A White Christmas on Winter St. – Sue Moorcroft

‘When Sky Terran returns to the village of Middledip after losing the job she loves, she anticipates a
quiet Christmas getting used to her new life. However, the annual street decoration competition is
coming up and this year, the residents of Winter Street are determined to win.

As she is pulled into the preparations, Sky quickly grows to love the quirky, tight-knit community she
is now part of. Including the extremely handsome Daz, who soon becomes more than just a friendly

But when Daz’s ex turns up determined to win him back and it seems he might not be the man Sky
thought he was, she remembers how much allowing people into her life – and heart – can hurt. As
the snow falls, will she and Daz find a way through – and help win a Christmas victory for Winter Street?’

To say that I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review Sue Moorcroft’s latest seasonal offering, was a bit of an understatement. My only issue is the unseasonal weather! I really can’t complain at how warm it is for the time of year, but I had expected to be reading this wonderful book with at least a chill in the air!

I immediately liked Sky, our heroine and I thought she had a fantastic sense of loyalty towards her former Foster Brother, Freddy – the closest she had to family. I genuinely admired her devotion to him and I vehemently hoped that this feeling would be reciprocated.

My initial thoughts about Minnie, with whom Sky worked, were the exact opposite of my feelings for a Sky. Just because Freddy and Minnie were going out together, there was no need for her to make snarky ( how I love that word – ‘snarky”) comments about Sky and Freddy’s relationship. Whilst Minnie seemed almost jealous of Freddy’s relationship with Sky, one couldn’t doubt the sense of smugness with which Minnie announced her engagement to Freddy. To say that Minnie’s treatment of Sky was unpleasant, would be a huge understatement, and I really felt for Sky. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to work with or for Minnie.

Nan Heather, Sky and Freddy’s Foster Mother, sounded an utter delight and a much needed adult influence in Sky’s life, when she needed it the most. I felt sad that Sky had felt let down by Heather, but it’s important to remember that those thoughts came from the brain of a troubled teenager.

After the way that Freddy and especially Minnie treated Sky over the purchase of the Corner house, especially with regard to budget, I found myself oozing with glee, and perhaps even overcome with a waive of snugness.

Daz was most certainly a welcome addition to the story, and I found myself gripped, waiting for something to develop between him and Sky. Daz appears too be an all-round ‘good egg’, evidenced for example, by his treatment of potentially errant teenager Wilf. However, is he just being nice to get something he wants from Sky, or is all his bonhomie genuine?

I enjoyed this book immensely, but I don’t want to spoil it for you by revealing too much; you will have to read on for yourself, to find our whether or not Daz is tbd ‘Resl Deal’.mi

Purchase Link: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/White-Christmas-Winter-Street-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B09WM5SRY8/


One Last Dream for December – Lottie Cardew

The chance to read and review Lottie Cardew’s latest book, one Last Dream for December was one of my highlights of this month, such is the enjoyment I have got from her previous book ‘A Christmas Wish on a Carousel, which was a precursor to this book.

I liked Esme from the very start and I could see why she had a soft spot for her Uncle Samuel. I’m not sure that I would want to move above a toy shop so close to Halloween, though. I loved Uncle’s pronouncement that you don’t have to be under sixteen to have a ‘bestie’.

There is something a little odd about Esme – this turns out to be her late diagnosed autism.

Seth seems most eligible and Esme gets flustered around him, which I think is because she likes him. I held out great hope for the pair.

I so felt for Esme, with regard to the incident in the cafe with Seth – I did hope that she had the wrong end of the stick.

I liked the way that Esme talked about the shop as though it were alive – which seems somehow appropriate for a shop with its own Santa’s workshop on the premises.

I felt that the author dealt with the topic of autism in a really empathetic way, and I hope that anyone with autism would agree with me – it’s easy for me to say….I also, found myself disliking Seth’s in-laws, especially the way they behaved towards Esme – but maybe everyone can redeem themselves, especially at Christmas. I wasn’t at all surprised to read that the author was also diagnosed as autistic, enabling her fantastic insight into the subject. Thank you for sharing!

I admired the way Esme dealt with Piotr, and with people in general; I loved the way that her relationship with Cara and Will blossomed – and it was lovely to catch up with Cara again.

I love the merry go round vibe of this story, and almost the feel of a modern day Christmas Carol.

I guess the main question is whether Seth and Esme can successfully overcome any obstacles, to be together? I will leave it for you to find that out!

Purchase link: https://viewbook.at/LastDreamForDecember

A Winter Warmer at the Little Cornish Kitchen – Jane Linfoot

When Gwen Starkey and her best friend, Ella Simpson, arrive in St Aidan to take on a cottage
renovation, it’s the fresh start they both so desperately need. But when their new adventure begins with them unintentionally breaking into their neighbour, Ollie Lancaster’s cottage – thinking it’s their new home – and Gwen accidentally flashing the gorgeous Ollie before they flee, the life-long friends realise that life in Cornwall is going to be anything but quiet!
They also quickly discover that they’re in over their heads and it’s going to take a village to turn their cottage’s narrow walls into the luxurious hideaway of their dreams. St Aidan is full of colourful characters just waiting to welcome them, if only Gwen and Ella can find the courage to start leaving the past behind them.

I loved the idea of Stargazey Cottage, and particularly the idea of an intricate pottery stargazey pie on the doorstep. I immediately warmed to childhood friends Gwen and Ella.

I do like an interesting address (sad, I know), but if the name ‘Stargazey Cottage’ wasn’t enough, what really captured my interest was the fact that the cottage was situated on ‘Whelk Row’.

It goes without saying, that it was a treat to be back in the land of the Little Cornish Kitchen again, with the opportunity to catch up with some former favourite characters and indeed to meet many new people.

The fact that the cottage was being offered for rent at below market rates, in return for sourcing up the decor and doing some renovations, was itself a bit of a mystery, and I hoped that the secrets behind the offer would be unfurled in due course. As for the mix up – Stargazey House V Stargazey Cottage – surely a mistake any of us could have made, especially based upon sketchy childhood memories!

I loved the fact that the 2 friends remembered the cottage from frequent childhood stays together, and just hoped that the cottage and the village would be as wonderful as they remembered. Oops, as we fast forward to the Stargazey House/Cottage debacle! Their childhood label of ‘The Star Sisters seemed just perfect for them, even if the cottage, when they find the right one, is not quite what they were expecting. The descriptions of the area and of the food were fantastic; indeed my mouth was actually watering at the thought of the Little Cornish Kitchen Cake Box goods (or should that be Gods?)! – and Ollie certainly sounded like a bit of a catch!

The women have both suffered different degrees of tragedy in their lives, and the village of St Aidan could be just the place to start their healing.

The villagers seem terribly sociable and whereas the Star Sisters would prefer to keep to themselves, they find themselves dragged into a slew of activities, even going so far as to turning up to parties in fancy dress and agreeing for a village Facebook vote as to whose decorating and renovation ideas for Stargazey Cottage to follow. I must confess however, to being firmly in Glen’s ‘camp’, as her hastily thought up ideas sounded amazing!

I liked the humour in the book, and confess to a bit of a laugh out loud moment when the honorary Sisters inadvertently made themselves at home in their neighbour’s house.

I liked the idea of work parties, with what seemed like the whole village coming together to help Gwen and Ella. It certainly was good for the soul to read and imagine the scenes.

It turns out that Gwen has a lot more In common with Ollie than she realised, in that he too has lost someone close in a tragic accident.

Baking appears to play a role in Gwen’s recovery from her personal losses, but I’m unsure whether she feels better because she is baking and cooking or whether she feels better, SO she is baking and cooking. The Christmas ideas however were heartbreaking for Gwen – one step too far?

Can Gwen overcome the past, or is it just too much to ask? 

Is Ella really going to get back with her cheating ex?

Who actually owns Stargazey Cottage?

Could some uncharacteristic snow change things for Gwen?

If I didn’t like Ollie already, I found myself totally smitten by the story of Minty. What’s not to Iove! I so wanted him and Gwen to get together!

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winter-Warmer-Little-Cornish-Kitchen-ebook/dp/B09RQD3Y74/

Happy Endings at Mermaids Point – Sarah Bennett

It is with mixed feelings that I start to read this latest and last book in the Mermaids Point series by Sarah Bennett. It’s a rotten, wet day, and I really could do with an uplifting read, but this is the last book in the series; perhaps I need to ration myself in terms of chapters per day? Why kid myself. I know for certain, that once I get my nose into this book, there will be no extracting myself, until I have finished. The only saving Grace in my mind, is that Sarah Bennett, Author extraordinaire, will now have time to write a new series, which I am sure will give readers as much pleasure as the Mermaids Point series has given them.

Whilst I have enjoyed this series immensely, I found the list of characters past and present, extremely helpful. Full marks to anyone who can remember everything about each character, but I am not not one of them, so thank you for the list! As a side note, as an animal lover, I adored the fact that peoples’ pets were included in the character list. I have previously confessed to wanting to be an honorary member of the Morgan family, and to yearning to live in Mermaids Point, and this wonderful, uplifting tale did nothing but strengthen those (dream) resolves. I just found myself so completely overwhelmed by the Morgans’ sense of family and their sense of utter loyalty; would surely walk the ends of the earth for each other.

The return of Aurora was like a breathe of fresh air through this novel, although I would of course wish better circumstances upon her. I would however relish the chance for her to get together ‘properly’ with Mermaids Point’s seemingly most eligible bachelor, namely Nick. Nick is an all-round good egg, and it’s astonishing that he is still single. It’s about time he had a bit more fun in his life though! I couldn’t in fact think of a better place for Aurora to get away from her latest ‘issue’, than in the bosom of the Morgan Family. I just hoped that once they enveloped her in their industrial level care and loving, Aurora would never want to be away from them (and Nick) ever again.

Aurora is an utter delight – a mixture of fun but caring and beauty and loyalty. She is the perfect match for both Nick and the wider Morgan Family. It defies belief that her own Family don’t have time for her! I loved Aurora’s first reaction to the inside of Alex and Ivy’s bookshop – akin to a child’s reaction to Santa’s Grotto. Aurora is such an all-round beauty, who also appreciates other beautiful things in life – for example, the amazing clothes that Ivy has created, with which to fill her side of the shop.

Time for another confession – I loved the sound of the bookshop and it’s eclectic contents, and would have loved to have visited it…….

The situation with Aurora’s Parents was awful. I struggled to see how her parents could be anything but proud about her…..They evidently had some kind of mental health problem, making them very set in their ways and the manner in which they behaved towards Aurora made it clear as to why she allowed herself to be swept up into the unconditional love of the Morgans and their close family. I was however relieved that Aurora had the rather fabulous Dennis and Hetty firmly in her life.

The descriptions of the childrens party, particularly the costumes, were a delight and I almost felt as though I was there, such was the quality of the writing. I was particularly thrilled to see Gabriel and Lucifer getting on.

People can be so unkind and thoughtless about other people; with celebrities I get the impression that people think that they know people and what they or may not have done, just through their celebrity. Sarah wrote about how Aurora was treated so empathetically, but I still felt heartbroken that strangers should choose to treat a lovely, beautiful (inside and out) person so terribly. The worst thing for me, was the thought that this was such an accurate representation of real life. Emily summed things up to a tee, asking why people would be mean to Aurora, when she was so nice – and that is the sad fact of the matter – some people, don’t care how nice, or otherwise a person is! They simply do not care.

What I found immensely heartwarming, perhaps even inducing a tiny tear or two, was the village tradition, whereby the women of the village walked to weddings and funerals, with more and more women joining the main group along the way. I could fully understand why people would choose such a walk to the church, over a fancy car – people choosing to stand by one and other during events at opposing ends of the emotional scale.

All the while, Aurora and Nick seemed to be becoming closer than ever. I have become so fond of the characters in this series of books, that I felt myself willing a future together for the pair – but you will need to read this wonderful, heartwarming book for yourself, to see if my wishes were fulfilled.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3uGH8LP

A Year at the French Farmhouse – Gillian Harvey

I was excited to be given the opportunity to review this book on several fronts:

  • Boldwood Books have become a bit of a favourite for me, in terms of publishers. Ihave a genuine penchant for their genre of book.
  • I haven’t read any books by Gillian Harvey, so I am full of anticipation.
  • I absolutely adore the cover for this book. I find myself so drawn to a cover that makes me want to be that person, in that very location.
  • I confess to being a bit of a Francophile, and as such, enjoy reading about different areas and trying to get the the local sights and smells into my head. I also enjoy reading the descriptions of any local delicacies, and trying to picture, and even taste those tasty tidbits in my head.

I immediately felt for Lily, as she got made redundant. It seemed extra harsh, in that she was a woman of a certain age – something that those in power don’t necessarily appreciate. I was fairly astonished at how her Boss spoke to her – as though he had been talking about something of no significance whatsoever – akin to how he might discuss the weather!

Ben seemed a prize arse, for not letting on about his true feelings about living in France sooner, and I wanted to shout from the rooftops when Lily made the journey alone. I loved the melee of characters in France, from chic Chloe, to Frederique and Claude. Lily’s friend Emily did have a point though, when she likened Lily’s new life to the plot of her favourite film anoint moving to France, to the extent that some of her new friends could be likened to characters in the film! I did however enjoy learning a little about Ben and Lily’s past, with the little catch-up snippets from the past, at the beginning of some chapters.

I wanted Lily to succeed in getting her new home in order, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted Ben to be part of it – I think the romantic in me preferred the idea of some kind of liaison dangereuse with one of the new men in Lily’s life. I must confess that the curious incident of the orange speedos at the lake, did make me chuckle!

So, I was totally sold on the idea of Lily’s French farmhouse and I found myself most enamoured with the descriptions of her locale. The lake, in particular, sounded stunning.

However, as Lily met more expats, who had originally had the same dream as her – but could barely speak any French after more than ten years, put her off at all?

Would Lily’s newfound friends encourage her to stay?

Was the romantic front ‘En France’ about to offer Lily anything?

Would Ben change his mind at all?

I thoroughly enjoyed finding out the answers to these questions and more – as I’m sure you will too!

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3NZA7fA