Tag Archives: Short story

Short Story – Mini Review – Buried by the Beach by Ellen Jacobson


I wanted a one sitting, short story to read for World Book Day and this one came up free on Amazon.

The writing was clear, light and enjoyable to read. There was a good pace to the book and had a good amount of detail, mystery and intrigue.

The characters were funny and had a good relationship with each other. It was nice to read about and brought some humour to the story.

The setting of a beach and the detective herself living on a boat was a lovely idea and would make it an ideal summer book to read.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and recommend it if you just want a one sitting read.

⭐Rated 4.5/5⭐

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Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Christmas Books! – Short Stories, Mini Reviews

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A Cornish Christmas Reunion by Laura Briggs

I got this free on Kindle.

Book Description From Goodreads:

Spend the holidays in a cosy Cornish village with this heartwarming reunion story to the best-selling series ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’!

Event planner Julianne Rose has her hands full as Cliffs House prepares for the manor’s first Christmas open house in decades. But with her husband Matt temporarily teaching on the other side of the Pond and their baby to care for, it’s all Julianne can do to focus on the festivities–and she’s not the only one. Her friend and former assistant Kitty has a quandary of her own to solve, Pippa has an unruly child demanding sweets, and even visiting Dinah’s gingerbread biscuits can’t fully cheer them as the holiday grows near. And as the weather threatens to cancel overseas flights, Julianne can’t help but worry that her much-anticipated Christmas plans with Matt are in jeopardy.

Will it be a Christmas to remember at Cliffs House? Will dangerous winter weather keep Matt from returning home in time for the holidays? And is Julianne and Matt’s baby as adorable as everyone imagined? These answers and more await readers new and old in one more visit to Julie’s beloved Rosemoor Cottage and seaside manor of Cliffs House.”

This was a nice gentle read. There was nothing wow about it, but there was nothing against it either. The characters were good and the setting was lovely. I liked the relationships between the characters and the overall sense of good feeling.

An average read therefore an average rating.

Rated 3/5

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A Christmas in Cornwall by Laura Briggs

I got this free on Kindle.

Book Description From Goodreads:

“It’s Julianne Morgen’s first Christmas in the Cornish village of Ceffylgwyn, and life seems perfect. Her job as an event planner couldn’t be better, she’s beginning to feel at home despite being an American in a tiny English village, and her relationship with handsome English horticulturist Matthew Rose continues to slowly blossom from friendship to love.

But when an old flame of Julianne’s appears on the spot, she finds herself tangled up in her own past. A grand charitable ball planned at Cliffs House for Christmas brings its own challenges to Julianne’s world, along with a last-minute wedding in London. And when she learns that Matthew’s former career in America has invited him back, she worries about what it means for their future together if he says ‘yes.’ “

I read this book after the one above as I didn’t realise that they were a set! It did spoil it a little bit for me as with this book I was meeting the characters at an earlier stage in their life and so because I had already read the one above, I knew a bit about what was going to happen to them.

I did still enjoy this story for what it was though. As with the book above, it was a nice read which, whilst it kept my interest, there was nothing particularly special about it that would make me want to read it again. For this reason I have given it an average rating.

Rated 3/5

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The Witch of the North Pole by Snow Eden

I got this free on Kindle.

Book Description From Goodreads:

“A heart-warming tale of Christmas, elves, Santa Claus…and a really mad witch.

There are many things Cinnamon Mercy Claus is struggling with this holiday season: the memories of long forgotten holidays when the Christmas season was about family; that she’s just found out her grandfather is Santa Claus; and that her grandmother is a witch—who is hell-bent on destroying Christmas for them all.”

At Christmas I like to read books that actually involve Santa Clause/Father Christmas, so I was quite excited when I saw this book.

I enjoyed reading it and was transported to the North Pole, which is always exciting, however there was nothing really wow about it. It was an interesting take with the witch angle and the elves were amusing, but it was just missing something. I don’t regret reading it (it was about the North Pole after all!), but I am not sure whether I would make the time to read it again.

Rated 3.5/5

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Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Christmas Books! – Short Stories, Mini Reviews


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Available at the library.

Book Description From Goodreads:

“‘If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!’

Introduction and Afterword by Joe Wheeler
To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.

Part of the Focus on the Family Great Stories collection, this abridged edition features an in-depth introduction and discussion questions by Joe Wheeler to provide greater understanding for today’s reader. “A Christmas Carol” captures the heart of the holidays like no other novel.”

I have read this book every year for the past couple of years because quite frankly it is a Christmas Classic that deserves to be read every year! I love watching the TV adaptations of this story and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I actually decided to read the original. I loved it and have since made it one of my Christmas traditions!

I love the characters, the classic victorian settings and the message behind it. It really gets you in the mood for Christmas.

Rated 5/5

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stoneley

I got this free on Kindle.

Book Description From Goodreads:

“A short Christmas story of three courses.

Love is in the air in Tippermere as Lottie dreams of a white Christmas with no trimmings – other than her hot and hunky eventer, Rory. But things are never quite that simple on the Tipping House Estate.

Festive fervour takes over and it isn’t all seasonal peace and goodwill as expectations rise and it soon escalates from cosy dinner for two, to all the trimmings for ten!

With missing turkeys, loose horses, troublesome terriers and randy huntsmen, Lottie is hard pushed to find time for a kiss under the mistletoe, let alone find the opportunity to woo Rory with her sexy Santa costume.

But there is only one thing Lottie really wants for Christmas, and only one man can deliver it…”

I found this when I was looking for Christmas stories. It was an enjoyable short story with likable characters. It was well balanced and didn’t leave me hanging like some short stories can! There was nothing wow about it so I gave it an average rating of 3/5. If you just want a nice short Christmas read then this is it!

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Clara At Christmas by Lacey London

I got this free on Kindle.

Book Description From Goodreads:

Clara is back!

With snowflakes falling and fairy lights twinkling brightly, it can only mean one thing – Christmas will be very soon upon us.

With just twenty five days to go until the big day, Clara finds herself dealing with more than just the usual festive stresses.

Plans to host the perfect Christmas Day for her American in laws are ambushed by her BFF’s clichéd meltdown at turning thirty.

With a best friend on the verge of a mid life crisis, putting Christmas dinner on the table isn’t the only thing Clara has got to worry about this year.

Taking on the role of Best Friend/Therapist, Head Chef and Party Planner is much harder than Clara had anticipated.

With the clock ticking, can Clara pull things together – or will Christmas Day turn out to be the December disaster that she is so desperate to avoid?

Join Clara and the gang in this festive installment and discover what life changing gifts are waiting for them under the tree this year…”

I found this when searching for free Christmas books to get me in the festive mood. It was written in a diary format with each chapter being a day in December and starting off with an amusing quote.

It was a lightly written and enjoyable read about the lead up to Christmas. The characters were amusing and relatable in some way.

Overall it was an enjoyable book and one that I would consider reading again this year. If only for the amusing quotes at the beginning of each chapter!

Rated 4/5

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“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “popular”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”,”reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “christmas short story”, “christmas book”

Pandemic Reading List 2021 – Book Review – Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

Book Description From Goodreads:

“After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn’t afraid to show him that he doesn’t. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.”

I love Jane Austen stories and am often on the lookout for stories that are based upon one of them. Whilst I was looking through Amazon Kindle this free book came up. I was immediately taken in by the title!

It was a lovely story with the essence of Pride and Prejudice. As it didn’t follow too close to the book it was able to be brought up to date naturally without feeling forced. It was a story that could quite easily happen today.

I loved the characters, although sometimes the pride was taken a bit too far and I ended up thinking that she didn’t deserve the help that she eventually accepted.

The settings were good and the circumstances surrounding them made the story relatable to today i.e there were no balls or forced marriages!

Overall it was an enjoyable read and one which I would read again.

Rated 5/5

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Pandemic Reading List 2021 – Book Review – A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Sherlock Holmes investigates the murder of two Americans whose deaths have some mysterious connection to sinister Socialist groups gathering power in both Britain and America.”

During Lockdown I took part in a number of online courses run by Futurelearn and on one of them I was required to read this book. I downloaded my copy of the book from The Gutenberg Project.

I found this book to be an excellent introduction to Holmes and Watson, their relationship and how they work together to get through a case. Whilst it was a short story, a lot happened. It was cleverly written in that it didn’t drag on and your interest was kept throughout. As the reader you were kept one step behind Sherlock which meant that you wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen and what Sherlock was going to find next! I sometimes find that short stories leave you hanging, but this one was well balanced and you felt like you had accomplished something at the end!

As I read this book for an online course I got to see things that I wouldn’t normally have picked up on which I think made me enjoy the book more.

Overall I loved the characters, the settings and the way that this book was written. I recommend giving it a read.

Rated 4/5

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Pandemic Reading List 2021 – Book Review – Beauty and The Book Collector by Bethany Windfall

I got this book free on Kindle

I love the story of Beauty and the Beast and every so often will do a search for stories with similar storylines. This one came up and so I gave it a go.

This was a lovely little short story. It was a beauty and the beast retelling which featured a book collector! What more could I ask for? The beast in this instance looked like a normal man, but it was the perception of him from others that made him the beast.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend reading it if you are short of time, but want to get a bit of reading in!

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“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “short read”

Pandemic Reading List 2021 – The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

As part of on online Future Learn course that I completed over lockdown, I was asked to read this short story. I was thrilled as I have been meaning to start reading Sherlock Holmes for a while now. I love the TV and film adaptations and it was time that I started reading the books!

This is the second Sherlock Holmes story, but I don’t think that that matters. It introduces the main characters; Sherlock Holmes and John Watson well so you don’t feel as if you have missed anything out by not reading the first book.

It was only a short book (which was good in terms of needing to read it for a course!) which surprised me, however such a lot happened. Throughout the story new bits of information kept coming to light and so as the reader you were kept guessing as to what was going to happen next and who the murderer could possibly be.

It was also interesting in the way it was written. It was written from the view of Watson, so as a reader it compelled you to be in awe of Holmes’ intelligence and his ability to see things that the ordinary person couldn’t. The text also gave you an idea of what London was like in that time period and how people behaved towards eachother. 

A good story if you don’t have a lot of time to sit and read, or even if you do!

Rated 4/5

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Autumn Leaves – A Chick Lit Anthology – Free on Kindle

Bedgebury Forest and Autumn Leaves

Free book on Kindle


A chick lit anthology of 6 short stories taking place in Autumn.

The first story is about a couple where the man is certain that his partner is being unfaithful, the second story is about a journalist falling for her temporary cameraman, the third story is about a woman running a marathon and trying to leave her problems behind, the fourth story is about a woman who has returned home due to difficulties and things seem to get worse when she is confronted by her childhood enemy, the fifth story is about two friends who end up getting married, but there is only love on one side of the relationship and lastly the sixth story is about a woman coming home to look after her sick mother and realising what she has missed.


As I said at the beginning of the month I wanted to read something with an Autumnal feel to it. I like reading stories that correspond to the current season and this free kindle book fitted perfectly. It was a lovely anthology of Autumn short stories that I wished were longer. Just as I was getting into each story it ended! The first story in particular just suddenly ended and I wondered where the rest of it was. The others were slightly less abrupt in their endings and felt quite natural to stop where they did, if indeed they had to end. 

I will admit that it took me a while to get used to the short story style as I have been reading long, heavy books recently, but I got there in the end! All the stories were enjoyable and not one let the anthology down. 

I recommend reading this book as an inbetween read, as something that is light and doesn’t drag on, maybe after a particularly long and/or heavy read.

⭐Rated 4/5⭐

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