Tag Archives: christmas book

Book Review – Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain

Available at the Library
Number of Pages: 480
Genre: Christmas/Romance

Welcome to my first book review of 2022! I started this book last year, but didn’t get a chance to finish it until now. Here are my thoughts:

📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all…?

Join Anna for a festive journey festooned with sleigh rides and silver bells and help her discover her happy-ever-after.

💭THOUGHTS💭

This is the third Heidi Swain Christmas book that I have read and I can honestly say that it wasn’t a disappointment. It had everything you could possibly ask for from a Christmas book and more.

The writing was simple, engaging and it had me hooked from the beginning. The description of the Hall and the surrounding village was just enough to give you an idea of where the characters were, but the story mainly focussed on the characters, specifically what the main character was thinking and feeling. 

The chapters were fairly lengthy so you got a good chunk of the story before moving on to the next part of the story. Nothing felt rushed and you were gently taken through the story and immersed in their world. 

The characters were brilliant. They were warm, kind, funny and really brought to life the spirit of Christmas and it’s messages of love and hope. All the way through you were routing for the main character to have a happy ending, not only for her, but for the other characters as well who had all opened their hearts to her. You were made to wait until the very end to see which way she would go!

Lastly the settings. What more could you ask for than a Hall covered in decorations, lights and snow? I loved the village Christmas events and the additional Winter Solstice element too. They really added something to the story and the visuals.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to Christmas fans, Romance fans and anyone who needs cheering up with a festive read!

⭐Rated 5/5⭐


#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #christmas2021 #firstbookreviewoftheyear #heidiswain

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “romance”, “reading slump” “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “christmas books”, “chick lit”

If I had to recommend one Christmas Chick Lit/Romance book…

To focus my reading, instead of setting myself ‘number of books to read’ goals, I set myself genre goals. This gives me a certain amount of flexibility, whilst at the same time allowing me to broaden my reading. As a result of this I am gradually accumulating a list of books from different genres and I thought it would be fun to every so often do a “If I had to recommend one book” post. As it is Christmas I thought that I would give it a Christmas focus!

Cole for Christmas by Janet Raye Stevens (click for my review)

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #ifihadto

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “popular”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”,”historical fiction”, “what should I read to get out of my reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “what book would you recommend I read next”, “what Christmas book should I read”

If I had to recommend one Christmas/ Mystery/ Fantasy book…

To focus my reading, instead of setting myself ‘number of books to read’ goals, I set myself genre goals. This gives me a certain amount of flexibility, whilst at the same time allowing me to broaden my reading. As a result of this I am gradually accumulating a list of books from different genres and I thought it would be fun to every so often do a “If I had to recommend one book” post. As it is Christmas I thought that I would give it a Christmas focus!

The Wildest Hunt by Jo Zebedee (click for my review)

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #ifihadto

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “popular”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”,”historical fiction”, “what should I read to get out of my reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “what book would you recommend I read next”, “what Christmas book should I read”

What book should I read to my toddler? My toddler recommends…

Hey Duggee Duggee’s Christmas

Book Description From Goodreads:

“It’s Christmas time at the Squirrel Club, and the Squirrels are helping Duggee to decorate the tree and give out presents.

Featuring all of your favourite characters from the triple BAFTA-winning CBeebies show, this adorable festive board book story is perfect for reading at Christmas with little Hey Duggee fans.”

This was quite an early purchase and favourite book for my son. The pages are quite worn, despite being board! My son has always loved Duggee and this Christmas book is based on a Christmas episode of Hey Duggee. The pictures are lovely and bright and the story is simple and easy for my son to follow. A great seasonal book that my son loves to read throughout the year!

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“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”,”recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “entertaining”, “what should I read to my toddler”, “what book should I buy for a toddler for christmas”

Book Review – The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

💭THOUGHTS💭

I had seen this book around and was thrilled when I saw it on the library app. There was a bit of a wait, but it finally became available and I wasn’t disappointed!

I honestly couldn’t put this book down once I had started. The writing was clear and engaging and really drew me in to the characters’ world. 

The chapters were fairly long so you had an uninterrupted flow. It was a nice easy read that you didn’t have to think too much about. There were some serious undertones to it, but they were written sensitivity and the overall message of love and family shone through. 

The characters were well written and aside from one character they were all lovely. The dislikeable character was needed to really emphasise that you are never completely on your own, even if it might seem that way. 

Lastly the settings. Well, it was the picture perfect Christmas. Village setting (with the grand hall) cottage, snow and decorations. What more could you ask for?! Everything about the story was Christmas and I really enjoyed it. 

I highly recommend reading this book, but be aware that there are some serious issues that are dealt with.

⭐Rated 5/5⭐

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #christmasbook #heidiswain #librarybook

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First Line Friday

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It’s First Line Friday! Hosted by Reading Is My Superpower,you write the first line of the book you are currrently reading.

The book that I am currently reading is:

The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

First Line:

“As my fingers itched to click open the calender on the computer for what would have been the fiftieth time in the last five minutes, I began to question my resolve about not taking superstitions seriously.”

An interesting first line I felt for a Christmas book! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book!

#firstlinefridays #bookstagram #bookish #instabooks #ilovebooks #readinglist #bookblog #readmore #reads #currentread #booknerdigan #readingaddict #avidreader #newread #readallthebooks #booksta #booksandbooks #readaholic #booksparks #booksarelife #bibliophile #bookwormlife #reader #beautifulbooks #bookphotograph #bibliophile #christmas #heidiswain

“book”, “read”, “book blog”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “what should I read next”, “what are you currently reading”, “what christmas book should I read”, “christmas book”

Book Review – Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson


📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖

Becca Fletcher has always hated Christmas but she has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch. Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

Little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

💭THOUGHTS💭

I saw this on the Library App and after reading the blurb I was sold! 

I was gripped from the beginning and can honestly say that it exceeded my expectations. I often think that Christmas books need their own start rating,for example what is a 5 star Christmas book is often a 4 star ‘normal’ book at best, however with this book I can confidently give it 5 stars on both ratings! 

The book was cleverly split into three sections – Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future with the chapters running through. It made the whole story come together really well and keep that traditional Christmas vibe.

The main character was the typical humbug who you really wanted to have a happy ending. I loved how she was written with her anger, pain and sadness, yet underneath it all there was someone happy waiting to shine through. I think that we all feel like Becca sometimes and it was refreshing to see it written down in a Christmas book. Christmas can be hard for some people and this book deals with that brilliantly. I loved the emotional journey that we were taken on and was sad when the book ended! 

It wasn’t just the main character that made this book so special, but also the supporting characters. They all had their own personalities and each helped Becca (the main character) through her difficulties in a loving, non pressuring environment. Becca was able to heal at her own pace and it was just heartwarming to read. 

The setting of a cafe and a little village in Dorset was brilliant. Whilst it was cozy and christmassy, it also highlighted the love and friendship that is around not just at Christmas, but the whole year through. 

I cannot praise this book enough and highly recommend it to everyone! 

⭐Rated 5/5⭐

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #christmasbook

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Book Review – The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖

Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.

From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.

The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?

💭THOUGHTS💭

I was drawn to this book by the cover and the title. It had everything that I wanted from a Christmas book!

I liked the book, but for me it could have been a bit shorter. Whilst I liked the description of the shop and what the characters were up to, it seemed to go on a bit too long for my liking. In fact I started reading and finishing other Christmas books inbetween this one as it didn’t really seem to be going anywhere.

The writing was good, but didn’t grab me. It was however, good enough that I wanted to finish it.

The characters were likable and at times you really felt for the main character and wanted her to have a happy ending.

The seaside setting in a Chocolate Shop was lovely. It was very festive and really made me want to go off and eat chocolate! The description of the shop and its contents was beautiful and really made a lovely backdrop for the characters.

It was quite an emotional read at times, but the mood was soon lifted and hope and happiness shone through.

The story had a lovely message of love and friendship throughout, which was nice to read about.

Overall an average read for me, but if you like a lot of description with a festive theme then this one is for you!

⭐Rated 3.5/5⭐

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #christmasbook

“book”, “read”,”book review”, “book blog”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “christmas”

If I had to recommend one Christmas book…

To focus my reading, instead of setting myself ‘number of books to read’ goals, I set myself genre goals. This gives me a certain amount of flexibility, whilst at the same time allowing me to broaden my reading. As a result of this I am gradually accumulating a list of books from different genres and I thought it would be fun to every so often do a “If I had to recommend one book” post.

If I had to recommend one Christmas book it would be:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

For the past few years I have read this book to get me into the Christmas spirit. I have to admit that I have yet to read it this year though as I have quite a few Blog Tour Books and Library books to get through first! We did have The Muppets Christmas Carol on TV in the background when we were putting up the Christmas tree if that counts?!

Do you have a go to Christmas Book?

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #ifihadto

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “popular”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”,”historical fiction”, “what should I read to get out of my reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “what book would you recommend I read next”

Book Review – Cole For Christmas by Janet Raye Stevens


📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖

Easy going event coordinator Katy Costa is called in last minute to sub for her perfectionist sister at a Christmas Eve wedding in Portland, Maine. Nice guy chef Cole St. Onge takes over from his temperamental boss for the same event.

The problem? Each thinks the other is their prickly counterpart and they expect fireworks when they meet. It’s the sparks that fly between them that’s unexpected. And unwelcome—Katy’s skittish after a bad breakup. Left at the altar, Cole’s sworn off women for good. Mix in an unexpected snowstorm, an accident-prone groom, Katy’s self-pitying ex making trouble, a matchmaking grandma, and lots of mistletoe, and what’s supposed to be a magical holiday affair fast becomes a Christmas nightmare.

Forced to team up to put out the many fires, the blaze between Cole and Katy burns brighter as the evening wears on. Can they ignore their growing attraction and keep their relationship strictly professional? Or will they give in to the mistletoe and say I do to a Christmas kiss that promises more to come in the new year?

💭THOUGHTS💭

I saw this on the promotional list for R&R Tours and decided to get a copy for myself. I love reading Christmas themed books on the lead up to Christmas and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

The characters were likable and the way that they each thought the other was someone else was amusing to read. As the reader you were willing them on to find out that the other isn’t who they thought they were! It kept the suspense up throughout the book, together with the question of will the wedding go ahead or not with one disaster after another!

The setting was unmistakably Christmas with the ‘gingerbread house’, the beautiful decorations and the snowy weather. The message behind the story was also very christmassy – love, friends and family without the need for all the fripperies. 

The writing style as a whole was light and enjoyable to read. I liked the way that it was written from the two main characters point of view and would swap around throughout the book. Each character was called who the other one thought they were so you do need to be on your toes for that!

Overall a lovely, cozy, Christmas read and one that I would recommend if you like a bit of light-hearted romance and Christmas!

⭐Rated 5/5⭐


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