chick-lit · Christmas · romance

*BLOG TOUR* Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terrace – Fay Keenan ★★★★

Blurb;

As the snowflakes fall, new love blossoms…

When teacher Florence Ashton receives a surprise inheritance, she decides to make the life-changing decision to up sticks to the charming town of Willowbury in Somerset. With a new house and a new job, she’s too busy putting down roots to think about love.

Air Ambulance pilot Sam Ellis is definitely not looking for romance either, especially not on his doorstep. When Florence, his new neighbour, complains about his noisy housemate, he feels more cross than star-crossed.

But as the nights draw in and both find themselves thrown together in Willowbury’s seasonal drama production, will they overcome their differences and allow a little bit of winter magic to fall along with the snow? And what secrets will be revealed by the box of memories Florence finds in the attic at Bay Tree Terrace?

My Review; First Christmas book of the year coming up! Too early? I think not. However, I must admit I did feel a bit silly and wierd about reading a Christmas book during a heatwave it certainly didn’t cool me down. Anyway back to the book…

The book starts off with a death but a gift from a distant aunts will leads to a new beginning for Florence. Exciting. It drew me in wanting to know more and where this would lead for Florence. She is a very independent person, prefers to keep to herself. She soon meets her next door neighbours Sam and Aiden…

A romance soon blooms between Sam and Florence when they both become the leads of the towns Christmas play. But it becomes apparent that Sam and Aiden were both in the Army in the past and it has affected them both but more so for Aiden. This leads Sam feeling the need to watch over his brother but this is affecting his own relationship and life. Christmas comes and goes and everything starts to change for all the characters after a nasty row.

It’s beautifully written, I will say it took me a while to get into it but then I was hooked. A beautiful Christmas love story. I loved all the characters and the outcome. It has a little bit of everything this book and I think I may have liked Sam a little myself. Phew. I enjoyed reading it.

For me it was a cute little Christmas town and a small but friendly community within it. A Christmas romance with some reality within. Both the high and lows of life but a happy ending. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend. One to add onto your Christmas piles.

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chick-lit · Christmas · romance · Short Stories

*BLOG TOUR* A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe – Rosie Green ★★★★

Blurb; With Zak and Ellie’s wedding day approaching, there’s high excitement in the pretty village of Sunnybrook, especially among the Little Duck Pond Café crew. Ellie is over the moon with her romantic surprise wedding gift from Zak, and Madison is promising to organise a hen party to remember. Everyone has high hopes for a magical Christmas Eve wedding celebration at gorgeous Brambleberry Manor. (Even Maisie-Moo has a sparkling new outfit.)
But sometimes, even the best-laid plans can go wrong. And with the journey to the altar turning out to be rockier than expected, it’s going to take nothing short of a Christmas miracle to ensure a happy ending . . .

My Review; The perfect festive read! It seems I’m still clinging on to Christmas by reading this one. What could be more magical than a beautiful wedding during the Christmas period? Yet again I felt welcomed back into this cosy town, with all the familar faces and characters. It felt like I’d never been away. A home away from home.

This is book eight in the Little Duck Pond Cafe series but all can easily be read as standalones I suppose, but I prefer to read them in order. I felt for Fen throughout this story as she was worrying, scared and thought she messed up. Then there was more than one happy ending here… I hope we see more and this isn’t the end.

It’s a short read, but a brilliant one that had me smiling throughout especially that perfect ending. Just beautiful. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. How beautiful is the cover? I love it!

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chick-lit · Christmas · romance

*Extract Post* Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage – Rosie Green.

Blurb; When Jess Rigby lost her dad, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get the old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It’s sure to stir up old memories she’s desperate to forget. And to make things worse, Isla seems to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved family home! Soon, the house begins to give up its secrets, some of them shocking. Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?

Extract;

My mind is whirling like a big wheel at the fair, thanks to my sister turning up without warning, and I’ve got an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s not like her to get drunk. Certainly not in the afternoon.Isla lives for her work and her fitness these days. (According to her posts on Facebook.) She takes selfies all the time, looking slim and perfectly groomed in running gear,setting off on her early morning jog around the streets of Paris (I like her pink lycra two-piecewith the cute cropped top best). Blonde hair in a cute ponytail, she’ll smile and glug down bottled water as she takes the pic, and add some cute comment underneath. Fourteen-hour work day ahead? No problem!

I feel exhausted just looking at her posts sometimes.The last time Mum and I saw Isla was last Christmas when she came back for a flyingvisit. She spent most of the thirty-six hours on her mobile phone, talking business, and we’ve had two phone conversations since then. Both times I called her and both times our conversations were cut short because she had a sudden emergency to deal with. Each time, she promised to call back after she’d handled the problem, and each time, she ‘forgot’.Why is she here now?I can’t imagine it’s because she’s missed us and fancied a heart-warming autumn reunion.

I make for the hotel’s revolving door, leading out onto the high street, recalling the time I got stuck in one when I was about eight. I froze, too scared to move, so I just kept going round and round in it until Dad rescued me. I’ve had a thing about revolving doors eversince.Someone has just gone out, so it’s still going round.I psyche myself up and go for it.

The trouble is, I’m so focused on judging my leap-in correctly, I fail to notice the figure moving swiftly from my left, a little ahead of me. He steps in and, unable to halt my momentum, I stumble in after him.‘Oops. Sorry.’ I stare up at my revolving door companion. It’s a tight squeeze in here, to say the least, and he’s a big man. Very tall and broad. His chest in the fitted denim shirt is inches from my nose and embarrassingly, we appear to be temporarily wedged, the door refusing to revolve at all.

‘This is cosy,’ he comments, his voice a deep rumble.‘Isn’t it?’ I’m staring at his lightly tanned neck which is at eye-level and breathing in his rather delicious man-scent. I laugh nervously. ‘I usually like to have dinner and a trip to the cinema first, before I get this up close and . . . um . . .’ Glancing up, I’m stunned by the startling blue of his eyes and I lose my train of thought completely. ‘Personal. Yes.’ He fills in the blank, with not even a hint of a smile at my stupid joke.

He reaches over my head and then somehow, we’re moving, shuffling round together until the door spits us out onto Lower Luckworth High Street. We exchange a look of bemusement and then he’s gone, leaping behind the wheel of awhite van parked outside the hotel. I watch him drive away, heat flooding my face.

I usually like to have dinner and a trip to the cinema first? God, how embarrassing. I wish it was possible to un-say things. The person who invents that app will be a billionaire. Thinking of his stern, unsmiling face, the words ‘ruggedly handsome’ pop into my head. Those dark shadows under his eyes made him look as though he hadn’t slept properly in weeks, though.

My heart is gambolling about like an untrained puppy told to sit. Probably the result of getting stuck in that damn revolving door. I feel all shook up, to quote Elvis.A few deep breaths then I’ll go back in to face my sister.

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