Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Romance, Saga, Victorian Romance

The Christmas Wedding Dilly Court 4*#Review @DillyCourt @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #Christmas #Wedding #HistoricalFiction #saga #TheVillageSecrets #BookReview #VictorianRomance

Holding the letter in trembling hands, Daisy’s future crumbled before her – the words engraved on her heart forever.

The village of Little Creek, the long winter of 1867

The first flakes of snow are falling when Daisy Marshall, secretly engaged to her master’s son, finds herself jilted at the altar.

Heartbroken, Daisy flees to the small village of Little Creek, nestled on the coast of Essex. There she is warmly welcomed – but the village is poverty-stricken, suffering under a cruel Lord of the manor. And when cholera hits, the villagers are truly in dire straits.

Determined to help, Daisy makes new friends in earnest doctor Nicholas and dashing smuggler Jay – but also dangerous new enemies, who threaten to destroy everything she’s built. Can Daisy save the village and find happiness in time for Christmas?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A well researched historical saga, of family drama, mystery, poverty and romance. The social divide apparent in Victorian England is explored here.

Daisy, a governess lives in no man’s land, somewhere between upstairs and downstairs. In love with the heir to the household, she hopes her position will be confirmed, but he lets her down, and she returns home, heartbroken and unemployed. Moving to a small Essex village with her family, she feels at home, but the cruelty of the ruling classes blights the villagers’ lives who live in fear, poverty and squalor.

Daisy finds friendship and a warm community, but evil lurks and threatens the life she builds. This is a detailed, passionate tale of Victorian life, which draws you in, as the descriptive writing and authentic characters bring this era of change to life.

A festive start, to what promises to be a riveting series for romantic saga devotees.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel

The Christmas Holiday Sophie Claire 5* #Review @HodderBooks @SClaireWriter #Romance #Festive #Rural #Village #Provence #grief #secondchance #BookReview #Holiday

Can a trip away lead you home?

After a bad break-up, eternal optimist Evie Miller has moved to the small village of Willowbrook to finally pursue her dream of opening a craft shop. Unfortunately, with money worries and an ex-boyfriend determined to track her down, her fresh start isn’t going entirely to plan.

Jake Hartwood is also looking to escape his past. Haunted by the loss of his wife, he’s determined not to get close to anyone again – and the last thing he wants is to be celebrating this December.

Hoping to avoid the festivities, Evie and Jake arrange to escape Christmas together as friends in Provence. But will the magic of the season change things between them?

And what happens if one of them starts to feel something more?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Evie is an optimist, despite the lack of support from her parents, the tragedy she has suffered, and the abusive relationship she is still trying to escape. Jake has lost the love of his life and finds going on without her difficult. The village of Willowbrook gives Evie a chance of a new independent life, and Jake the chance to hide away until he feels strong enough to carry on. The only problem is Christmas, which brings back painful memories for both.

Evie and Jake’s relationship has a less than auspicious start, but a friendship builds out of their mutual suffering, and escaping together for Christmas offers a solution to both their problems, but is friendship what they want? Or is a holiday romance inevitable?

Heartwarming romance and emotional conflict with a festive twist, set in a lovely English village, and fabulous Provence. The intensity of grief and loss is explored during Christmastime, sensitively, whilst keeping a positive, uplifting ethos. The characters are believable and individual and the settings bring the story to life. A lovely wintery story is written in an easy to read style by a consummate storyteller,

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Romance, Victorian Romance

Miss Lottie’s Christmas Protector Sophia James 4* #Review @MillsandBoon @sophiajamesnz #SecretsofaVictorianHousehold #Romance #VictorianRomance #HistoricalFiction #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonHistorical

A Christmas mission

…with the scarred and brooding gentleman!

Part of Secrets of a Victorian Household: Working in her family’s charity foundation for destitute women, caring but impulsive Miss Lottie Fairclough is desperately trying to find a missing woman. She’s roped in family acquaintance Mr Jasper King to help her, equally impressed and annoyed when he rescues her from perilous danger! As she gets to know the injured entrepreneur, it seems he needs her just as much…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A Victorian romance set in the poorer side of London,with an intelligent,improverished heroine, and a tortured, socially sensitive hero.

The historical detail brings the Victorian era alive. The characters are authentic and complex,and the romance between Lottie and Jasper is slow burning,rife with conflicts and ultimately passionate.

An emotional Victorian romance,which highlights poverty,vice and the Victorian’s attitude to women.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance

The Christmas Party Karen Swan 4*#Review @KarenSwan1 @panmacmillan #Party #Festive #Romance #BookReview #Family #Drama #Secrets #Ireland #Castle

When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.

Why her? Something unknown – something terrible – made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.

Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past? 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A contemporary, complex family drama set in a wonderfully atmospheric Ireland. A tale of three sisters, who life has driven apart, despite their closeness in growing up. The untimely death of their father has profound effect on all of them. Not just in terms of grief, but the enforced change in lifestyle, due to financial straits, and the gradual unraveling of the secrets they hide.

This is a slow paced emotional story. The three woman are hard to empathise, but they are believable and relatable. The world building is detailed and may not appeal. Seasonal rather than festive, the Christmas Party is used to draw the story to a dramatic conclusion.

Deep and often dark, this is a story of legacy,love and life.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance, Travel

A Wedding in December Sarah Morgan 5*#Review @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories #Romance #Festive #Christmas #Aspen #Wedding #Family #Secrets #Drama #Relationships #BookReview

#AWeddingInDecember

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A Christmas wedding is so romantic, but Rosie’s family are worried. Is Rosie rushing into a relationship impulsively as usual? Katie, the older sister believes so, and heads to Colorado to stop the wedding. Her own life is complicated, and maybe she is too conflicted to examine her motives too closely? Maggie’s girls’ are her life, she wants them to be happy, but can she conquer her fears to be at her daughter’s side? Marriage is a touchy subject for her and Nick, their father, but only Rosie’s happiness matters now.

This is a festive, family drama, played out against the snowy wonderland of Aspen, Colorado. Told from Maggie, Rosie and Katie’s point of view. The secrets are exposed and the hurts laid bare in this emotional story full of angst, love and tears.

There are many conflicts both internal and external to be overcome by all the family’s members, but the magic of Christmas, familial love and a touch of laughter and romance make anything possible in this lovely festive tale.

An enchanting festive story of family, laughter, love and secrets.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Romance

Unwrapping The Innocent’s Secret Caitlin Crew 3* #Review @megancrane @MillsandBoon #Romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonModern #festive

Self-made billionaire Pascal Furlani prides himself on his rigid emotional control. So it infuriates him beyond measure that he can’t forget the forbidden passion he once shared with breathtakingly innocent Cecilia Reginald. This Christmas, he’s determined to shake off those memories…until they shockingly come face-to-face! Seeing Cecilia again blindsides Pascal, while their still-searing chemistry electrifies him. But her six-year-old secret? Will change their lives forever…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There are parts of this romantic story that I like, and others that are less convincing.

What I like are the characters. A courageous woman who puts her child first, whatever the cost to herself. A tormented billionaire, with so much emotional baggage, his whole life is about overcoming his past, and getting back at his birth father. This is good for his career, and bank balance, but leaves him an emotionally barren man.

The concept of the secret heir is less believable and that makes what follows less enjoyable. The ending is lovely and gives the story a lovely festive, hopeful twist.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Bluebell’s Christmas Magic Marie Laval 5*#Review @ChocLituk @MarieLaval1 @rararesources #Romance #festive #Cumbria #Cleaning #Secrets #Romantic Suspense #Mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #BookBloggers #Giveaway

#BluebellsChristmasMagic

A flick of a feather duster and a sprinkle of Christmas magic
Cassie Bell is used to mess. Her cleaning business, Bluebell Cleaning, is well known in the Cumbrian village of Red Moss. However, now it’s almost Christmas and Cassie has a slightly messier situation to deal with than she’s used to.

She’s been hired to help Stefan Lambert, an injured army helicopter pilot who’s staying at the local Belthorn Manor whilst he recovers. Stefan resents Cassie’s interference and is definitely not looking for Christmas cheer. But Cassie prides herself on sparkling surfaces – so, can she bring some festive sparkle to Stefan’s life too?

Amazon UK Amazon

#BluebellsChristmasMagic

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A charming Christmas romance, with a cast of interesting characters, some lovely, others are not, a mystery and a something unquantifiably mystical.

Cassie is an optimistic, happy woman, who works hard and goes out of her way to make others feel happier. Meeting Stefan is unexpected and he appears unmoved by her kindness. Hurt at first, until she realises his physical injuries are just the tip of the iceberg, and his emotional damage is far more severe.

A historical family drama seems to reflect Stefan and Cassie’s situation. There are a few paranormal interludes and a lovely gentle romance all weaved intricately into this lovely festive tale.

It’s hard to put into words the magic of this story, but it keeps you reading, and when it ends, although the conclusion is perfect, you are sad it’s finished.

Giveaway to Win a small canvas purse and a thick notebook (Open to UK Only)

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#MarieLaval

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher and in her spare time, she loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global Ebook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance), and best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

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