Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill is the first book that I’ve read in this series. The author, Emma Davies, is gifted at creating vivid images and tempting readers to skip staying at home for Christmas in exchange for spending it in a place like Joy’s Acre.
Some entertaining parts of this story are the ways in which it brings all the festive ideas and recipes and designs of Christmas together and the beautiful and inviting ambiance of the setting.
Readers can take advantage of many of the ideas offered and easily taste and smell some of the dishes prepared.
In addition, the residents show us how stressful it can be trying to turn a certain Christmas celebration and another major event into realities. But they also show us how to rise above the obstacles thrown at them and not allow any setbacks to keep the love and Christmas Spirit from prevailing. Given that trying to get everything just right for Christmas can often be a harrowing experience, taking a break from it all to read how these pros handle it might be a great way to get recharged.
The regular residents are a happy bunch, and, with perhaps one exception, practically any challenges to their holiday plans are quickly dealt with. The majority of the story is driven more by the organizing and planning and socializing and eating get-togethers of the characters than by any prolonged major tensions or conflicts, although there are flashes of these, at least twice, where Angus and Ruby are concerned. Overall, though, for people who like stories light on tension and high on close-knit friends sharing and showcasing their Christmas genius and helping strangers like Ruby and her family fit right in, this story is a perfect read.
Given the book’s description, I expected to experience a lot more of the relationship between Angus and Ruby. The entirety of their romance might take up about 30-35 percent of the story. For good reason, it is a slow-burning affair. The first part of it, up until about 57% into the story, is limited to short encounters trickled in throughout the two major concerns in the story. I would like to have seen more of their story. Angus is a wonderful person, and there are scenes when he is with Ruby’s son, Jem, that are especially memorable. Watching Ruby “find her way back to the light” and the part of the story where Angus and Ruby’s relationship begins to take center-stage and moves in the direction of their new beginning together was the best part of the book for me.
Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill reads like a Hallmark Christmas movie, and readers enjoying those kinds of stories will definitely want to own this one.
Note: I was provided an ARC copy of this Christmas story by the publisher: Bookouture.
One twinkling winter’s night, Ruby wakes her sleeping children and escapes for a new life in the countryside. It’s a choice that will change her life beyond all recognition…
Arriving at the cosy little rental cottage as the first snow begins to fall, Ruby doesn’t regret leaving her bully of a husband for a moment, but she does feel guilty about uprooting her kids so close to Christmas. She can only wish that one day soon her son will forgive her.
It’s not long before the family are settled in and drinking hot chocolate by the fire, the flames kept roaring by a neighbouring woodsman called Angus. As big as a tree, but as gentle as a dormouse, all Ruby’s instincts tell her to be wary of letting this gorgeous stranger get too close. Is that the first tingle of festive magic Ruby can feel? Or might it even be hope?
As Christmas day approaches and a blizzard sparks a power cut across the entire village, Ruby must force herself to believe in Christmas miracles again. Was she right to put her trust in Angus? With only flickering candles to guide her through the darkness, will she ever find her way back to the light?
Wrap yourself up in this utterly gorgeous festive romance, perfect for anyone who loves Heidi Swan, Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond – and Christmas!
After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.
After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.
Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her)