This is the fourth book in the Bellbird Bay series and I enjoyed the previous books, so I was looking forward to reading the latest release by Maggie Christensen – Christmas in Bellbird Bay.
This book tells the story of Libby Walker. Widowed in her fifties, she lives in a cottage facing the ocean in Bellbird Bay with her dog Milo. She has settled into the community, has a job in the library and good friends around her.
The novel begins in November, but being set in Australia, it’s coming up to summer. Libby’s daughter Emma rings to tell her that she has split up from her husband, so she goes to Brisbane to be with Emma and her daughter Clancy (4).
Meanwhile, Adam Holland has to go to Bellbird Bay to fulfil the wishes of his friend. He rents a seaside cottage and plans to continue his work there, writing political thrillers.
Libby returns, Emma and Clancy accompanying her. (I loved Clancy, she’s so cute, but boy, could Emma be annoying!)
Of course, Libby and Adam meet. They are a similar age, both dealing with the loss of someone close. Can they become friends and help each other? Or even more than friends?
You’ll run into some familiar faces if you’ve read any of the previous books in the series. Ailsa, Martin, Bev, Ruby, Cleo and Will all feature here, as Adam gets to know the residents of Bellbird Bay. It was good to catch up with characters from earlier books and find out how they are getting on.
I do enjoy reading books that feature characters of my age, so with both Libby and Adam being in their fifties like me, I liked being able to relate to them in this way. They are both interesting and realistic characters and their stories kept me reading to find out what would happen.
Maggie Christensen’s writing is very accessible, it’s easy to get into the story and you’re interested in the main characters straight away. I enjoyed this being a Christmas book too and reading how festive traditions are in Australia.
The romances Maggie writes about are always very respectful, just the kind I enjoy. Libby’s deceased husband Bernie is remembered beautifully in the story and Libby explains how she will always love him, but after two years, feels it is time to consider moving on. I also love how the relationships are slow romances, not sudden bursts of passion, which feels much more believable. I am personally not a fan of reading details about characters’ actions in the bedroom, another aspect Maggie gets perfectly right in her novels. I much prefer the “behind closed doors” scenes in both my own writing and my reading and Maggie does this all beautifully.
Overall, a lovely read!
Christmas in Bellbird Bay
Libby Walker never imagined she’d be moving into the dream house she and her husband had purchased for their retirement as a widow. Intent on making a new life for herself in the quiet coastal town of Bellbird Bay, Libby’s life is upended by an unexpected call from her daughter.
Adam Holland’s unhappy childhood and broken home has left him scarred. Content with the life he has built for himself as a journalist and author of political thrillers, Adam arrives in Bellbird Bay to fulfil the deathbed request of an old friend.
When Libby and Adam meet, there is an initial attraction. But Libby is grieving for her late husband and trying to help her daughter sort out her life, and Adam has no intention of forming a relationship, wary of commitment because of how his family was torn apart.
Will the peace and tranquillity of Bellbird Bay help these two move on from old hurts and make this a Christmas to remember, or will events conspire to keep them apart?
A heartwarming tale of family, friends, and how a second chance at love can happen when you least expect it.
Purchase Link – getbook.at/ChristmasinBellbirdBay
Author Bio –
After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Maggie has been called the queen of mature age fiction and her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.
From the small town in Scotland where she grew up, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call to ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!
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