Not only do Heidi Swain’s books have the BEST covers ever, but Heidi herself is one of the loveliest authors I have encountered online. So I was thrilled to be chosen for the blog tour of her latest release – A Christmas Celebration.
The book begins in mid-November. Paige has been working for a charity in Jordan, but comes back home to England and moves into Wynthorpe Hall. With part of the family and staff temporarily absent, the remaining ones are struggling to do everything necessary, which is where Paige can help. But can she fill the gaps of everyone missing, while still giving herself time to heal from the difficult experiences she needs to process?
At Wynthorpe Hall, we meet Paige’s godparents Catherine and Angus Connelly, their son Archie and his partner Molly (a white witch) plus the staff – Dorothy the cook and Mick the handyman. The dogs make their own impact too – Floss the elderly spaniel, Suki the Chihuahua and Bran the Wolfhound.
As well as the hall, there’s the lovely setting of Wynbridge, a rural market town with its own community and characters such as Jemma, who co-owns The Cherry Tree Café with Lizzie. There are the usual kind of things in Wynbridge – a library, delicatessen, art gallery, butchers, bakery, chemist, etc.
Early on, Paige encounters two brothers Brodie and Jack. Jack is lovely, friendly and easy-going while Brodie is sullen and bad-tempered. Yet Paige can’t get Brodie out of her mind…
The book was easy to get into. I was interested in Paige and her back story and wanted to find out more. The chapters are just the right size. The settings and the characters are well-described and easy to picture. I especially loved Molly and how caring and intuitive she is. I also adored the dogs, I always feel every novel should have a good canine character in it and this book has three, though Bran was the star for me.
Albert Price is another lovely character and his story also highlights loneliness and how easy it is to become invisible, if you can’t get out and mix with people. Just a few kind gestures can make all the difference.
Beginning in mid-November, the story does of course cover Christmas and I loved all the associated events such as the switch-on of the town’s lights and the Wynthorpe Hall Winter Wonderland. Will everyone manage to have a happy Christmas though?
I absolutely loved this book, its warmth shines out from every page and you can tell Heidi really cares about her characters, as they are so believable, you’ll miss them when you finish reading the book. Luckily Heidi has other books set in Wynbridge if you would like to revisit. They are all standalone novels, like this one, but it’s probably best to read them in publication order if possible.
A wonderful festive read and another triumph for the wonderful Heidi Swain!
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?