Christmas for Beginners – Carole Matthews

Christmas for Beginners - Carole MatthewsSPEND THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR AT HOPE FARM…

Description: Christmas is fast approaching at the new Hope Farm. Owner Molly Baker has been convinced to organise an open day to raise some much-needed funds ahead of the New Year, but the nativity tableau is proving challenging. With anti-social sheep, awkward alpacas and a seriously sequined Santa Claus to assemble, Molly is feeling overwhelmed, and in desperate need of some Christmas spirit . . .

Despite the chaos of the farm getting in the way of her event planning, Molly is looking forward to spending the holidays with Shelby and Lucas, hopeful that a happy family Christmas is exactly what they need to draw them all together. But while she is busy making plans on the farm, Shelby, it seems, has ideas of his own.

As the nativity draws near, the team are working hard to pull off a spectacular festive fete – and make sure the animals and humans remain on their best behaviour. Will this Christmas be merry and bright, or is there more than one surprise in store for Hope Farm?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved the opportunity to return to Hope Farm, which we first discovered in Happiness for Beginners, when Carole took her inspiration from a real farm that offers alternative education. For readers familiar with Happiness for Beginners there is a lovely feeling of recognition as we remember the antics of the animals and the different human characters, but Christmas For Beginners works equally well in its own right. Carole’s gentle humour and magical storytelling ensures that even when dealing with difficult issues, this delightful book is another Christmas must-read! Highly Recommended!


I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day – Milly Johnson

I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day - Milly JohnsonDescription: It’s nearly Christmas and it’s snowing, hard. Deep in the Yorkshire Moors nestles a tiny hamlet, with a pub at its heart. As the snow falls, the inn will become an unexpected haven for six people forced to seek shelter there…

Mary has been trying to get her boss Jack to notice her for four years, but he can only see the efficient PA she is at work. Will being holed up with him finally give her the chance she has been waiting for?

Bridge and Luke were meeting for five minutes to set their divorce in motion. But will getting trapped with each other reignite too many fond memories – and love?

Charlie and Robin were on their way to a luxury hotel in Scotland for a very special Christmas. But will the inn give them everything they were hoping to find – and much more besides?

A story of knowing when to hold on and when to let go, of pushing limits and acceptance, of friendship, love, laughter, mince pies and the magic of Christmas.

Gorgeous, warm and full of heartfelt emotion, I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day is the perfect read this winter!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day is such an exquisite and clever read, Milly has perfectly captured the spirit of Christmas in the style of a traditional fairytale, full of emotion and poignancy, but with lessons for life and relationships crafted into the most uplifting and magical read. Highly Recommended!


Finding Love at the Christmas Market – Jo Thomas

Finding Love at the Christmas Market - Jo ThomasDescription: Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she’s feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie’s residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market – with the promise she’ll take a mini-bus full of pensioners along with her…

Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a checklist of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich’s rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.

Will Connie’s wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so – with who?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This delightful book is such joy for the senses, we love the way Jo always transports the reader to different locations and in Finding Love at The Christmas Market, you really feel you have travelled on a journey from when you first buckle up in the mini-bus to the arrival at the most atmospheric Christmas market.

The description of the making of gingerbread is so realistic that this gorgeous book should really be read curled up with a hot drink and your own supply of gingerbread! Highly Recommended!


All I want for Christmas – Joanna Bolouri

All I want for Christmas - Joanna BolouriDescription: What if the love of your life was your best friend’s girlfriend, and you were the one that set them up?

When Nick loses his job and is dumped by his glamorous but demanding girlfriend, he is forced to grudgingly accept work as a Santa at a local Christmas grotto. As his friends are getting married or promoted, Nick spends his days being terrorised by unfriendly elves and cried on by snotty, spoiled children.

Then he meets 4-year-old Alfie. All Alfie wants for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy again. Moved by the boy’s selfless wish, Nick arranges a date between Sarah and his best friend, Matt. But as Sarah and Alfie become part of all their lives, Nick realises that happiness for Sarah and Matt might mean heartbreak for himself.

https://www.amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Both funny and heartwarming this delightful book is built on a slow-burning romance when the reader knows what should be happening, in the classic, ‘will they – won’t they’ relationship. Add in laugh-out loud moments, and a very charming 4-year-old, and a grumpy grown-up elf and you have the perfect Christmas read! Highly Recommended!


The Six Tales of Christmas – Anne Marie Ryan

The Six Tales of Christmas - Anne Marie RyanDescription: It’s almost Christmas and snow is falling in the Cotswolds. Simon and Nora are gearing up for the festive season – but their bookshop is in trouble.

Nora is delighted when a customer buys a book that’s been on the shelves for years, but that won’t be enough to keep the bailiffs away.

Fuelled by mulled wine and mince pies, Nora and Simon hatch a plan to rouse community spirit, sending out six books to lonely villagers. The books change the recipients’ lives, but is it too late to change the bookshop’s fate?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Six Tales of Christmas is a delightful Christmas read, set in Cotswold village, it creates a village atmosphere, and also shares some of the realities of the issues found in village communities, but running through this gentle story is a spirit of kindness, the power of books and the love of two people. Highly Recommended!


The Return – Nicholas Sparks

The Return - Nicholas SparksDescription: Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while preparing for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Claiming to be 17, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. Discovering that she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues—until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could have ever anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Return by Nicholas Sparks is a very gentle, yet compelling story, beautifully written.

We loved the way the story unfolds, and the pace that keeps the reader intrigued until the very end.

This is a deeply satisfying weekend read! We loved it.

Highly Recommended!


If I Could Say Goodbye – Emma Cooper

What are Friends For? - Lizzie O’ HaganDescription: A heart-warming and uplifting story about love, loss and finding the strength to say goodbye, from the author of The First Time I Saw You.

Jennifer Jones’ life began when her little sister, Kerry, was born. So when her sister dies in a tragic accident, nothing seems to make sense any more.

Despite the support of her husband, Ed, and their wonderful children, Jen can’t comprehend why she is still here, while bright, spirited Kerry is not.

When Jen starts to lose herself in her memories of her sister, she doesn’t realise that the closer she feels to Kerry, the further she gets from her family.

Jen was never able to say goodbye to her sister. But what if she could?

Would you risk everything if you had the chance to say goodbye?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Emma Cooper’s books are always beautifully written and emotionally charged, and If I Could Say Goodbye is another powerful example.

It’s impossible not to be moved by this beautiful book about loss and love, as Emma takes you through every emotion experienced by all the characters, especially Jen, Ed, and their children.

Achingly poignant, heartbreaking and yet also with moments of real humour, you will be holding your breath until the very end.

Highly Recommended!


What are Friends For? – Lizzie O’ Hagan

What are Friends For? - Lizzie O’ HaganDescription: Everyone gives their friends advice when it comes to dating, but what happens when it all goes wrong?

Eve doesn’t have time for dating, but having watched her best friend and flatmate have her heart broken one too many times, she reluctantly volunteers to play her Cupid.

Max is too much of a hopeless romantic to find the algorithms of online dating anything other than clinical, but he lives with his romantically-challenged best friend who desperately needs his advice.

And after all, what are friends for?

As Eve and Max become more involved in their best friends’ relationship, they quickly realise there is a fine line between instruction and imitation, especially when they find they can’t stop thinking about their best friend’s date…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

There is a real pace to this delightful book, it would transfer so well to the screen, the characters are well drawn and there is real depth.

With humour and poignancy, this is such a clever book, a beautifully written modern story of ‘will they, won’t they’, but so much more.

A perfect weekend read!

Highly Recommended!


Our Story- Miranda Dickinson

Description: Otty has just landed her dream job. She’s about to join the writing team of one of the most respected showrunners in TV. And then the night before her first day, she’s evicted from her flat.

Joe has been working with Russell for years. He’s the best writer on his team, but lately something has been off. He’s trying to get his mojo back, but when his flatmate moves out without warning he has other things to worry about.

Otty moving into Joe’s house seems like the perfect solution to both their problems, but neither is prepared for what happens next. Paired together in the writing room, their obvious chemistry sparks from the page and they are the writing duo to beat. But their relationship off the page is an entirely different story, and neither of them can figure out why.

And suddenly the question isn’t, will they, or won’t they? It’s why won’t they?

An epic and modern love story for our times, we will all see ourselves reflected in Otty and Joe. We are our own biggest barriers and this novel explores what happens when we get out of our own way. And it is glorious.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Miranda is one of our favourite authors and we always look forward to her latest book. We love the way she pours her heart and soul into her writing particularly when she weaves music into her inspiration.The attention to detail in her descriptions of locations makes them particularly realistic.

Our Story is one of Miranda’s best novels, an utterly delightful and heartwarming exploration of life and relationships with a beautiful and tender love story at its centre.

This is the perfect weekend read, settle back and escape with this gorgeous book.

We absolutely loved it, one of our favourite fiction reads of 2020!

Highly Recommended!


The Little Cottage in Lantern Square – Helen Rolfe

The Little Cottage in Lantern Square - Helen Rolfe
Description:
Step into the magic of Lantern Square…

Hannah went from high flyer in the city to business owner and has never looked back. In the cosy Cotswold village of Butterbury she runs Tied up with String, sending handmade gifts and care packages across the miles, as well as delivering them to people she thinks need them the most.

But when her ex best-friend Georgia turns up and wants in on the action, will Hannah be willing to forgive and forget? With her business in jeopardy she needs to maintain the reputation she’s established, and discover who she can trust…

Meanwhile, a mysterious care package lands on her own doorstep at Lantern Cottage. Who is trying to win her heart – and will she ever be willing to give it away?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Cottage-Lantern-Square/dp/1409191400/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1597933938&sr=1-1

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Little Cottage in Lantern Square is a charming book, Helen captures the heart-warming atmosphere of Lantern Square and the village of Butterbury to perfection. An uplifting and optimistic story, perfect for holiday reading. Highly Recommended!


A Paris Secret – Caroline Montague

A Paris Secret - Caroline MontagueA powerful promise. A terrible sacrifice. A second chance…

1952. In the fragile atmosphere of post-war Paris, Sophie Bernot is training as a heart surgeon. A young woman in a man’s world, Sophie is determined to bury her past and forge her medical career, whatever the costs.

Across the channel, Sebastian Ogilvie is burning with ambition for his first architectural project. As his schemes lead him to France, and to a chance encounter with Sophie, his future seems full of promise.

But when Sophie and Sebastian find themselves entangled in a brief, passionate affair, they each face a choice that will change their lives irrevocably, and a secret that will take years to be uncovered…

Sweeping from Paris to London, to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, this is an unforgettable story of passion, heartache and forgiveness.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Untitled-Montague-2-Caroline/dp/1409180824/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1597934091&sr=1-1

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

A Paris Secret is utterly compelling, full of romance and heartache, Caroline Montague has crafted a beautiful and clever book with unexpected twists and turns, it captures the reader from the very first page and keeps you there until the very end.

A perfect weekend read.

Highly Recommended!


Dear Emmie Blue – Lia Louis

Dear Emmie Blue - Lia LouisDescription: Emmie Blue has a secret…

A long time ago, Emmie Blue released a red balloon with a secret message hidden inside – and against all odds, across hundreds of miles of ocean, it was found on a beach in France by a boy called Lucas.

Fourteen years later, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Emmie hopes that Lucas is finally about to kiss her. She never expected him to announce that he was marrying someone else!

Suddenly Emmie’s dreams are shattered and the one person in her life she can rely on is slipping through her fingers. But what if Lucas isn’t her forever? What if her love story is only just beginning…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In Dear Emmie Blue, Lia Louis has created a book that will take you and keep you completely absorbed until you reach the very last page.

Poignant, and sensitively written, expect to experience every emotion in this touching and uplifting story of love, friendship and relationships.

A very special book.

Highly Recommended!


Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop – Ali McNamara

Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop - Ali McNamaraDescription: Welcome to the glorious little Cornish town of St Felix – where romance and magic sparkle in the summer air

Kate thinks all her wishes have come true when she opens her own little craft shop in the idyllic harbour town of St Felix.

But she soon finds a mystery lingers in her new shop – a sixty-year-old love story told through beautiful paintings and intricate embroideries.

Jack, the owner of the nearby art shop, volunteers to help Kate unravel the mystery, but in doing so they realise their own lives share some uncanny similarities with Clara and Arty, their 1950s counterparts . . .

Can Kate and Jack put right a decades-old wrong, and maybe find their own happy ending on the way?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop Ali McNamara takes us back to our favourite harbour town of St Felix.

This is an exquisite book with all the elements that we love in Ali’s writing; glorious location, believable and lovable characters, a wonderful escapist story, plus a sprinkle of magic dust, all wrapped up inside a beautiful cover!

We absolutely loved it, one of our favourite summer reads! Highly Recommended!


The Women Who Ran Away – Sheila O’Flanagan

The Women who Ran Away - Sheila O'FlanaganDescription: Deira isn’t the kind of woman to steal a car. Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn’t expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by.

Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. She doesn’t really want to be on it but she’s following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then – finally – she’ll be able to let him go.

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it’s easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there’s no escaping the truth, whether you’re running away from it or racing towards it . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

 

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

There are so many reasons to read a book by Sheila O’ Flanagan – her sublime storytelling, her wonderful ability to create realistic and honest characters, the evocative ways she describes her locations and that wonderful ability to weave it all together in a book that you will find irresistible.

From the beautiful cover to the very last page, The Women Who Ran Away is a gorgeous escapist summer read!

Highly Recommended!


Under a Starry Sky – Laura Kemp

Under a Starry Sky - Laura KempDescription:
It’s never too late to follow your heart
Wanda Williams has always dreamed of leaving her wellies behind her and travelling the world! Yet every time she comes close to following her heart, life always seems to get in the way.

So, when her mother ends up in hospital and her sister finds out she’s pregnant with twins, Wanda knows that only she can save the crumbling campsite at the family farm.
Together with her friends in the village, she sets about sprucing up the site, mowing the fields, replanting the allotment and baking homemade goodies for the campers.
But when a long-lost face from her past turns up, Wanda’s world is turned upside-down. And under a starry sky, anything can happen…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We loved Laura’s previous books; The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness and Bring Me Sunshine, and Under a Starry Sky is another example of how Laura always creates communities full of delightful characters, realism, humour and warmth.

There are many storylines in Under a Starry Sky, with moments of drama, poignancy and raw emotion yet Laura weaves them all together in a wonderfully uplifting summer read!

Highly recommended!


Sunny Days and Sea Breezes – Carole Matthews

Description: Jodie Jackson is all at sea, in every sense.

On a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight, she’s leaving her London life, her career, and her husband behind. She’d like a chance to turn back the clocks, but she’ll settle for some peace and quiet on her brother Bill’s beautifully renovated houseboat, Sunny Days.

But from the moment Jodie steps aboard her new home, it’s clear she’ll struggle to keep herself to herself. If it isn’t Marilyn, who cleans for Bill and is under strict instructions to look after Jodie, then it’s Ned, the noisy sculptor on the next-door houseboat. Ned’s wood carving is hard on the ears, but it’s made up for by the fact that he’s rather easy on the eyes.

Bustled out of the boat by Marilyn and encouraged to explore with Ned, Jodie soon delights in her newfound freedom. But out of mind isn’t out of sight, and when her old life comes knocking Jodie is forced to face reality. Will she answer the call or choose a life filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We have loved Carole’s books for many years, every time one of her new books arrives, it comes with a guarantee that from the first to the very last page the reader will be taken to another enchanted place.

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is another wonderful example of her writing and particularly poignant this year as we all long for an escape. With her usual magical storytelling, this is a delightful escapist read.

An absolute joy, uplifting, warm-hearted, feel-good summer reading!. Highly Recommended!


From Venice with Love – Rosanna Ley

From Venice with Love - Rosanna LeyDescription: With her marriage in danger of falling apart, Joanna returns home to the beautiful but dilapidated Mulberry Farm Cottage in rural Dorset, where her sister Harriet is struggling to keep the Farm afloat and cope with their eccentric mother.

When Joanna discovers a bundle of love letters in the attic, written by a watercolourist named Emmy, she is intrigued and sets out to discover Emmy’s true story. Emmy’s letters take Joanna to the picturesque alleyways and bridges of Lisbon, Prague, and the most romantic place of all: Venice – where a whole new magical world seems to unfold in front of her.

Meanwhile, back at Mulberry Farm Cottage, a mysterious prowler adds to Harriet’s problems and interrupts her search for a perfect partner. Will she ever find true love? Where will Emmy’s mesmerising pathway lead? And more importantly, will Joanna and Harriet be able to rescue the cottage and finally be able to re-discover their sisterly bond?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved The Lemon Tree Hotel and in From Venice with Love – Rosanna Ley combines an intriguing series of mysteries with an exploration of family relationships and gentle romance.

At a time when we have been unable to travel, her descriptions of Dorset, Venice, Prague and Lisbon have been particularly evocative and transport the reader to these places with her imagination and vision.

Delightful writing, a wonderful summer read. Highly Recommended!


The Summer on Seashell Island – Sophie Pembroke

The Summer on Seashell Island - Sophie PembrokeDescription:

All you need is one summer to change your life…
Miranda Waters has always loved Seashell Island – while her brother and sister escaped it as soon as they were old enough. So when Miranda is left in charge of her parents’ Lighthouse B&B for the summer, the last thing she expects is her wayward siblings showing up at the door, seeking sanctuary.
It’s been years since they’ve all lived under the same roof. Now, they’re facing a whole summer together – and a crisis for the B&B and Seashell Island. With the Lighthouse filled with people – including two imaginative nieces, a four piece folk-rock band, and an unruly llama – and a lifetime of secrets between them, can the Waters siblings work together to save their home before it’s too late?

This summer it’s time to discover that home really is where the heart is, and what family really means…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Summer on Seashell Island is a gentle exploration of family, relationships and island living.

Sophie’s writing full of warmth and humour, set in a beautiful island location, with a cast of supporting characters, including a llama!

This is a perfect summer escapist read! Highly Recommended!


The Summer We Ran Away – Jenny Oliver

The Summer We Ran Away - Jenny OliverDescription: A moment of madness. A summer of a lifetime.

It was meant to be the party of the summer…

In Cedar Road, everyone is preparing for Lexi’s ‘White Hot’ summer party. For one night, parking squabbles and petitions are put aside as neighbours sip Prosecco under the fairy lights and gather by the hot tub to marvel at Lexi’s effortlessly glamorous life with Hot Hamish.

For Julia, it’s a chance to coax husband Charlie out of his potting shed and into a shirt so they can have a welcome break from the hellish house renovation they’ve been wrestling with. And it’s a chance for Julia to pretend – just for a night – that her life is as perfect as Lexi’s.

But when, during the party, one of Julia’s WhatsApp messages falls into the wrong hands and reveals her most intimate thoughts, things reach boiling point…

And when all the neighbours know exactly what you’re thinking, there’s only one thing to do.

Run away.

It’s going to be a summer Julia will never forget…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In The Summer We Ran Away, Jenny Oliver has created a brilliantly funny and fast paced story as we follow the escapades of Julia as she runs away to France and becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures and personal discoveries.

There are so many twists and turns and unexpected developments in this story, it will keep you turning the pages to the very end. Highly Recommended!


A Perfect Cornish Escape – Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Escape - Phillipa AshleyDescription: Summer in Cornwall is the perfect time for a fresh start…

Seven years ago, Marina Hudson’s husband was lost at sea. She vowed to love him forever – but when kind-hearted Lachlan arrives in Porthmellow, should she deny herself another chance at happiness?

Tiff Trescott was living life to the full as a journalist in London – until her boyfriend’s betrayal brought it all crashing down. Fleeing to her cousin Marina’s cottage, Tiff feels like a fish out of water. And when brooding local Dirk wins a day with her in a charity auction, she’s thrown headfirst into Cornish life.

This summer promises new beginnings for both Tiff and Marina. But are they too good to be true?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Phillipa Ashley’s books and A Perfect Cornish Escape is full of atmosphere with both familiar and new characters.

It was a delight to return to Porthmellow again, it made us long to visit Cornwall again!

A heart-warming summer read! Highly Recommended!


For Emily – Katherine Slee

For Emily - Katherine SleeDescription: A little dedication goes a long way.

That’s why Catriona Robinson, the country’s favourite children’s author, always dedicated her books to those who touched her life the most – not least Emily, her reclusive granddaughter.

Emily never thought too much about these dedications. But when Catriona dies unexpectedly, each one becomes a cryptic clue in a breadcrumb trail that apparently leads to her lost, unpublished manuscript.

It’s a mystery only Emily can solve. But to do so she will have to walk in her grandmother’s footsteps, into the wider world she’s spent her whole life hiding away from . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

This is an intriguing and very clever book, we loved the structure of the story and the way Katherine entices the reader to want Emily to find the next clue and to develop her own discovery of herself. Equally poignant and uplifting we loved this beautiful story.

Highly Recommended!


Meet Me At Pebble Beach – Bella Osborne

Meet Me At Pebble Beach - Bella OsborneDescription: Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket.
 Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand!
 Except it’s all a bit too good to be true…

When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop.

Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start.

Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Originally published in four parts, this is a deeply satisfying book, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading. As Regan faces her own challenges, it will make you think about your own life and your own wish list, and running throughout is a gentle love story. Fabulous summer read! Highly Recommended!


Five Hundred Miles From You – Jenny Colgan

Five Hundred Miles from YouDescription: Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she’s been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quiet village in Scotland.

Cormac is restless. Just out of the army, he’s desperately in need of distraction, and there’s precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs.

As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there’s still a piece missing. What – or who – could it be?

And what if it’s currently five hundred miles away?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

What we love is when Jenny Colgan takes us back to the communities that she has created, and in Five Hundred Miles From You we return to Kirrinfief and pick up with some of the previous characters that we have met before. But as a standalone book this works equally well, and there is a very strong and powerful story about two people and their experiences in the frontline. Jenny compares and contrasts Kirrinfief and London with graphic detail, and then very gently weaves a beautiful and innocent love story within it. Highly Recommended!


A Wedding at the Beach Hut – Veronica Henry

A Wedding at the Beach Hut - Veronica HenryDescription: Escape to Everdene Sands, where the sun is shining – but is the tide about to turn?

Robyn and Jake are planning their dream wedding at the family beach hut in Devon. A picnic by the turquoise waves, endless sparkling rosé and dancing barefoot on the golden sand…

But Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She can’t stop thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains. Will opening it reveal the truth about her history – and break the hearts of the people she loves most?

As the big day arrives, can everyone let go of the past and step into a bright new future?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Reviewing Veronica’s books is always a reading highlight of our year, but reading this book at the height of lockdown when all around us was fear and uncertainty made this book the most exquisite of escapes. Veronica’s writing is sublime; her characters always have such depth and her descriptions of the locations are so evocative, especially of the beach, it makes you wish you were there. A Wedding at the Beach Hut is uplifting and wonderful, we adored it!

One of our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick

The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra PatrickDescription: A single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heart-warming new novel from the bestselling author of The Library of Lost and Found.

Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.

Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-secrets-of-sunshine/phaedra-patrick/9780008237677

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved The Library of Lost and Found, and The Secrets of Sunshine is another delightful read, written by the very talented Phaedra Patrick.

Phaedra never disappoints, her books are always intriguing, she has a marvellous ability to create characters with real depth and around them weave stories which are totally absorbing.

The Secrets of Sunshine is an utterly charming and heart-warming story. We loved it, another delightful book to join our collection of our favourite fiction reads of 2020! Highly Recommended!


The Summer Villa – Melissa Hill

The Summer Villa - Melissa HillDescription: Three women. One summer reunion. Secrets will be revealed…

Villa Dolce Vita, a rambling stone house on the Amalfi Coast, sits high above the Gulf of Naples amidst dappled lemon groves and the fragrant, tumbling bougainvillea. Kim, Colette and Annie all came to the villa in need of escape and in the process forged an unlikely friendship.

Now, years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house into a luxury retreat and has invited her friends back for the summer to celebrate.

But as friendships are rekindled under the Italian sun, secrets buried in the past will come to light, and not everyone is happy that the three friends are reuniting… Each woman will have things to face up to if they are all to find true happiness and fully embrace the sweet life.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-summer-villa/melissa-hill/9780008217198

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In The Summer Villa, Melissa has created a fabulous cast of characters, each with their own back story, set in a beautiful location.

This magical book has enough twists and turns to keep you totally absorbed until the very last page.

We may not be able to travel at the moment, but this wonderful book is the perfect escapist read!

We loved it, another delightful book to join our collection of our favourite fiction reads of 2020! Highly Recommended!


The Switch – Beth O’Leary

The Switch - Beth O’LearySynopsis:

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

Buy from www.amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We absolutely adored The Flatshare, and in The Switch, Beth has created another wonderful read.

This is a delightful and imaginative story, full of warmth with such a strong characters that you believe that they actually exist. Like watching a movie, this is a book to savour and where you can totally escape.

Utterly charming, this uplifting book is guaranteed to be another outstanding success. Highly Recommended and one of our Favourite Fiction reads of 2020!


Family for Beginners – Sarah Morgan

Family for Beginners - Sarah MorganSynopsis: Who says you can’t choose your family?

When Flora falls in love with Jack, suddenly she’s not only handling a very cranky teenager, but she’s also living in the shadow of Jack’s perfect, immortalised wife, Becca. Every summer, Becca and Jack would holiday with Becca’s oldest friends and Jack wants to continue the tradition, so now Flora must face a summer trying to live up to Becca’s memory, with not only Jack’s daughter looking on, but with Becca’s best friends judging her every move…

The more Flora tries to impress everyone, the more things go horribly wrong…but as the summer unfolds, Flora begins pushing her own boundaries, and finding herself in a way that she never thought she needed to.

And she soon learns that families come in all shapes and sizes.

Buy now from Amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We always love Sarah Morgan’s books, but Family for Beginners is one of her best.

Sarah writes in such a magical, heartwarming way creating believable characters, combining poignancy and realism, transporting the reader to the world that she has created.

This delightful book is a very clever, thoughtfully composed exploration of relationships.

We adored it, another stunning book to join our collection of our favourite fiction reads of 2020! Highly Recommended!


Running Into Trouble – Elle Spellman

Running Into Trouble - Elle SpellmanSynopsis: A funny, uplifting and surprising novel about female friendship, motherhood, love and loss, and getting through a whole marathon.

With little over twelve weeks until race day, three women are trying their hardest to focus on their ultimate goal – to run 26.2 miles.

For Hannah, it seems near impossible, her first attempt leaving her pained, sweaty and full of regret. But intent on winning back her husband, Hannah is determined to at least try.

Malika signed up to the race after finding a running medal of her friend Abbie’s, who died only a few weeks before. She once promised Abbie she would run a race with her, and she plans to keep that promise.

When an accident with an unruly dog brings Hannah and Malika together, they soon realise they’re training for the same race, and experienced runner Cassie offers to help them out. But running becomes the last thing on their minds when life gets in the way…

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Running into Trouble is full of realism, humour and warmth. Centred on three main characters, Elle cleverly weaves the three storylines together, so that the reader gains insight into the challenges each one faces. There is a sense of reality in the way they prepare for the race and the book itself has real pace.

A charming and uplifting debut novel.


A Patchwork Family – Cathy Bramley

A Patchwork Family - Cathy Bramley Synopsis: Love, friendship and family come in all different shapes and sizes…

Gina has been going with the flow for years – she’d rather have an easy life than face any conflict. She runs her childminding business from her cottage at the edge of The Evergreens, a charming Victorian house and home to three octogenarians who have far too much fun for their age.

But when The Evergreens is put up for sale, Gina and the other residents face losing their home. To protect her business and save her elderly friends from eviction, Gina must make a stand and fight for the first time in her life.

As Gina’s ideas for saving The Evergreens get bigger and bolder, she starts to believe it might just be possible. The only thing is, does she believe in herself?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is such a heartwarming and satisfying book, totally absorbing, with so many delightful characters, and the way their lives intertwine is beautifully created by Cathy. It shows how love, friendship and family really can be created from a variety of circumstances.

We absolutely loved it, an uplifting perfect weekend read! We are delighted to add it to our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


In Five Years – Rebecca Serle

In Five Years - Rebecca SerleSynopsis: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.

That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future.

It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…

In Five Years is a love story, brimming with joy and heartbreak. But it is definitely not the love story you’re expecting.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Five Years is utterly compelling, it captures the reader from the very first page and keeps you there until the very end.

Intriguing and heartbreaking, Rebecca Serle has crafted a beautiful and clever book with unexpected twists and turns, definitely one of our Favourite Fiction Reads for 2020! Highly Recommended!


My One True North – Milly Johnson

My One True North - Milly JohnsonSynopsis: Laurie and Pete should never have met.
But fate has pushed them together for a reason.

Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners.
Struggling to manage the grief, they join the same counselling group – and meet each other.

From their sadness, Pete and Laurie find happiness growing and they sense a fresh new beginning.
Except, the more they talk, the more they begin to spot the strange parallels in their stories.
Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything.

But, as surely as a compass points north, some people cannot be kept apart.

My One True North is a story of friendship and what love means, of secrets uncovered, teashops on corners and the northern lights.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Milly Johnson’s books, and My One True North is another wonderful example of why she was honoured with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in January 2020.

Like a brilliant movie, this book will have you on the edge of your seat as the story unfolds. This is a book that you don’t want to share too much about in a review as the reader needs to discover it for themselves; full of emotion, heartbreak, humour, this beautiful book has it all. An outstanding book, we absolutely loved it, definitely one of our Favourite Fiction Reads for 2020! Highly Recommended!


Taking a Chance on Love – Erin Green

Taking a Chance on Love - Erin GreenSynopsis: One question can change everything.

Meet Carmen, Polly and Dana – all happy and successful women, with very different views on relationships.

Carmen has made a life with Elliot for the past eight years. She’s ready for the next step but a proposal seems to be as far away as ever.

Polly is devoted to her family. But after her parents’ bitter divorce, she’s wary of marriage – even after sharing twenty years and one son with Fraser.

Single mother Dana longs for companionship, despite her dedication to raising her son Luke. Finding the right person to bring into their lives feels impossible – until a unique way to select a potential Mr Right comes along.

With 29th February fast approaching, will they each take the chance this Leap Year to take control of their fates?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved Erin’s previous book, New Beginnings at Rose Cottage and Taking A Chance on Love is another delightful read. This book is totally engrossing, we love the way Erin takes three characters and develops their stories in such a way that you are able to follow their individual storylines. Full of humour, poignancy and ultimately uplifting this is an absolutely gorgeous read, especially for this Leap Year weekend. We Loved it! Highly Recommended!


It started with a Secret – Jill Mansell

It started with a Secret - Jill MansellSynopsis: Jill’s Mansell’s irresistible new book is the perfect escape. A beautiful Cornish setting, a chaotic family, a woman who’s had enough of romance – or has she?

The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be . . .

Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret.

At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him?

Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Jill’s books and It Started With A Secret is another delightful example to add to your collection.

Set in a fabulous location, Jill’s writing captures your imagination until you feel you are living in the beautiful coastal village. Add in the collection of realistic and delightful characters and you have a story that makes an absolutely gorgeous weekend read.

Another candidate for our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde

A Springtime Affair - Katie FfordeSynopsis: It’s the season of new beginnings for Helena and Gilly.

Gilly runs her own B&B business from her much-loved family home, which she doesn’t want to part with – at any price.

But that’s before she meets handsome estate agent Leo, and soon she begins to wonder whether selling up might not be such a bad idea after all.

Meanwhile Gilly’s daughter Helena has a budding romance of her own. A talented weaver, she’s becoming very close to her new landlord, Jago, who’s offered to help her at an upcoming craft fair.

It’s what friends do, and they are just friends. Aren’t they?

With spring in full bloom, Helena and Gilly begin to ask themselves the same question:

Might their new loves lead to happily ever after?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Katie Fforde is one of our all time favourite authors! It’s always a special time when one of her books arrives and A Springtime Affair is another delightful read.

Her storytelling is an absolute joy and makes for a wonderful escapist time. A Springtime Affair is something to be savoured and enjoyed curled up on a sofa with a cup of tea and some of Gilly’s delicious homemade shortbread biscuits.

We absolutely loved it, an uplifting and delightful perfect weekend read! We are delighted to add it to our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


Somewhere Close to Happy – Lia Louis

Somewhere Close to Happy - Lia LouisSynopsis: Lizzie James is happy. She has a steady office job (with a steady stream of tray bakes), has had the same best friend since secondary school, and she sees her family every Thursday night for take-away and TV soaps. Granted, some members of her family she’d rather not see, and they definitely don’t want to see her after what happened back then… But on the whole she’s happy. Or somewhere close to it, anyway.

Until a letter arrives one day from her best friend, Roman. A letter dated 12 years ago, the exact day he went missing.

It brings all her painful memories flooding back: the new school she had to go to when she was ill, losing her beloved granddad, Hubble, and then losing her first love. As Lizzie uncovers the secrets of the letter, she starts to discover what really happened the year her life fell apart – and all avenues lead back to Roman.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Somewhere Close to Happy, Lia Louis has written a very thought-provoking book dealing with important issues. Drawing on her own experiences, there is a realism in her writing which makes it a very powerful read. We also loved the insightful Author Q & A, but recommend not reading it until after you have finished the book.
A moving and beautiful debut novel.


The 24-Hour Café – Libby Page

The 24-Hour Café - Libby PageSynopsis: Welcome to the café that never sleeps.

Day and night, Stella’s Café opens its doors to the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It’s a place where everyone is always welcome, where life can wait at the door.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They love working at Stella’s – the different people they meet, the small kindnesses exchanged. But is it time to step outside and make their own way in life?

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café, where one day might just be enough to change your life . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is such a clever book, once started you just want to keep reading, such is the way that Libby builds the scenario inside Stella’s Café. The vivid descriptions of the café and the sharply observed descriptions of the people inside have such a reality that you really feel that café actually exists. Although it focuses on the two main characters of Hannah and Mona and their friendship; the stories of the other visitors to the café and the other members of the staff including Stella, have a poignancy and heartwarming quality that makes this such a standout piece of writing. Beautifully written, this is a touching and uplifting story of friendship, community and life.

We absolutely loved it and are delighted to add it to our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


The First Time I Saw You – Emma Cooper

The First Time I Saw You - Emma CooperSynopsis
Lost:
Six-foot-two Irish man who answers to the name Samuel McLaughlin.
Has weak shins and enjoys show tunes.
If found, please return to Sophie Williams.

Before Sophie met Samuel she saw the world in grey.
Before Samuel met Sophie, he never believed in love at first sight.

When they first meet, something tells them they are meant to be.
But fate has other ideas.

Now they have lost each other and can’t see a way back.
But they’ve already changed each other’s lives in more ways
than they ever expected…

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Emma Cooper’s books are in a class of their own. We loved The Songs of Us and The First Time I Saw You, is another beautifully written book. Incredibly visual, Emma’s descriptions of the situations and the people has such depth and creates a reality that is so powerful and totally absorbing as you read on, ignoring all around you, and even after you reach the end, the characters will stay with you.

Expect to experience every emotion in this absolutely stunning read, we loved it!

A very special start to Our Favourite Fiction Books of 2020! Highly Recommended!


Five Steps to Happy – Ella Dove

Five Steps to Happy - Ella DoveSynopsis: Life can change in a heartbeat…When struggling actress Heidi has a life-changing accident aged 32, her world falls apart. Stuck in hospital and unable to walk, her only companion is Maud, the elderly lady in the bed next to hers. Heidi misses her flatmate, her life, her freedom – surely 32 is too young to be an amputee? But when Maud’s aloof but attractive grandson Jack pays a visit to the ward, Heidi realises that her life isn’t over just because it’s different. It might not look like the life she dreamed of, but it’s the one she’s got – and there’s a lot she still wants to tick off her bucket list. With Jack at her side, will Heidi take the first step back to happiness? Or is there one more surprise still in store…? A feel-good read based on the inspiring true story of journalist Ella Dove. Sometimes all it takes is one small step…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
As we near the end of 2019, this is one of the last books that we will review, but wow what a book! As a debut novel, Five Steps to Happy is outstanding, and because it is based on a true story every emotion is laid out on the pages of this amazing book. It is full of such a raw and open honesty that as you turn each page you gain more insight into how life can change so dramatically. Utterly compelling, this beautiful book will stay in your mind long after you have finished reading it.

Our Final Favourite Read of 2019!  Highly Recommended!


Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane – Ellen Berry

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane - Ellen BerrySynopsis: Last winter she had a plan.

Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband.

But a year can change everything . . .

Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future . . .

Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane – Ellen Berry has created a very realistic village environment, full of different characters and although part of a series, this book can be very much read as a standalone. Although there are poignant and challenging moments, seeing how Lucy overcomes the different situations, makes this a heart-warming holiday read!


Coming Home to Winter Island – Jo Thomas

Coming Home to Winter Island - Jo ThomasSynopsis: Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review:
Jo Thomas writes the most sublime novels and always transports the reader to the places that she creates with such accuracy.

Coming Home to Winter Island is another atmospheric and evocative story where her descriptions have such a sensory impact that you can feel the island, the people and its scenery wrap itself around you.

Absolutely magical, brilliant pre-Christmas read! We loved it!  Highly Recommended!


Let it Snow – Sue Moorcroft

Let it Snow - Sue MoorcroftSynopsis: This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…

Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.

So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.

Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…

https://www.waterstones.com/book/let-it-snow/sue-moorcroft/9780008321796

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Full of twists and turns Let it Snow is a roller coaster of a story, full of action and different characters. Partly set in Switzerland, Sue’s evocative descriptions make you feel that you if you stepped outside your own front door you would find snow! Heart-warming and romantic, this is a perfect pre-Christmas read


25 Days in December – Poppy Alexander

25 Days in December - Poppy AlexanderSynopsis: You can’t plan for the unexpected

Kate Potter used to know what happiness felt like.

A few years ago, she was full of energy, excited by every possibility. But that was back when everything was different, before Kate’s husband went away with the army and didn’t come home. She can’t even remember what it felt like to be in love.

Then Kate meets Daniel. Recognising her loneliness reflected in his eyes, Kate vows to try and help bring him out of his shell. But as Kate plans to bring life back to Daniel, she might have stumbled on the secret to happiness…

Can one chance meeting change two lives?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In 25 Days in December, Poppy Alexander has created a very special book with so many layers that are unwrapped as you become totally immersed in this magical festive story. While dealing with a number of poignant and tough issues, the thread of a beautiful romance keeps running throughout the story in a tantalising way. Will they, won’t they, all find their ultimate happy ending? An absolutely perfect pre-Christmas read!

We loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Nine Lives of Christmas – Florence McNicoll

The Nine Lives of Christmas - Florence McNicollIN PARTNERSHIP WITH BATTERSEA DOGS AND CATS HOME

Synopsis: Can Battersea’s loneliest cat find a home in time for Christmas?

It’s Christmas at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Laura is desperate to find a home for Felicia, a spiky, bad-tempered moggy with a heart of gold. Her boyfriend, Rob, can’t understand why she’s spending so much time at work, but for Laura, the animals aren’t just a job – they’re her life. She needs a partner who understands that – doesn’t she?

As the December snow falls, Laura encounters nine people, all of whom need a little love in their lives and find it in new pets. Everyone needs somebody to curl up with at Christmas, and when the handsome Aaron walks in, he takes not just Felicia, but Laura’s heart too…

A heart-warming tale about loneliness, love, and the importance of furry friends – perfect to snuggle up with this Christmas.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Nine Lives of Christmas is an adorable book, full of love and affection for cats, with such realistic descriptions, that you almost feel they are curled up in the room with you.

While this book is a work of fiction, in writing this, Florence also shares Battersea’s policy of aiming to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found no matter how long it takes. They are champions for and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.

https://www.battersea.org.uk

Affectionately written, Florence has cleverly created heart-warming stories about how cats can help people in so many different and difficult situations. A wonderful book combining romance and love for animals in magical Christmas story. We absolutely loved it. Highly Recommended!


One Christmas Night – Hayley Webster

One Christmas Night - Hayley WebsterNine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
One Christmas Night is a different sort of Christmas story, poignant, tense and gripping and there are moments when you wonder how it will all end; but the very talented Hayley Webster has created such a well-structured novel that as you move towards the end she brings all the strands together in an uplifting conclusion. A novel about hope, trust and community.


A Wedding In December – Sarah Morgan

A Wedding In December - Sarah MorganIn 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.

Buy now from www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We love Sarah Morgan’s books, and A Wedding in December has all the ingredients of an absolutely delightful festive read; sublime storytelling, heartwarming romance, humour and drama in equal measures, set in a stunningly atmospheric location.

Snuggle up, switch off and settle down to enjoy this absolutely magical festive read! We loved it, another stunning book to join our collection of our favourite reads of 2019! Highly Recommended!


The Wedding on Mistletoe Island – Sophie Pembroke

Wedding on Mistletoe IslandSynopsis: Welcome to Mistletoe Island, where dreams can come true…

The snow is falling and Fliss’s friends have arrived to celebrate her wedding for a week at Holly Cottage. It’s the perfect way to kick off her brand-new life, isn’t it?

Except Ruth wishes she was anywhere other than a remote Scottish island, Caitlin is keeping a secret from her friends, Lara is suddenly facing her ex a decade after turning down his proposal and even the bride has something to hide…

But as the friends prepare for a week to remember, will Fliss’s dream wedding go off without a hitch, or will the secrets they’ve been hiding change everything?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

The Wedding on Mistletoe Island by Sophie Pembroke is totally captivating! This is a book that will keep you reading long into the night; we loved the way that Sophie develops the different storylines of each of her characters maintaining a momentum and interest that keeps you reading, not just until the very last page, but the very last sentence. Poignant and heart-warming as our days get shorter and colder, this is a wonderful weekend read. We loved it. Highly Recommended!


A Perfect Cornish Christmas – Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Christmas - Phillipa AshleySynopsis: Escape to Cornwall this Christmas in this gorgeous festive romance.

Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…

But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.

So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.

Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Phillipa Ashley’s books and having enjoyed A Perfect Cornish Summer, A Perfect Cornish Christmas is a delightful return to Porthmellow Harbour. Once again she captures the atmosphere and spirit of the village in the lead up to Christmas. A heart-warming festive read! Highly Recommended!


A Map of the Sky – Claire Wong

A Map of the Sky - Claire WongSynopsis: Kit doesn’t understand why his family has been uprooted to a remote coastal village in the North. Why did they leave so suddenly, and why has his Dad not joined them? At Askfeld Farm Guesthouse he meets an eclectic group of new neighbours and forms an unlikely friendship with Beth, who suffers from a chronic illness he does not understand. Kit learns that Beth, who cannot leave the guesthouse, is trying to draw a map from memory that shows all her favourite childhood haunts. Kit makes it his quest to help her remember by visiting places for her and hopes to solve the problems of the other guests along the way. But becoming a hero like the ones in his favourite books is trickier than it seems, especially when Kit has failed to grasp so much of what is happening around him… Can Kit work out that the person who really needs his help is much closer to home?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Claire Wong has written a beautiful and sensitive story of a summer as seen through the eyes and imagination of an eleven year old boy. With his head full of unanswered questions and mysteries we follow Kit as he tries to make sense of situations and understand the people around him. Full of pace and drama and evocative descriptions of the bracing northern coast, A Map of the Sky is a special and uplifting read.


The Day We Meet Again – Miranda Dickinson

The Day We Meet Again - Miranda DickinsonSynopsis: We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .’

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

This is a story of what-ifs and maybes – and how one decision can change your life forever…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places
As lovers of serendipity, ever since Miranda first announced the inspiration behind The Day We Meet Again, we were intrigued and couldn’t wait to read it, and what a joy and delight it has been!

Miranda’s writing is like a wonderful hug in a book, to be savoured and enjoyed, because as a reader you become invested in the characters and in the case of Phoebe and Sam’s story you want them to find their happy ending.

Beautifully romantic, and full of surprises, this glorious tenth novel is a wonderful celebration of Miranda’s writing. We loved it, another stunning book to join our collection of our favourite reads of 2019! Highly Recommended!