It must be autumn because the Christmas books are here!
Given how much I loved the Lily Pond Lane series by Emily Harvale (see my recent reviews of Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four by following the links), I was delighted to hear that Emily had written a Christmas book set there and even more delighted that Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources invited me on to the tour, so thanks Rachel and thanks to Emily for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.
“Snow is falling in Little Pondale, lights are twinkling and the smell of pine trees and roasting chestnuts fills the air …
But Mia Ward is in a bit of a jam. She’d planned to rent out Corner Cottage for Christmas but thanks to best friend, Ella Swann, it’s double-booked. Now Mia’s got to let one ‘party’ down, or find another cottage – fast.
Best friends and single mums, Cathy Cole and Christy Franks want their kids to have an old-fashioned Christmas. Ice-skating, carol singing, making decorations, and tobogganing are on their list of festive fun and Little Pondale is the perfect place. Especially as it has no mobile phone reception. That will make it harder for Cathy to be found.
City banker, Leo Hardman is wondering if renting a cottage for Christmas as an anniversary surprise for his parents, was such a good idea. Little Pondale may be where his parents met, but his mum doesn’t seem pleased to be back, and his brother, Hal isn’t happy that the village is so tiny and only has one pub.
Meanwhile, Jenny Lake is settling in at her cousin’s bakery, having left her (broken) heart in Florence, but Christmas was never her favourite time of year. And Reverend Glen Fox has taken over at St Michael and All Angels. He’s glad it’s a temporary post because village life is not for him.
But luckily, for locals and visitors alike, there’s a sleigh-load of Christmas magic heading for Lily Pond Lane; enough to put a sparkle in everyone’s festive season. Although Christmas may not go quite as each of them has planned.”
So we’re back in Little Pondale just in time for Christmas and what a Christmas Mia is determined her first one with Jet will be. She is pulling out all the stops to make it magical for everyone, including the two families that have rented her cottages for the festive season, although that might be a harder job than it seems, as both are harbouring secrets that could mar the festive season. But Mia is nothing if not determined…
This book is so bursting with Christmassy bonhomie that it was a miracle I could shut the covers of my Kindle without it all oozing out of the sides. I half expected ‘Jingle Bells’ to start playing each time I opened the book, like one of those old-fashioned padded greeting cards that my dad used to give my mum when he was trying to be romantic. This is not a book to be read by those Scrooges amongst you, unless you want to pop out in hives in response to all the festive jollity.
I, on the other hand, can’t get enough of a Christmassy book. The more Santas, mistletoe, mince pies and carol singers you can shoehorn in, the better, so I was in hog’s heaven with this one. Plus, I absolutely adore Little Pondale and everyone in it, so I was happy to be back to see how they were celebrating, and not by halves is the answer. There are Dickensian carol singers, Christmas lights on every surface, a sleigh, ice skating and tobogganing, and that is only the half of it. Every perfect Christmas you ever imagined is captured here. All our favourite characters are back and still blissfully happy, so Emily has introduced some new ones bringing intriguing mysteries, whose stories we can unfold, and they are all as charming and intriguing as the originals, (except perhaps for one awful woman, but you’ll need to read it to find out who she is). These stories are really a minor distraction from the meat of the story, which is the celebration of Christmas. And I wish Christmas really was like this is my little village.
Of course, the book is complete fantasy, with Mia having an endless supply of money, farmers being able to take hours off every day to climb on roofs, magic trees and endless Christmas snow and love at first sight around every corner. But hey, who needs realism when you are having this much fun? That’s not why a reader picks up a book of this sort, and we’d be disappointed if it turned out any different.
I loved every hokey minute of this book. It’s like drinking a mug of hot chocolate in an oversized nightshirt and a Wee Willie Winkie hat on Christmas Eve. With knee length fluffy socks and a flake on top. And marshmallows. With a shot of Baileys. In front of a log fire. It is Christmassy perfection. It’s Yuletide with The Waltons set in a English seaside village. Read it immediately.
(NB: I realise there are references in this post which age me; I’ve decided I don’t care)
Christmas on Lily Pond Lane is out now and you can buy a copy here, in paperback or on Kindle.
To follow the rest of the tour, check out the dates on the poster below:
About the Author
Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.
Connect with Emily:
Facebook: Emily Harvale Writer