Published By: Simon and Schuster
Released On: 13/10/2022
When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life.
One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
All three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but with Christmas on the horizon, is that really the best way to celebrate the season?
This is my 11th Heidi Swain book and I love everything about them. They’re wishful and hopeful, full of love and friendship, laughter and joy. I always know what I’m going to get with one of her books and I’m never disappointed. I can always rely on them for a happy-ever-after read, especially a festive one.
There’s a whole cast of characters with some standout ones. Brodie was well written as the ‘villain’ of the story and I admit at first I didn’t like him, just like our protagonist Paige, but, as I expected, he soon grew into the dashing her we wanted and needed and, all together, loved. I really liked Albert and all the inhabitants of Wynthorpe Hall, particularly Dorothy, Molly and Archie. They all have their own stories going on, but they work really well with Paige’s main plot.
It has a family feel about it, not just in a mother/daughter, brother/sister related way, but a family amongst friends and within a larger community too.
Heidi’s descriptions of Christmas in these villages and small towns always sound so idyllic, and I’m always so jealous that I can’t visit them in real life. They just sound like the epitome of a traditional English Christmas.
I like that Heidi doesn’t hide from the tougher themes in life, such as PTSD, mistakes, injuries, grief, privacy, worry; it makes you much more grateful for the more positive scenes, both in fiction and in reality.
I liked the little name drop near the end of the book of Sarah Morgan, Trisha Ashley and Milly Johnson – three of my favourite festive feel-good authors.
There are a lot of words I could use to describe this book, some I’ve used already such as warming, loving, wishful, funny, romantic, hopeful, heartfelt, sweet, joyful, exciting and feel good – but I think it can all be wrapped up by calling it simply magic.