Snowflakes Over Halesmere House – Suzanne Snow

Published By: Canelo
Pages: 292
Released On: 18/08/2022

After years of living in the past, Ella is ready to start building a future. The perfect opportunity presents itself when she is offered a short-term role at Halesmere House in the Lake District, and tasked with kick-starting its artists’ residence. She can’t wait to start and explore a new career in an inspiring location. 

But when Ella arrives at Halesmere, she wonders if she’s made a huge mistake after she clashes with Max, the new owner. Max has his own reasons to be unsettled by her presence, but despite his misgivings it seems everyone else loves having Ella around. As a single dad, it’s his children’s attachment to her that bothers him most. Who will pick up the pieces when Ella leaves?

What Max doesn’t know is that Ella is falling for more than just the Lake District and the community around her. Can her temporary job lead to a permanent happy ending?

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and Canelo for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

The only Suzanne Snow book I had read previously was also a festive one (no surprise there), so I know I like her Christmas stories so I had high hopes for this.

I really didn’t like Max at first. It’s rare I instantly take a dislike to someone but within the first few pages of his arrival, he really rubbed me up the wrong way and I started to feel embarrassed for Ella. I know he’s meant to be the handsome, swashbuckling, misunderstood hero and I so didn’t want him to become that because I didn’t like him, but of course he talked me round. Very quickly in fact, and he soon became one of my favourite characters. I definitely want a Max now. I mean, I do have a Max, but he’s ten years old, so not quite the same setup.

If I’m honest, my favourite characters were his children Lily and Arlo, I thought they were fantastic, especially Lily. I also liked the addition of Prim, the dog. There’s this naivety, innocence and magic about them that you only see in children, and it’s a shame more adults don’t take a leaf out of their book.

I do wish more was made of Max’s friend Ashley. I had my own opinions on her but they were never proved right or wrong, but that’s my only qualm. I really liked the handyman Stan and Max’s mum Noelle. I thought they were great and a fabulous backdrop to the Max/Ella friendship. The rest of the characters were background to me; perfectly fine in their own way but nothing could tear me from Max, Ella, Arlo and Lily.

I have always wanted to love in the Lake District, in a little cottage near a lake, and this gave me everything I wanted. The way the house was described when it was all decorated for Christmas…it all sounds simply stunning and I want to know when I can move in.

The description of the festivities and the community spirit felt absolutely gorgeous and I’m quite jealous that these fictional people got to live my dream.

It’s very much a happily-ever-after, warm, cosy, joyful book but it doesn’t shy away from difficult topics such as illness, death, grief and loneliness, but in a very real, not over-the-top way.

It really does give you that fuzzy feeling that you experience when you witness the things and the people you love. I read this in the week we experienced the ridiculous heatwave and yet it still managed to warm me up.

This is the first in a new series and I am very excited about future instalments.

Snow by name and Snow by nature; Suzanne has managed to portray the magic that Christmas brings to children and reminds us as adults to find it again and learn to see the love and the magic in everything.

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