Christmas at Lock Keepers Cottage – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, the first Christmas book of the year is here! And it’s only the start of September!

It took me like two weeks to read this book for a few reasons. The first being all the shows on TV taking up what little free time I have, the second being my general mental health with the lockdown in my city and finally, I really struggled to fall in love with the characters.

For what felt like the first 75% of the book, next to nothing happened. A lot happened in that final 25% but that doesn’t help me get engaged in the story from the start. Normally I really enjoy Lucy’s books, so this is a bit weird for me.

Maybe because the characters are so straight? And by that I mean, they don’t really drink, they don’t seem to have strong opinions about anything and it felt like they were people pleasers who know what to say to keep everyone happy without ever really having an opinion. I only know one person like this and that mask dropped away once we all got to know each other  better so I know it was more of an “I don’t know how to behave around you yet” thing rather than that’s what they’re like all the time.

To me, I find those kinds of personalities quite fake, so maybe I spent the whole time trying to figure out their angle? What were they trying to achieve? Why wouldn’t they just say what they thought even when they’re “alone”?

For me, their personalities was the biggest detractor. The community spirit, the stuff that goes wrong, the secrets that came out. That was all juicy and great. But it felt like it fell flat a little without the human drama to follow it.

If you’d like a feel good, wholesome, no unnecessary drama, relaxing read about Christmas, then this is the book for you!

If you’re like me and like a little more drama, you may find it’s not as great as you’d hope. It may have also been because my life is so boring in lockdown, I NEEDED more drama. So maybe it’s my fault for reading this while in Stage 4 lockdown?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Who Wants to Marry a Duke? by Sabrina Jeffries. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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Summer in Provence – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, after finishing off the second quartet from Emelan we’re back to Earth with a romance that doesn’t seem quite so perfect.

Like many books, this one spans quite some time. Unlike a lot of books, it spans from March 2018 through to December 2020 with a few pit stops along the way. As soon as I saw this structure in the contents, I knew a lot would have to happen and that I’d probably love it. Especially since I’m a fan of the authors previous works.

The journey Lucy follows in this book is one many couples go through. Having been together since they were in school, getting married and buying a house shortly after graduating uni, they never really had a chance to be young and free. They never dated around, never did the gap year traveling thing.

In Fern’s case, she hasn’t slept with anyone other than her husband.

In many ways they grew up and matured together without discovering and forming their own individual identities. I believe this is what “rushing into things” means. In this case it leads to a gap year in their marriage. A year away from each other, their jobs, their home and everything they’ve known so far.

It’s a year to discover who they are separate from each other before coming back together to continue life as they’d previously known it.

Of course, what’s the point of a story if there’s no drama, right? Well, with love interests, discoveries of new talents, family hiding secrets etc this book is filled with slow burn drama that boils over into an amazing ending. There’s one detail I don’t like about how Aiden behaves. But if I tell you what it is it’ll ruin the book for you.

I also loved the ending and the discussions had around marriage, what it means and why people get married. At the time I read this I was chatting to a friend about that very topic and in so many ways Lucy captured the very essence of what we were saying.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Light of the Spirit by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Giveaway – Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Baldwood Tote bag (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Magic Under the Mistletoe – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, after the sad story that surrounded the Christmas period we had last week, we’re moving on to a much (mostly) lighter hearted Christmas story.

Although the characters were briefly in my homeland, Australia, leading into Christmas we didn’t get to see any of the country. We join Leesa and Cary on their flight back to England. Given how Leesa was describing Cary at this point I was pretty sure it was going to be an enemy’s to lover’s trope, and I was right. But it didn’t happen in the normal way this trope plays out.

For those of you who aren’t regular book blogger readers or otherwise haven’t come across the term “trope” before, that basically just means a classic story style, and there are lots of different ones!

I loved how practical these two are, in a way the way their relationship developed is quite like how my relationship with my partner started out. I loved how they didn’t need to be constantly talking to each other or being with each other for their relationship to develop. In the snippets of time we read about over a 12-month period it does feel like the key defining moments in their relationship.

We’re not weighed down by the everyday interactions. Instead, we can focus on those subtle shifts and changes that happen at significant times. Like when something happens in someone’s life. Seeing this from Leesa’s point of view only helped me feel more in the moment. I do like seeing how the other person is feeling, but I don’t get quite as emotionally invested when they’re written that way.

The only real downside to this story was that the dialogue felt a little bit stilted. Like when you over think the exact wording you want to say. Or when you’re trying to keep your thoughts so PC it reverts to like an 1800’s style of speech. It just didn’t feel as natural as it could have to me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing It’s not PMS, it’s You by Rich Amooi. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Giveaway – Win a signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas pamper pack (UK only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK
entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The
winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7
days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative
winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as
part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be
shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This
will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the
prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the
data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Summer on the Italian Lakes – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, today’s review is along similar lines to last week’s book in that they are both modern day romances. I chose to participate in this tour because it sounded like it might be a bit of a romance, but at the same time not really since our main character, Brie, needed to get over writer’s block.

Writing Style

I found this story to be really digestible and easy to read. And given how stressful my work life was while I read this book, I needed it. I found I was easily able to jump in and out of this story without being so hooked on “OMG what is going to happen next?!” while being just hookish enough to make sure I had something to look forward to.

I did need to make an effort to read more by the end of the book. But I assure you this had nothing to do with the writing style and everything to do with me trying to finalise some touches on my site since my developers had just finished.

I really looked forward to the times I could read so I could enjoy some light-hearted romance that had a few tense moments. These moments reminded me that it doesn’t matter how good or bad your life is to the public eye. You’re the only one who can really know how you’re feeling and it’s up to you to let people in to help you through those tough times.


Initial Thoughts

To start off with I couldn’t understand what had happened. Had Brie just been dumped? Had something happened to turn her into an emotional wreck?

Then when she turned her life around from her binge eating spree, I started to think she’d meet someone, and they’d go to Italy so she can get her groove back.

So, when she practically got forced out of the country by her agent to help someone who clearly doesn’t like her I started to wonder what could possibly come out of this story. But I persevered since Rachel hasn’t steered me wrong before with these types of stories.


Final Thoughts

By the end of the book I will admit I was a bit distracted and was reading in bursts of like 5-10 minutes in between work taking over my brain. But right near the end (I had like 5 percent left to read) I chose to stay late at work so I could keep reading while I ate breakfast to read.

I’m not sure the ending is very believable. But I guess that’s why it’s a romance book isn’t it? We don’t exactly read these to read about something that actually happens in real life.

We read these types of books for the flair, the drama and the ridiculously crazy ways people fall in love and make it work.

So, in that way I found it really enjoyable and reckon most people would enjoy this even if you’re not too big into romance since it’s not over the top.


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

          

Check out the other reviews on this Blog Tour

Giveaway – Win a chocolate dipping set (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK
only entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box
below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is
received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to
select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any
personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose
only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the
winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only
for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will
delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of
the prize.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter above for your chance to win this chocolate dipping set

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