Author Interview ~ Karen Aldous.

I'm very happy to have Karen Aldous over on my blog today, answering some of my questions to celebrate the launch of The Chateau. You can read my review from yesterday here and you'll also find a giveaway for a £10 Amazon voucher, which was kindly donated by Karen, at the end of this Q&A.




Thanks for joining us Karen. What can you tell us about your latest novel, The Chateau?


Thank you so much for your invitation Sophie, it’s a real pleasure to be here. I was so pleased when you won Romance Blogger of the year at the Festival of Romance Fiction’14. You really deserve it.

I am delighted to introduce my second book, The Chateau. It is still a contemporary romance but one character is a very unsettled spirit who is influencing the path of other characters – particularly the main ones, Gina and Ollie.


Where did your inspiration come from for The Chateau?


It sounds bizarre but I had a really vivid dream which almost brought me to tears. I woke up and wrote down the essence of it but it haunted me for days so naturally I felt, she wanted her story told. She was persistent in fact and so, Agnes-Francesia was created. It was pure coincidence that her story developed at a beautiful chateau in Switzerland. I have written a blog which tells the background in more detail here.


The concept of The Chateau is quite different from The Vineyard - was that intentional and are you nervous about the change, given the positive reviews The Vineyard received?


The concept is different but exciting. As you can gather, it wasn’t really intentional, rather an intuition. Gina’s story unfolds from her own contemporary relationship struggles and those which occur within her family but the impact Agnes-Francesca has on her changes the course of her life. Sophie, I am so nervous because it may be received differently. The Vineyard has had excellent reviews. I suppose every author goes through this with each book but I’ll have to wait until the reviews are posted – says biting her nails!


What did you find most challenging about writing The Chateau?


Just writing it. Again, I’m sure many authors writing their second book find it is their first real big challenge! After the luxury of years writing, or at least, playing with a first novel, time is a big issue with a second particularly when you are working to deadlines and you’re grasping having to learn how all the social media works to market the first book. Thankfully, I’m getting better at managing my time.


If you were casting The Chateau into a movie, and you had the whole acting world at your feet, who would you cast?


Kristen Stewart as Gina,






Sendhil Ramamurthy as Max,





Ian Somerhalder as Ollie







Sheridan Smith as Agnes-Francesia – would also need to be long dark haired.








Was there a moment when you just knew you wanted to be an author, or was it more of a gradual thing? When did it all begin for you?


Once I began commuting to London, I had the luxury of reading more. I was eighteen or nineteen. I was reading a novel and naively thought I could do better than this! Of course, I couldn’t but it ignited my drive to write. I was married at nineteen and had my first child when I was twenty two, followed by twins sixteen months later so, although I never lost the desire, I only wrote when I could snatch the time.


Your books so far have been set in beautiful destinations – taking us to France and now Switzerland – which sounds like a good excuse for some holidaying (for inspiration, of course). How does the setting of your book fit in to the process of writing your book?


A setting often inspires a character. Many places I’ve visited over the years have a character and a germ of their story has been created. However, with The Vineyard it was the settings of Provence and Cannes which sparked Lizzie, the main character. With The Chateau, it was the character, Agnes-Francesia who emerged first. I didn’t have a clue where she was in my dream but once I had carried out some research, I returned to Montreux and visited Chateau de Chillon and the story came alive.


Did you learn anything from the writing and publication of The Vineyard that you took into your next book The Chateau?


From editing The Vineyard, and the comments from my editor, I tried to dig deeper into the character’s motivations first before I started writing The Chateau. There is still so much more to learn so I hope my writing improves with each book. With the publication, I’ve had to learn about marketing an EBook because it’s simply not on a shelf in the local bookstore or supermarket for people to pick up. Again, this has been a learning process and I have been better prepared for my next.


What are your feelings on social media? Do you think it's a help or a hindrance to your work, or both?


It is definitely a necessity for an author to be on social media as it’s a huge vehicle for raising awareness of their work. Having said that, it is time consuming when you are busy writing but, I’ve met the most amazing people through social media so, in answering your question, social media is both.


Do you get much time to read yourself? If so, what are some of your recent favourite books?


I don’t get much time to read but I could never stop reading. Like you Sophie, I love it and, continue to learn from other writers. I’ve recently enjoyed reading Sue Watson’s Love, Lies and Lemon Cake, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird, Rebecca Raisin’s The Bookshop on the Corner, Katie Oliver’s Prada and Prejudice and Billie Jones’ Mexican Kimono. All so adorable and, my TBR pile is growing!


What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever been given?


It was the advice from my Tutor, Elaine Everest at The Write Place, my creative writing class who very wisely told me, ‘You take all the time and trouble to write something, you should complete it and send it out.’


Can you tell us anything about what might be to come next?


So many readers have asked for it Sophie, so I’m currently planning a sequel to The Vineyard.

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Can young hearts ease a restless spirit?

On the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, Gina Remy is celebrating her brother’s wedding – when the figure of a woman appears hovering above the water, beckoning to her. Ghostly visitations do not happen to Gina - a self-confessed control freak with her own successful property business, she prides herself on being level-headed. But as she is tormented by dreams and visions, her perfect life begins to unravel, and she knows she needs to help this ghost find peace if she’s to get any of her own!

Enter Ollie Martin, an Anglo-Swiss property developer who’s sexy as hell and knows it. His arrogance annoys Gina, but he’s the only one who will take her seriously… and the closer they come to understanding the quest the ghost has set for them, the closer they get to one another…



Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Kobo

Author Links:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads


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Choc Lit Halloween Round Robin - Part 5!

Happy Halloween! I'm delighted to be hosting part five of the Choc Lit Halloween Round Robin.

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A New Love for Halloween:
 Part Five by Evonne Wareham 

An amateur witch attempts to summon a new (and hopefully less gittish) lover using her grandmother’s spell book … what could possibly go wrong?

Each section of A New Love for Halloween will be told by a different Choc Lit author to create one magical story.



Catch up on the previous parts:
Part One - by Berni Stevens - Bookaholic Confessions
Part Two - by Jane Lovering - The Romaniacs
Part Three - by Christina Courtenay - Dark Readers
Part Four - by Kirsty Ferry - Girls Love To Read


Her left arm was numb and the house was on fire.

Jo lifted her head with a jerk that set the tendons at the back of her neck screaming. The smoking remains of the candle stood in front of her, in a pool of red wax.

How could you fall asleep and leave it burning like that?

She stretched carefully, shaking her arm and squinting at the clock. It was after midnight. The kitchen was cold. The boiler had gone off hours ago. Just before she’d started the spell from Gran’s book.

Gran’s book!

She jerked fully upright, scanning the table. Her heart went back to normal speed when she located it at the far end, safe and firmly closed. But she didn’t remember …

‘Ugh!’ Abruptly a shiver of creepy cold ran up her spine. The vestiges of the dream were making her disorientated. Musketeers, locked doors, blue lightning – but it felt so real …

At least it hadn’t degenerated into one of those scary scenarios where she was in a meeting at work with no clothes and no papers. She’d had a few of those lately. Probably stress overload – new job, new home, losing Gran, breaking up with Gordon …

Jo yawned. Her arm had come back to life and it would be a darn sight warmer upstairs under her duvet than down here in a chilly kitchen, with the shadows creeping around her. She gathered up the debris from the table and dumped it in the bin, picking up the book.

‘Don’t meddle with things you don’t understand, Joanna.’

Jo jumped. It was almost as if Gran was standing behind her. She ran a finger down the cover of the book.

That last day, sitting by her grandmother’s hospital bed – the old lady had opened her eyes for a moment. ‘He’s waiting out there.’

Gran passed away the following morning, without regaining consciousness.

Jo hugged the book to her chest. The spell business was just Gran’s joke. It would be much more useful to try out her hand-written recipes. There was one for pork and cider casserole – and a chocolate cake.

Jo headed for bed, closing the door. In the kitchen the shadows lengthened and shifted. A thin sliver of light from the new moon edged across the floor. In a dim corner a draught stirred and a small pile of black feathers floated into the air …

One month later – All Hallows’ Eve

Jo plodded down the street, tired but content. Her presentation to the Board had gone well. Her boss was pleased and had asked her to work on costings. As she passed, light was spilling onto the pavement from the windows of number 29. A burst of hammering, curses and laughter drifted over the fence from the back garden. The tenant was certainly a party animal. Every weekend there was something going on. Now preparations for the evening ahead were well under way, with bales of hay and wooden frames positioned around the front door, waiting for ghosts and pumpkins.

Away from the lighted house, the shadows seemed very deep. There were no street lamps at this end of the road and the new moon hadn’t risen yet. Jo quickened her step, fumbling in her bag for her keys. She really needed a security light, on a timer. And perhaps she could get a cat, or a dog. Someone to welcome her in the evenings? A few steps and she’d be home.

The overgrown shrubs at the side of the house rustled. Her key was almost in the lock when she saw the silhouette – a tall dark figure, outlined against the shivering leaves.

Her fingertips tingled with static charge as she peered into the gloom – she could just make out a plumed hat and the faint glint of metal …


Read the final instalment now over on the Choc Lit blog.




Evonne Wareham lives by the sea in Wales and writes romantic thrillers. She loves the theatre, likes staying in hotels and enjoys the company of other authors through her membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Evonne’s debut novel, Never Coming Home won the 2012 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award.

Give Out of Sight Out of Mind a go this Halloween if you fancy a change from vampires, werewolves and ghosts.

Follow Evonne on Twitter: @evonnewareham



To win three Choc Lit paperbacks of your choice, collect each of our 5 questions (you’ll find one at the end of each story section) and email ALL 5 answers to info@choc-lit.com.

Question 5: Out of Sight Out of Mind’s heroine Madison Albi is a scientist with a very special power. Is it:

a) mind reading
b) time travel
c) invisibility?


Review ~ The Chateau by Karen Aldous.

Title: The Chateau.
Author: Karen Aldous.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: Women's Fiction.
Publication Date: October 30, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Kobo

Can young hearts ease a restless spirit?

On the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, Gina Remy is celebrating her brother’s wedding – when the figure of a woman appears hovering above the water, beckoning to her. Ghostly visitations do not happen to Gina - a self-confessed control freak with her own successful property business, she prides herself on being level-headed. But as she is tormented by dreams and visions, her perfect life begins to unravel, and she knows she needs to help this ghost find peace if she’s to get any of her own!

Enter Ollie Martin, an Anglo-Swiss property developer who’s sexy as hell and knows it. His arrogance annoys Gina, but he’s the only one who will take her seriously… and the closer they come to understanding the quest the ghost has set for them, the closer they get to one another…





With its gorgeous cover and intriguing synopsis, I was really excited to start reading The Chateau. I loved Karen’s debut novel The Vineyard and was pleased to see that The Chateau was just as impressive. What looked like simply a romantic setting for a novel turned out to be so much more than that and this was a multi-layered novel which was so riveting and a real joy to read. In it we meet Gina, who on her visit to Lake Geneva for her brother’s wedding, is struck by some strange chills, vivid dreams and the feeling that a woman from the past needs her help. The story was quick to get going and fast-paced throughout but I was hooked, wanting to learn more about the paranormal aspect and completely drawn in to the side-stories here too.

From the start, we’re quickly introduced to the infuriating relationship between Gina and Max. Gina is hurt at Max’s reluctance to want to start a family with her and they argue, a lot, without ever seeming to get anywhere. With their lack of communication and the building of issues between them, alongside the inkling that Max is hiding something, it wasn’t surprising that Gina found herself instantly drawn to Ollie, who as arrogant as he came across on first impressions, was at least attentive enough to try and help Gina unfold the mystery of her dreams and visions. Despite the instant attraction between Gina and Ollie, I loved how their friendship was developed throughout. Karen builds upon our insight into them both so we can see that maybe there’s more than meets the eye to both their characters. I was fascinated with Ollie from the moment we meet him because he seemed very full of himself but a little bit of charm was breaking through too.

The Chateau wasn’t just about the ghostly happenings or the attraction between Gina and Ollie. There was a lot packed in to this novel which always seemed to get brought back to the same theme of family. Whether it was the hope of creating a new family that Gina’s brother and his soon to be wife had, Gina’s own desire for a child with Max or the seemingly broken marriage of Gina’s parents, the underlying aspect of this book always looked to be family. Stories that really build upon family relationships appeal to me and I loved the scenes between Gina and her mother. It was refreshing to read an outlook on a mother-daughter relationship which was positive and showed that not all daughters spend their times complaining when their mum might happen to give them a call or want to spend some time with them. I thought Gina’s character was quite inspiring too and I loved how even though there were so many things falling apart in her life, when she came to work at marketing properties, she always managed to regain a little bit of control.

I also loved Karen’s beautifully descriptive writing. Her description of Lake Geneva and the chateau was absolutely stunning and enthralling and her words had a way of transporting me there, so I could imagine it all and see every detail. Even the way she wrote about the properties and the villas Gina was marketing for Ollie had me mesmerised and I could picture every scene with the book playing out in my mind. The gorgeous expressive writing didn’t just elevate the setting of the book. Once we begin to learn about the history of the location, and discover a little bit about the more paranormal aspect of the novel, I was really involved in the plot and completely gripped. The portrayal of the chateau was so eerie and enchanting and as we begin to uncover some of the mystery, there were great twists that I hadn’t been expecting and an ending which felt completely fitting. Again, Karen Aldous leaves me with a novel that feels like it will be so memorable, and The Chateau was much more beautiful and compelling than me, even with my complete faith in this author’s writing ability, had anticipated.




Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

Review ~ Voodoo Romance Boxed Set by Janice Horton.

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To celebrate Halloween, Janice Horton is cranking up the fright factor with her Voodoo Romance Series. Keep your eyes peeled for weird, supernatural happenings as the reviews, guest posts and extracts and a giveaway to die for appear on your screens…wooooooooooooo!!

The Voodoo Romance Boxed Set features Amazon bestselling ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ and is exclusive for Kindle worldwide and - during the days of the tour - available to download at the amazing price of just 99p!



Boxset

Title: Voodoo Romance Boxed Set.
Author: Janice Horton.
Publication Date: May 14, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

How Do You Voodoo?

Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. In her attempts to get uncursed she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, involved in a voodoo ritual, reveals one or two unrests in her own past and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm, that would be a witch doctor, right…?

Voodoo Wedding

The voodoo isn't over for Nola! Loved up fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian fiancĂ© Louis have finally set the date for their wedding. All they need now is a venue and a guest list, but before Nola can have the wedding of her dreams, she has to deal with something old, something new, something borrowed… and something voodoo!

Voodoo Child

In ‘Voodoo Child’, ex-celebrity UK fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian husband Louis are expecting their first baby. But as one precious life begins another is about to end. Louis’s beloved old Uncle Sid is dying and has declared his last wish is to see Louis and Nola’s new baby baptised on St John’s Eve – the most important event in the voodoo calendar. The voodoo isn't over for Nola or for Louis!





The Voodoo Romance Boxed Set looked like a whole lot of fun and Janice Horton definitely provided that. The boxset combines three Voodoo novellas, How Do You Voodoo?, Voodoo Wedding and Voodoo Child into one and the format worked perfectly, bringing us a refreshingly bonkers read that makes ideal light reading come Halloween time. Though this boxset is fast-paced and a little magical, I was pleasantly surprised to see that with it, we see our main character taken on a journey and her character develops well. Nola is a model who has a lot to learn about life. Soon after we meet her, she’s convinced she’s had a voodoo spell cast on her and with this, chaos ensues. However, in amongst all the madness, we see her grow and it makes the Voodoo Romance Boxed Set an entertaining and uplifting read.

How Do You Voodoo? introduces us to Nola and she’s not all that likeable to begin with. She’s vain and self-obsessed and completely unaware that her outlook on life is about to change. This novella is fast-moving and yet everything unfolds at a great pace – there was a never a dull moment but the development of the plot and Nola’s character wasn’t rushed either. This novella was my favourite of the three and I loved the moment Nola met Louis and how everything began to change for her. Who knew there was more to this model than met the eye? Things between Nola and Louis developed pretty quickly, as was kind of the theme throughout the boxset, but that didn’t really affect how I enjoyed it.

Voodoo Wedding takes us on the exciting path to creating the perfect wedding – if that’s possible with the amount of obstacles Nola and Louis look set to face. Whilst I didn’t enjoy this novella as much as the first one, it was still a lot of fun. I loved meeting Louis’ family – they were weird and a little crazy but really kept the light-hearted feel to the book. I did feel like this was the least magical novel of the three and was expecting more of the actual voodoo rather than just the eccentric beliefs of Louis’ family. I enjoyed the twists here though and was a bit of a sucker for the sweet romance that had built between Nola and Louis.

Voodoo Child was my least favourite of the three but I still liked it. Nola and Louis are just weeks away from the arrival of their first child although this didn’t really feel like the main story here. Louis’ uncle Sid has not long left to live and he wants to see the baby baptised on St John’s Eve. This was the more touching novella of the three I felt but of course we didn’t lose the sense of magic or the eccentricities of the characters. But I thought it was a little bit too predictable and not as fresh and witty as the previous two novellas. I did however love how it ended.

My rating is reflective of my slight disappointment that I didn’t love the second and third novellas as much as the first one. I thought How Do You Voodoo? was brilliant and I didn’t want to stop reading there. I carried on straight away to the next instalment and although I didn’t feel each novella lived up to the expectations set by the one before it, taken as a boxset Janice Horton delivers a few hours of ideal escapism as we join the quirky world of voodoo, which frankly is a lot more fun than real life. You’ll smile, you’ll laugh and you might even be moved a little bit and therefore, I think the Voodoo Romance Boxed Set is well worth losing yourself to.



Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

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Janice Author BW Janice Horton writes fun modern-day romantic adventure stories. Look out for her Amazon Kindle bestselling ebooks 'Bagpipes & Bullshot' and 'Reaching for the Stars' and her voodoo romance series of novellas ‘How Do You Voodoo? ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ which are now also available as a boxed set. Her bestselling non-fiction title ‘How To Party Online’ has been selected as recommended reading by publishers for authors looking to promote their books online. Janice has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers and she is currently an editor at the innovative and award winning Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine where she produces the monthly Bookshelf feature and her quarterly Snap Gap Travel features. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland's 'Write Here Write Now' initiative and the research she did for her celebrity chef novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’ in Michelin-starred kitchens, attracted the attention of an ITV producer and became a television feature. Janice is an avid blogger and she loves to chat on Facebook and Twitter. See her website at janicehorton.co.uk. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and an author represented by PR Publicists Hit Lit Pro.

Twitter | Facebook |Author Website & Blog | Loveahappyending Bookshelf | Goodreads


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"Inspiration for The Chateau" by Karen Aldous.

Today I'm excited to welcome the wonderful Karen Aldous to Reviewed the Book, who'll be sharing the inspiration for her latest book, The Chateau, which is published tomorrow!






Inspiration for The Chateau


The beautiful town of Montreux on Lake Leman (also known as Lake Geneva) in Switzerland had been beckoning me for years. I’d driven past and taken the train on my way to ski and to spend summers in the mountains with friends, tormented by its splendour. Then, a few years back, one summer, I finally got to visit and, it didn’t disappoint. The lake is truly captivating with miles of lakeside promenade to explore and enjoy and, I couldn’t fail to be impressed by its piece de la resistance - nestled on its eastern shore is the Chateau de Chillon. It is simply stunning with romantic turrets perched on a huge rock which is lapped by the lake water.

















It was late last year however, just months after my mum past away and soon after I received news of my first book contract with CarinaUK when I had an extremely vivid dream. In it I saw a woman in a medieval dress with a rope tied to her waist and being dunked in water and hauled out and back again. The rope being hauled by a wooden-framed contraption and a guard standing at the doorway to a lake or some body of water, operating it. This poor woman was desperately gasping for her breath and her life. Of course it woke me and I wrote it down and the spirit of Agnes-Francesia was created.

















At this stage I had no idea where this had taken place. I hadn’t visited the Chateau on my first visit. However, once I began researching, I discovered that the Chateau de Chillon did have a rather haunting history from around the 12th century. I had to get back there and I returned this year. I found this area of Switzerland had a particularly high number of sorcerers and witches hunted and imprisoned then tried and burned. This woman was just one and wanted her story told. The sad part is, from research I gathered, many of the men and women accused of witchcraft were not even guilty. They were tortured by being dunked until they gave names of others who they believed to be witches. Of course, if they didn’t know any they gave a name to save themselves. Any name. Thus, once accused, authorities, guards and normal folk were so superstitious about being cursed by one of them, there was rarely any redress or way of proving innocence.

















And so, I’d like to thank this lady for haunting my mind that night and hope it gives her some peace and satisfaction that her story has been shared. I also hope you, readers of The Chateau, enjoy it!

---


Can young hearts ease a restless spirit?

On the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, Gina Remy is celebrating her brother’s wedding – when the figure of a woman appears hovering above the water, beckoning to her. Ghostly visitations do not happen to Gina - a self-confessed control freak with her own successful property business, she prides herself on being level-headed. But as she is tormented by dreams and visions, her perfect life begins to unravel, and she knows she needs to help this ghost find peace if she’s to get any of her own!

Enter Ollie Martin, an Anglo-Swiss property developer who’s sexy as hell and knows it. His arrogance annoys Gina, but he’s the only one who will take her seriously… and the closer they come to understanding the quest the ghost has set for them, the closer they get to one another…



Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Kobo

Author Links:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads


Review ~ Christmas at the Cove by Rachel Brimble.

Title: Christmas at the Cove.
Author: Rachel Brimble.
Publisher: Harlequin.
Genre: Romance.
Publication Date: November 1, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

More family for Christmas?

Scott Walker doesn't have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.

Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he's not one to shirk responsibility. Scott's issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.





Christmas at the Cove is a beautiful book – Rachel Brimble’s first Christmas novel and I’m really hoping it won’t be the last. It felt warm, inviting and homely and combined with the sizzling chemistry between Carrie and Scott, I’d say Christmas at the Cove is perfect reading material for a cold winter’s night. We soon learn upon Carrie’s return to Templeton Cove that she has something important to tell Scott – the news that he has a two year old daughter called Belle. The moment we learnt this, I knew exactly where I wanted the book to end up because I always want to hear of kids having the perfect Christmas because at that age, Christmas is the most magical time of year. Christmas at the Cove focuses more on the build up to Christmas rather than the chaotic event itself and so it was fascinating to see how it would capture the essence of the festive season. I thought the snow and the present shopping and the food, alongside a lovely family-orientated story, made this a gorgeous Christmassy read and an uplifting one too.

This is the second of Rachel’s Templeton Cove books I’ve read, having reviewed the brilliant What Belongs to Her back in March, and it’s a setting I love reading about. Everybody seems to know each other which does mean that you might get a busybody or a stirrer involved somewhere – Amanda was definitely the trouble-causer here – but despite its imperfections the sense of community is strong and charming to read. Whether it was Carrie’s brief chats with Marian and Angela or Scott’s moments with his best friends Nick and Kevin, Christmas at the Cove focuses strongly on relationships and the dialogue that comes with them and I think Rachel did a great job at building these up. The character development was done really well and in Scott and Carrie, I found two characters that I absolutely loved.

Scott’s one of my favourite leading male characters I’ve read and not just because he sounded like a complete hunk, honest. I liked him right from the enticing prologue but then we meet him again a few years later and his obvious love, dedication and loyalty to his family and close friends was so endearing, I couldn’t help but want my own Scott. You could just tell he would do absolutely anything to protect the people he cared about but that didn’t make his character flat and dull because he still had that other, edgier side to him which could charm 99% of women that set their eyes on him and his character was a lot of fun too. I loved Carrie’s character as well. Even though I didn’t agree with her keeping Belle a secret from Scott for the first two years of her life, I still thought she was brave given what she had been going through and I could understand any apprehension she had. I liked how her daughter was always at the forefront of her mind and she wouldn’t let anything get in the way of making sure her daughter would be safe and happy. I just love reading stories which focus on families – moving stories and not overly dramatic stories – and Christmas at the Cove fit the bill.

I raced through this novel and I can’t deny I’m a little sad it’s over. But only because I thought it was a fantastic read and I’m sure it will be one of my favourite Christmas books this year. I loved it. It was about not only the hope of building a new family but also the devotion and solidarity of a family under threat by something from their past. It was a sweet story but combined with the obvious attraction and sexual chemistry between Scott and Carrie, it was much more than just a sweet story. With a stunning ending, Christmas at the Cove was a fun, heart-warming and truly gratifying novel.




Review also posted on Goodreads
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