Published November 15th 2019
Synopsis: When Jess Rigby lost her dad, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get the old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It’s sure to stir up old memories she’s desperate to forget. And to make things worse, Isla seems to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved family home! Soon, the house begins to give up its secrets, some of them shocking. Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?
This book is labeled as a romance, but there is so much more to it than that. This is a story of a family that was torn apart by infidelity, then again by tragedy. It deals with how people cope with loss, sometimes unsuccessfully making the wrong choices. Jess and her sister Isla, have inherited their father’s cottage after his death. Neither are living in it, so Isla takes it upon herself to hire someone to modernize it so they can sell it. Jess is not happy as she was not consulted about this situation. She is not very kind to Seb Morgan, the contractor. She is still dealing with her feelings about her family and decides it is time to take charge. She begins glass blowing in her dad’s workshop, something they did together. This puts her in the path of Seb and they begin to have feelings for each other. Their mother is a bit of a mess. She keeps seeing their dad everywhere and has taken to painting portraits of him, some rather abstract. She talks about him all the time as if he is still alive and the girls are quite worried about her. I must say that the characters were very real to me. I could imagine these people dealing with the terrible things that had happened in their lives. Even the secondary characters played important roles in the story. The plot was very well-developed and the story was well-written. There is some angst in this story, not only between Jess and Seb, but also with Isla. I do not want to ruin the book for you, but suffice it to say that it evoked several emotions in me while I was reading. My feelings toward the characters changed constantly as I got to know them better, what had happened in their lives and what was happening in the present. The only character that I disliked until the end was Seb’s ex-wife Aleksandra. She was a self-centered, mean, b…… I enjoyed the interactions between the characters, the honesty, the sharing, the emotion and of course the happy ending. Well done Rosie Green. I received a copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.
Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.
Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Bonfires & Hot Chocolate at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, is out now. Watch out for ‘A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, which will be published Christmas 2019.
Rosie is also writing a full-length, standalone book for Christmas 2019, entitled ‘Snowflakes over Moondance Cottage’.