Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.
What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?
Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.
Received from Netgalley in exchange for a review.
After a 4 month stressful period in New York, only child Anna plans a quiet Christmas holiday in the Cotswolds. Unfortunately her room in the booked B&B is flooded, so there is literally no room at the inn. Through various tangled relationships she ends up using the spare bedroom of the local carpenter Colin. despite her strained feelings, Anna and Colin have an instant connection and it’s nice to have narrative from both in the couple as to how the relationship is coming along.
The romance comes along fast – it’s a matter of days before they’re sleeping together and she’s meeting his family for Christmas – and some reviewers find this a bit unrealistic. I do find that it makes the book rather short and a little lacking on the character development, especially for the secondary characters. It seems there are other books in the series, and I’m wondering if this story could have been combined with another one in the series.
This might imply that it was a bad story – it wasnt, just a little short on character development – e.g. the owner of the Willoughby Manor and her nephew are given short shrift and are made out to be rather unpleasant. There’s an indication that she is lonely and bitter towards her nephew, but there’s no expansion on this and no indication that this will be covered in another book.
In short: a short book that can be read one afternoon, perhaps after a heavy lunch, and which will not offensive or too taxing.
About this author
Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.