifty. As a mother of three, it's even more important that she stretches the household budget as far as possible. Luckily, Lottie’s penchant for taking broken items and upcycling them has worked wonders for living on a shoestring.

Henry can’t face telling Lottie he’s been made redundant. Instead, he pretends to go to work as usual while frantically job hunting. The race is on to find another role before Lottie discovers he’s another useless item for her collection – one that is beyond repair.

Christmas is a time for giving, but will Lottie give Henry another chance if she learns about his lies? And can Henry give Lottie and their kids the life he so desperately wants them to have?

A wonderfully warm and lighthearted married romance for fans of Holly Martin and Phillipa Ashle

I really loved the themes of making do and mending, and upcycling that run through this book, and Lottie is fabulous at imagining and creating new uses for old things. What she can do with a ship and a door is rather impressive! 

Although the second book in the Applewell series it can easily be read as a standalone, I love Applewell, it is such a lovely sounding village in Wales, and its residents all seem to care for the environment and not wasting things. 

I also really loved Lottie's children, especially the youngest who seems to run her ragged,  But what frustrated me was Lottie and Henry's marriage. 

I wanted to shout at Henry to get him to tell the truth about what is going with him, while Lottie was suspecting things but not the right suspicions and I couldn't help but think I would have believed in them more as a couple if they actually talked to each other about what was concerning them, It was driving me demented!

But other than that I enjoyed this which was told in alternating perspectives between Lottie and Henry. Henry's troubles are real and will feel familiar to many, as will Lottie's suspicions. 

I just really loved Lottie's creativity, and found that was my favourite thing about this book.  It's a lovely story, nice and gentle, that drove me mad at the characters in places, but otherwise was warm and a pleasurable way to spend my time. 

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

Monday 6 December 2021

Book Review - A Winter In Wonderland by Isla Gordon

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Amazon UK

Title: A Winter In Wonderland
Author: Isla Gordon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 11th November 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Will a magical winter in Lapland help Myla fall in love with festive?

Myla is the UK's least-festive woman. Starting the year she found out the truth about Santa Claus, everything bad that's ever happened to her occurs around Christmas. Nowadays, she wants nothing to do with this time of year, so of course she would lose the bet with her sister and be forced to put herself forward for a seasonal job in Lapland, welcoming tourists to Santa's winter wonderland for the holidays.

Ten weeks, temperatures well below freezing, days that are mostly dark, and the need to stay brimming with Christmas spirit doesn't fill Myla with joy as she heads off to the arctic circle for winter in Finland. But as she discovers that Lapland is more than Santa Claus's Village, the very last person she ever thought she'd fall for turns out to be a man who plays an Elf, and who is bound to stay in character at all times.

Will a little love under the Northern Lights convince Myla that her bad luck might finally have come to an end?

Sleigh bells ring, are you visiting?
In the place, Christmas is glittering
A beautiful tale
I'm happy to wail (well I can't sing in tune)
Reading a Winter in Wonderland!

Gone away are festive blues (at least that is what all of Myla's friends and family wish would happen)
Here to stay are new woos (there is one gorgeous elf that can't help but melt anyones heart)
He throws a snow ball
At one and all 
Reading a Winter in Wonderland!

Away in Lapland new memories can grow
For this reader who really loves the snow
It's a fab book
Please go take a look! 
For this story made me feel all aglow! 

Then again, there's Myla
Who's festive memories may conspire
To wreck another job
And possibly sob
Reading a Winter in Wonderland!

Kudos Richard B Smith, who wrote Walking In a Winter Wonderland the song, which I am really not that great at re-wording - and also to Isla Gordon who has written one of my favourite festive books of this holiday season, A Winter In Wonderland. 

Myla is not a fan of Christmas to the extent she leaves any temp job the second anything remotely festive crops up. But when she loses her temping agency and home in the same day, and then a bet with her sister, she ends up having to commit to working in Finnish Lapland over Christmas and hopefully facing up to the season and her old bad memories. 

She's definitely not looking for love but it's an elf that happens to catch her eye as they grow closer and I loved the Elve's antics while he was on duty.  I also loved all the descriptions of Myla's role at an adventure guide, with the snow shoes, snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh rides and huskies!  And the gorgeous vision from the cover may feature too! 

I read this while I was recovering from booster jab side effects and it completely took my mind of the painful arm and splitting headache and by the time I was finished devouring the pages a few hours later, having read it in one go, I can say my head felt a lot better, and I was completely in love with the setting, the writing, Myla's new best friend and her attitude to life and saunas, and just about every single festive mention in the book. 

I loved being transported to Lapland from the warmth of my living room, and even if Myla wasn't overly excited by all elements of the job, I was very excited for them, and can't help but wish I had tried to get a job being an Elf at a Santa's village when I was a bit younger and doing seasonal work. 

It's another wonderful book from Isla Gordon, completely transported me and had me gripped. I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this. 

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

Saturday 4 December 2021

Book Review - Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas at the Island Hotel
Author: Jenny Colgan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 15th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

On the tiny Scottish island of Mure, Christmas preparations are even more hectic than usual . . .

Flora MacKenzie is worried about her brother. Fintan hasn't got over the death of his partner, Colton, and Flora thinks he needs a project.

The Rock - the rambling, disused hotel on the tip of the island - was Colton's passion project before he died. With Flora's help, Fintan is going to get the hotel up and running in time for Christmas, transforming it into a festive haven of crackling log fires and delicious food. But running a hotel, they are about to discover, is not that easy. Especially when their motley staff includes a temperamental French chef, a spoilt Norwegian kitchen boy who can't peel a potato without mutilating his own hand and a painfully shy kitchen assistant who blushes when anyone speaks to her.

Can they pull it together in time for the big opening?

And can Flora help her family find happiness this Christmas?

I love Jenny Colgan's Mure series, and it was a pleasure to be back amongst the MacKenzie family once more. 

Flora is meant to be on maternity leaving having had Douglas, but instead finds herself helping out at the Rock more and more, given Fintan is of course still grieving for Colton, but also finding himself whether he wants to be or not, in charge of seeing Colton's dream come to fruition. 

A large amount of this story features the staff working in the kitchens of The Rock, including the fiery French chef Gaspard, Isla from the Seaside Kitchen who is incredibly shy, and Konstantin who is a young Norwegian man with absolutely no life experience of anything, but has been banished to Mure to get a job. 

We  also get a few catch ups with Saif's story which again intrigued me, and I do wish we could spend more time with him 

And everyone's spoilt and outspoken 5 year old, Agot is back, not happy about Douglas' existence within the family, and generally demanding all manner of things. 

I really enjoyed both getting to know the new characters, the disastrous early services in the restaurant, as well as catching up with all the regulars from previous books.  It felt like I had returned to my home away from home as I am that absorbed with the lives of the Mure inhabitants. 

This was everything I wanted and expected from a Jenny Colgan book, and as a result it was the perfect sort of a read for me. I am already eager to return to Mure to see what everyone is getting up to now. 

Friday 3 December 2021

Book Review - The Best Christmas Ever by Karen King

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Amazon UK

Title: The Best Christmas Ever
Author: Karen King
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Accent
Publication Date: 7th October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Karen King's heart-warming Christmas romance is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Mandy Baggot and Milly Johnson, and will get every reader in the festive spirit!

Lexi Forde adores Christmas. She's especially looking forward to it this year as it's the first Christmas with her boyfriend Ben and her older brother is visiting from Canada with his family. They'll all be spending Christmas at her parents' house in Devon.

But when Lexi surprises Ben at work, she sees him kissing someone else and discovers he's been having an affair. Devastated, she travels to Devon alone.

She's determined not to let her break-up spoil her family Christmas. But when she arrives, Lexi discovers the council won't allow the Christmas tree on the green to be decorated this year; it's too dangerous and has to come down. Lexi is desperate to save their favourite family tradition and make this Christmas extra special.

Can she save the tree and mend her broken heart in time for Christmas?

Hallmark please turn this book into a film, its that good and would be a perfect Hallmark festive film.

Not sure who my favourite character is. 

We have Grandma Mabe who is festive yarn bomber with her friends and gets up to all sorts of things.

Lexi and her whole family who are fanatical about Christmas. You should see the decorations they put up, and how excited they are that the whole family will be together this year, as well as having a child in the house again

There is the fight to save the towns Christmas tree, which tree surgeon Joel finds himself involved with, despite not being a fan of the season.

And there is Lloyd who Joel and Lexi both help and is a wonderful side plot. Not to mention Sweetie an adorable dog!

This is one very Christmassy book, and I loved all elements of it. It was such a joy to read, and it really was the best Christmas ever for Lexi. 

Thanks to Headline Accent and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday 2 December 2021

Book Review - The Great Christmas Escape by Kelly Hailes

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Amazon UK

Title: The Great Christmas Escape
Author: Kelly Hailes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion Dash
Publication Date: 18th October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

It's time to swap mistletoe and mince pies for the adventure of a lifetime!

Sara's life has been in a bit of a rut. Lately, her job as a photographer has just meant taking photos of happy couples and families all day before returning to her empty flat. And while she normally loves Christmas with her family, this year a part of her just wants to run away. So when her ex-husband Fin gets in touch with a wild idea - a joint work trip to New Zealand - she knows it's crazy... but she says yes!

A celebrated travel blogger, Fin has made a career out of following his bliss. As much as he loves Sara, the steady family life she's always wanted is not one he can give her. This trip together is his one chance to win her back. But can he convert her to his impulsive lifestyle? There's only one way to find out.

As the two explore the stunning sights and thrills of New Zealand, they're about to discover there's so much more to each other than they ever realised...

A Christmas romcom like no other, The Great Christmas Escape by Kellie Hailes is the perfect getaway read this year...

Christmas, travel, sun and a sprinkling of snow - what more could this girl want from a book, I completely adored this. 

I absolutely loved being able to travel around New Zealand with Sara and Fin, as they hope to make Fin win an awesome travel blogging competition.  It's just that Sara is his estranged wife, but is in such a need to escape her life that she has agreed to travel and take the photos on this trip, despite not really wanting anything to do with Fin. 

I loved seeing how Sara changed over the course of their time in New Zealand, I was never completely sure how things would end up, but I think the last couple of chapters were perfection. 

And getting to see parts of New Zealand that are most likely off the beaten track was wonderful, it's not a country I've ever really had on my radar for a trip, but I definitely would love to experience some of what they did myself.  And unlike Sara I'm very happy to have a warm Christmas!

It is so rare to read a Christmassy romcom which isn't set somewhere freezing cold, and when I do find books such as this one I tend to treasure them as they do show what at least half the world must experience at Christmas time, significantly warmer than sub zero temps!  And it still felt festive in parts, just with different traditions. 

This is another incredibly enjoyable and entertaining book from Kellie Hailes and I couldn't get enough of it. 

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