Dating her brother’s best friend is against the rules.
But some rules are meant to be broken…
After discovering her cheating ex’s plans to move into her building, accountant Lily jets off on a sabbatical to Marbella.
When she unexpectedly bumps into her brother’s best friend, hot Spanish DJ Carlos—the guy she’s had a crush on since forever—sparks fly.
But Carlos promised Lily’s brother he’d never mess with his little sister. Breaking the bro code would end their friendship.
Lily knows that Casanova Carlos doesn’t do relationships, so all he could offer is a steamy holiday fling. And after wanting him for so long, if they spent the night together, Lily’s heart and body might never recover.
She tries to suppress her feelings, but when Carlos takes Lily to his favourite places in Spain, the attraction becomes harder to resist. With her brother hundreds of miles away, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt, right?
Should Lily throw caution to the wind and risk heartbreak by enjoying a sizzling Spanish romance? And if she does, will it lead to long-term love?
Order this fun, steamy, brother’s-best-friend, forbidden love romcom now and join Lily in Spain to find out!
Read as a standalone novel or as part of the My Ten-Year Crush series.
Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel The Middle-Aged Virgin, which was released in 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.
In addition to The Middle-Aged Virgin, Olivia has published The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy, Love Offline, Losing My Inhibitions, Only When It’s Love and the sequel When’s The Wedding?
My Ten-Year Crush, Olivia’s seventh novel, marked the start of a new series in 2021. My Lucky Night and My Paris Romance followed soon afterwards and book four, My Spanish Romance will be published in January 2023.
When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found enjoying cupcakes and cocktails and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!
Ollie Spencer has started a new life in the idyllic Cornish seaside town of Port Karadow. Throwing herself into her job at the town’s bookshop, A New Chapter, is one way to make friends. The shop is glitzing up for its grand opening and Ollie hopes her inspired ideas will give the shop the edge it needs to dazzle the town.
But far from being the Christmas fairy the place needs, Ollie is fast becoming its Christmas pudding. With the bookshop’s future at stake, Ollie turns to twinkly-eyed café owner Max for help. Can he help Ollie to turn the page, and put the sparkle back into her Cornish dream?
At the start of the book we are introduced to Ollie. After an unfortunate accident that changed Ollie’s life she decides to move to Port Karadow and take up the role of bookseller in a bookshop called A New Chapter. Ollie’s plan is to make the bookshop the best bookshop that Port Karadow has ever seen by not only selling books but also organising a book club and author events. Max, the owner of the local café Sea Brew offers to help Ollie. In addition to her bookshop duties Ollie finds herself trying to solve the mystery behind a series of Cornish mystery books that are based in Cornwall by an author called Bryan Mailer who no one seems to have heard of. Will Ollie make A New Chapter a success and will she find Bryan Mailer.
I’ve said this in lots of my previous reviews but the Cornish Cream Tea series is probably one of my favourite series and a comfort series for me. I always look forward to the cover reveal and to find out what the story is going to be about. I love this series because it’s always a cosy and memorable read because I love Cornwall and I have a lot of happy memories of going to Cornwall as a child. To me Cornwall will always be a magical place. When I pick up any book in this series because of the descriptive way the scenery is written I am whisked away to Cornwall and don’t want to leave.
I adored the storyline and wouldn’t change anything about it. In The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday the reader was introduced to Thea who dreamed of opening her own bookshop. In this book Thea’s dream has come true and now Ollie is working in the bookshop. So this book is in some way a continuation and end to Thea’s story and the start of Ollie’s story. Ollie is ambitious, sparkly and full of energy. She is so enthusiastic about her role and books. She loves all things bookish so much so that she even named her dog Henry Tilney after the hero in Northanger Abbey. At times it felt like she was using this as a way to mask the pain that she regularly feels in her shoulder, a lasting reminder of the accident. Due to the accident Ollie was no longer considered an asset at her previous job because she had to slow down and now she feels like she has to work twice as hard to show Thea that she can still do an amazing job despite having a disability. Max was a lovely and sweet character. I loved the interactions between Ollie and Max and how Ollie would look forward to going to the café so she could see Max. Max also seemed to like Ollie even knowing her normal order off by heart but he never has the opportunity to spend time with her until the book club was set up.
I think that the disability/chronic illness representation was a brilliant touch to the story and added more depth to the characters of Ollie and Max. From the outside both Ollie and Max look like healthy young people but on the inside the story is very different. Both were in previous relationships but those relationships ended because their partners couldn’t deal with their medical issues and refused to make any kind of adjustments. I could definitely relate to Ollie and Max as characters because I also suffer from chronic illnesses. The author has brilliantly shown how people have to sometimes adapt to a change in their health.
I have read a lot of the author’s books and I’ve never come across a character that I wasn’t keen on until I was introduced to Becca. Becca appears to take a dislike to Ollie from the beginning and their interactions are not particularly pleasant. Although they don’t get on on a personal level there’s also a strain in their professional relationship because they both work at the bookshop. It’s not clear why Becca doesn’t like Ollie but maybe it’s because she is a stranger to the town, she has all of these new ideas for the bookshop and her general enthusiasm. But all that Ollie is trying to do is find a new home in Port Karadow, prove that she has the skills to make the bookshop a success and essentially put it on the map. It was nice to see at the end that Ollie and Becca do find common ground and do end up getting along.
A cosy read about books, change and starting over!
Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David. When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline. http://www.cressidamclaughlin.com @cressmclaughlin
When Lili meets Ben by chance one hot summer’s day, it feels like fate. But life is about to take them in different directions, and so they agree to meet next July, in the beautiful hidden garden where they first laid eyes on each other. But one of them never shows up…
Five years later, Ben still wonders how he got things so wrong – he let the love of his life slip between his fingers. And then a stranger, Alice, arrives in his tiny Scottish hometown. Alice has no memory of how she got there: she can’t remember anything before that morning. The only clue to her past is the silver bee necklace she wears – the very same one Ben bought for Lili that magical summer’s day…
When Lili and Ben first meet it was clearly fate. They met in a picturesque garden where Ben a photographer is taking pictures and Lili walks into one of his shots. Then Lili is stung by a bee/wasp and Ben comes to her rescue. Ben and Lili connect and spend a few days together. Ben buys Lili a necklace with a bee pendant as a reminder of their meeting but then Ben has to leave the country for a photography assignment. They decide to meet again in that same garden a year later but that meeting never happens. Fast forward five years and Ben is now living in a little Scottish town until a stranger arrives. The stranger looks like Lili and is wearing the bee necklace but she doesn’t remember who she is. Is this stranger really Lili? What happened to her? How did she lose her memory?
I have been looking forward to reading this book since I first saw it advertised and I adored it. The storyline was heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time. This isn’t just a normal love story, it is also Lili’s story of trying to get her memory back, finding out who she was and who she is now. I loved the first few chapters when Ben and Lili met because they have this instant connection. They are the perfect example of soulmates and I would say love at first sight because that’s how I felt it was depicted. To then find out that they don’t meet as planned was sad. The biggest mystery surrounded Lili, how she ends up in this little Scottish town with no memory. Ben is the first person to recognise her and tries to help her the best he can without telling her he knows her name. The story is told from two timelines: the past and the present. In the past we see what happened to Lili after her meeting with Ben didn’t take place and in the present Lili is trying to piece together her life with Ben by her side despite not knowing who he is. As the reader learns Lili has been through a tough time and as the story unfolds we learn the life changing impact this has had on her. The author has done a fantastic job in writing a storyline that deals with sensitive issues such as domestic violence and coercive and controlling behaviour. In particular the way the coercive and controlling behaviour is presented is very subtle but very realistic. I also think that the way this is portrayed may make readers who are in a similar situation to Lili recognise the early warning signs and seek help. I was a little worried about how the book would end but it was definitely the ending I was hoping for. I finished this book with both a smile on my face and a few tears. By the end of the book I felt like I had been on Lili and Ben’s journey with them.
An emotional and heart breaking read that will have you rooting for the characters from the first page.
Fiona Lucas is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. She has written heart-warming love stories and feel-good women’s fiction as Fiona Harper for more than a decade. Fiona lives in London with her husband and two daughters.
Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, love drama, and a happily ever after.
Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Phillipa Ashley, and Holly Martin.
The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories, best when read in order, that intertwine with recurring characters.
Pepper River Inn: There has been a longstanding family feud in Pepper Bay between the Renshaws and the Trents, and it’s about to get even more messy.
Rosie and Belle Trent have just inherited their uncle’s rundown hotel and have decided to see if they can rebuild the unloved business. They don’t rate their chances of having a successful inn, not with the perfect one right next door owned by Elliot and Ned Renshaw.
The two sisters and two brothers aren’t meant to be friends, so when Elliot saves Rosie from drowning and they fall in love, it’s down to Belle and Ned to keep the family feud alive. All they have to do is continue to hate each other. How hard can it be?
Bestselling author of the Pepper Bay series, mum to one grown-up daughter, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. I published my first romance book in 2020, and I have loved writing about soulmates ever since. When I’m not writing, I’m mostly reading, usually romance stories, but I do like the occasional thriller.
Becca and Charlie have known each other since university. Becca and Charlies have also hated each other since university.
Until now. Until Ally’s bucket list. The death of their loved one should mean they can go their separate ways and not look back. But completing the list is something neither of them can walk away from.
And sometimes, those who bring out the worst in you, also bring out the very best…
Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie’s paths collide as they deal with grief, love and life after Ally.
The book begins with Becca and Charlie saying goodbye to Ally. Ally was Becca’s best friend and Charlie’s girlfriend. She was the only thing that connected Becca and Charlie who to say they don’t get along would be an understatement. However Ally left behind a bucket list and her wish was for Becca and Charlie to complete each task together. Over the next 10 years we follow Becca and Charlie as they complete each of Ally’s tasks whilst dealing with their grief of losing Ally and finding their own paths in life without her.
This book first appeared on my radar when I saw the cover reveal. I loved the cover from the moment I saw it and having read the book I can confirm that the story contained within the book is as beautiful as the cover. This book is pitched as enemies to lovers which is one of my favourite tropes but the book didn’t start the way most books featuring this trope begin. However this made me more intrigued. I can honestly say I absolutely adored everything about this book form the storyline to the characters.
I loved the concept of the story where Becca and Charlie have to complete certain tasks together and that these tasks are stretched over a period of years so we meet Becca and Charlie on a yearly basis. I thought this was a brilliant idea because it really shows how the characters have developed and the Becca and Charlie we meet at the start of the book are very different to the Becca and Charlie we meet at the end of the book. The characters go through so much in their personal and professional lives. They’ve loved, they’ve lost, they’ve grown and it forms them into the people they were meant to be. I have to say I was Team Becca at the beginning but that did change part way through the book so I am now both Team Becca and Team Charlie. I liked Becca from the beginning because I thought she was funny and in some ways she reminded me of myself especially when she speaks with no filter and just says how she feels even if that means that the person on the other end doesn’t like what they are hearing. Becca comes from quite a difficult and fractured family and the only constant in her life was Ally who she loved as a best friend and as a sister. It’s clear to see how close they were. Then there’s Charlie who I really wasn’t sure about to begin with because he just seems to go with the flow or he seems to do things that people want him to do or expect him to do. Charlie came across as very indecisive to begin with but then I think he quickly learns that going with what other people want isn’t necessarily what he wants. Together Becca and Charlie are like water and oil, they are a nightmare when they are together but as they say opposites attract. As the story progresses they seem to recognise that their opposites make them closer and connect better. Ally is a character we don’t actually meet although we do get an insight into who she was in the form of her e-mails, letters and when the characters talk about her. One thing is clear that Ally played a big part in Becca and Charlie’s life and left a big hole that can never be filled.
This was a very emotional read for me. By the end of the first chapter I was in tears and a few chapters later I was laughing. This book was one big emotional rollercoaster and by the end of the book I felt very attached to Ally, Becca and Charlie. The author definitely has a knack for writing a book that really pulls at your heart strings. Every time I now see a packet of gummy bears I think of Becca and Charlie and that will never change.
A heart warming story that will make you laugh, make you cry and that you won’t want to end.
Before she moved to writing full-time, Pernille (pronounced Pernilla) Hughes studied Film & Literature at university. After graduating she went into advertising and later on to market Natural History films before working in Children’s television, which meant living in actual Teletubbyland for a while! From 2011–2015, she was a regular contributor for the Sunday Times column ‘Confessions of a Tourist’.
Pernille lives in Buckinghamshire and while the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.
Everyone has secrets but some are bigger than others.
Wendy Walker can count on two fingers the number of birthdays until she’s fifty. She can also count on six hands the number of years she’s been married to controlling Derek. Whatever happened to the boy she used to lark around with in the back of a Ford Escort? Just like Derek’s hairline, that lad has gone.
Wendy yearns for freedom but is resigned to her lot. After all, there are others to think about. Like daughter Ruby who – as a teenage single mum still at home – needs supporting, especially since abandoning her hopes of being on Love Island and achieving fame as a reality star.
But secrets dare to spill at the most inopportune moments.
Ruby is nurturing a mystery romance that she dreads her mother discovering, while Derek finds himself under the spotlight in the most disastrous of circumstances.
But just when Wendy thinks her world is falling apart, she discovers that sometimes unexpected joy is just around life’s corner…
Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Tweet @DebbieViggiano or follow her on Facebook!
Some days it was hell being leader of the free world.
The Washington press calls him the “accidental president.” As a Medal of Honor recipient and national hero, Adam Dybik agreed to run for president during the country’s deepest crisis.
Now that things have stabilized, he’s got problems at home: his 14-year-old daughter Katie keeps ditching her Secret Service protection and reminding him he’s the world’s worst father. And on top of that, he’s begun hearing the voices of dead presidents. Either he’s going mad, or the White House is haunted.
As the new head of Katie’s Secret Service detail, Ellie Brody is trying to live up to the high expectations of her father, former agent Frank Brody. But her new job puts her in direct danger of succumbing to the president’s charm.
Can these two find love in the White House, under the most intense media scrutiny—and the watchful eye of Lyndon Johnson?
The current President of the United States Adam Dybik has his hands full both in politics and at home. As well as trying to oversee a country he also has to deal with international issues, he’s hearing the voices of dead former Presidents who are trying to give him advice and he is single handedly trying to raise his 14 year old daughter Katie who keeps escaping from her Secret Service protection. Katie isn’t enjoying her role as First Daughter and would happily go back to their old life in Chicago, add in the fact she’s a teenager and she is really testing her father. Having given the slip to her protection team Agent Ellie Brody is brought in to protect and look after Katie. Will Adam be able to rebuild his relationship with Katie? And as Adam and Ellie start to spend more time together will sparks fly between them?
This was a really easy read for me which I really liked especially after a long day at work. The chapters were also fairly short which was a bonus. I really enjoyed the storyline. There was a fine balance between politics and relationships and although political issues were discussed it didn’t make the story feel too heavy or move the focus away from the characters. For me although the storyline was fictional it still gave me an insight into Adam’s world where being POTUS is a massively important role. Since being inaugurated he has so many things that he’s trying to deal with like trying to balance a full time job but also raising Katie and being a present parental figure in her life especially as his wife and Katie’s mother left when Katie was only three years old. It’s clear from the beginning that the relationship between Adam and Katie isn’t exactly the best. Although they get along there is distance between them and they aren’t as close as Adam would like them to be. Rather he is just on the periphery of her life. Despite this he still tries to make time for Katie but there never seems to be an allocated time and then an emergency takes place that he has to deal with and that time disappears. Its Ellie’s influence that really brings home to Adam how much distance there is between him and his daughter and that he needs to spend more time with her. Ellie is the catalyst for strengthening that father/daughter relationship. I really liked the character of Ellie. She is strong, very switched on and much more than a bodyguard to Katie. She recognises that Katie is a teenager and therefore doesn’t treat her like a child which I think Katie respects her for and sets her apart from Katie’s previous protectors. Ellie is very vocal and although she knows that Adam is her boss she doesn’t sugar-coat the fact that he needs to spend more time with Katie which in turn makes him a better father. There was definitely a connection from the start between Katie and Adam which I thought was really sweet. They connect on a deeper level and challenge each other but there’s also this mutual respect despite where their roles fall within the hierarchy of the White House.
A slow burn political romance.
Kathryn Barrett has always loved larger-than-life characters and happy-ever-after endings. After working on several political campaigns, including a US presidential campaign, she moved to England and began writing the stories that intrigued her. Her first novel, TEMPTATION, was the winner of the Golden Quill Best First Book contest, the Holt Medallion for Best Mainstream/Single Title, and the Holt Award of Merit for Best First Book. Find out more at http://www.kathrynbarrett.com.
Only Dylan can see the tiger. Is it real? His muse? Or something else entirely?
Dylan wants to launch a solo music career and move out of the flat he shares with his old school friends, but he feels trapped by his life in Wildley Forest Village. When a mysterious artist catches his eye and a white tiger starts appearing only to him, Dylan finally feels things changing. But is this apparition all in his imagination, or is something more magical happening?
Tabitha moved to Wildley Forest to paint the tigers at the zoo. A reclusive young artist with a big reputation, she protects her privacy fiercely. Nobody knows her biggest secret: When she paints, she astral projects and her awareness walks as a white tiger. People don’t usually see her tiger form, but then she encounters Dylan and her defences begin to crumble.
Dylan’s friends aren’t keen on the new girl and the tiger keeper at the zoo wants Tabitha’s attention for himself. But as the tiger walks, change becomes inevitable for everyone. Can Dylan and Tabitha find their way to love? And will the truth unite them or will it tear them apart?
Dylan lives in Wildy Forest Village and is trying to achieve a career in music but at present he is still playing in a band with his old school friends and hasn’t taken the first step to becoming a solo artist. Tabitha has recently moved to the village so that she can paint the tigers at the local zoo. Tabitha paints under a pseudonym and hides her real identity. But Tabitha isn’t a normal artist because when she paints the tigers she astral projects and takes the form of a white tiger which people can’t normally see. Apart from Dylan who starts to see a white tiger but he is unsure whether it is real or why he is the only one that can see it. How will Dylan react when he learns that the white tiger is Tabitha?
This was a cute and easy read. The chapters were short so I found myself flying through the book. If you look at the front cover of the book, you would think that this is a shifter novel, but actually it’s so much more than that. It was quite nice to read a story that was a paranormal fantasy romance that was a little bit different to ones I’ve read previously. I found the storyline to be very unique and that uniqueness came from the fact that Tabatha had this extraordinary power. Not only does she have premonitions but she can also astral project but the form she takes is different from her normal form. Tabitha dreams of opening her own tiger sanctuary and is very connected to tigers to the point that they feature in her art. At the same time she has a deeper connection with tigers because when she astral projects she takes their form.
I really liked the character development in the story. When we meet Dylan he’s part of a band but he’s lost his identity within that band. He wants to be more than just a drummer because he can also sing and write his own songs but there is no opportunity to move around and try something new. He’s never moved outside of his comfort zone to pursue what he really wants which is to be a solo artist. Tabitha hides her gift in her art as a way of expressing herself. When she initially tells Dylan about her gift he does panic. Initially when Dylan sees the white tiger he doesn’t realise that it is Tabitha. Tabitha is a very private person but she recognises something in Dylan and opens up to him which brings them closer. For Dylan the white tiger symbolises change and prompting him to take the steps needed to expand his musical career. It’s Tabitha in her white tiger form that prompts Dylan to make that change but as Tabitha states it was Dylan that made the change himself she just showed him that things could be different and to have more faith in himself. There is another character in the book who actually works with the tigers called Max and from the outset I got really bad vibes from Max. He’s very interested in Tabitha, he doesn’t like Dylan but there’s just something about him that was very creepy and he didn’t treat the tigers he was meant to be looking after very well. Although this is a paranormal fantasy romance it also had a very important message that as human beings we should do whatever we can to try and protect tigers because if we don’t they will become extinct.
A book I would recommend to all paranormal fantasy readers.
Martha is a dreamer and lover of stories who likes nothing better than spending her days getting to know the characters in her head.
She is a tarot card reader and reiki master, and loves to chat reading, writing and all things mystical on social media, as well as posting pictures of her fellow pack-member, Bertie the Cavalier.
Martha is a fiddle player who fell in love with traditional music, particularly Irish, and is also teaching herself to play the Irish Bouzouki. She played her way through her English degree at York and remembers that time as much for the music as the books.
You can keep up with Martha’s news, book releases and extra content and sign up to her mailing list to receive a free Starfolk Prequel short story at marthadunlop.com.
Independent and free-spirted Annika has no plans to settle down anytime soon… if only her parents felt the same way. But when her father unexpectedly falls ill, she’ll do anything to make things better. Even if it means suddenly blurting out she has a boyfriend.
The only issue is, he doesn’t exist.
Then, by chance, she bumps into handsome entrepreneur Rav, and she can’t believe her luck. He’s single, sworn off relationships and looking for a date to attend work events with. He’s the perfect solution to her troubles. Or is he?
Because there’s just one slight catch – he also happens to be her childhood nemesis.
It was only ever supposed to be a simple, temporary arrangement. Nothing more. Certainly love was never part of the terms and conditions. But Annika’s about to discover that some deals are made to be broken…
A. I love the fake dating trope so, unusually for me, the inspiration for The Love Arrangement developed from that trope. I loved thinking about the kinds of characters who would enter into a fake arrangement and their reasons. Once I had an idea of the characters, the rest of the story came naturally.
Q. What part of the book was the most fun to write?
A. I loved writing the scenes set in Dubai, not only the wedding events but also the quiet times when Annika and Rav were alone and exploring how their relationship was changing.
Q. Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
A. That’s a great question. I probably relate to Rav’s need for plans but I also relate to Annika’s determination to live life on her own terms.
Q. If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
A. I don’t usually think of my characters in a movie, but if I had to choose I would probably pick Manish Dayal for Rav and Charithra Chandran for Annika.
Q. What characters in your book are most similar to you or to people you know?
A. Shakti, Annika’s younger sister, is probably most similar to me on a factual level. But I don’t consciously write characters that are similar to people I know.
Q. Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
A. I loved reading Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. Neither Anne Shirley nor Jo March had instant success with their stories but there was something romantic about reading about their writer lives. I was already scribbling short stories and poetry before I read those books but they made me believe a career in writing was possible.
Q. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
A. After the initial spark of an idea it’s always the characters which come to me. I need to have a good handle on their conflict, their backstory and how they think before I can develop the main beats of the plot. If I try coming up with a plot first then I can find my characters aren’t acting authentically in the situation.
Q. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
A. I’ve written 4 books so far and I’m currently working on books 5 and 6. It’s really hard to pick a favourite but I had a lot of fun writing my next book for Mills & Boon, Cinderella’s Forbidden Prince, which is published in January 2023
Q. What’s your favourite writing snack or drink?
A. Peanut M&Ms and coffee
Q. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
A. I’m lucky that when I get interested in my story, I can remain focused regardless of what’s going on around me so I can write anywhere. When I’m not in the mood to write then I can get distracted easily so, if I don’t have a deadline, I don’t force myself to write. If I do have a deadline then I use a combination of writing sprints, mini-rewards, and my distraction-free Freewrite Traveler to stay focused and get the words out.
Ruby lives in the beautiful Chilterns with her husband, two children, and the cutest dog in the world. She worked for many years as a lawyer and policy lead in the Civil Service.
As the second of four children, Ruby connected strongly with Little Women’s Jo March and was scribbling down stories from a young age. A huge fan of romantic movies, Star Wars, and Marvel, she loves creating new characters and worlds while waiting for her superpowers to develop.
Returning to her home town of Wishing Tree is definitely temporary for Camryn. She can’t wait to leave and get back to her ‘real life’. Until she meets Jake. Suddenly Camryn starts to see the town, and it’s Christmas traditions, differently. She thought she’d put her future on hold…but maybe her real life was here all along, waiting for her to come home.
New in town, River is charmed by Wishing Tree’s Christmas traditions and warm-hearted people, especially Dylan Tucker whose snow melting kisses bring her to the brink of love. But Dylan has a secret and River can’t risk falling for him until she uncovers it, even if that means losing him forever.
Both women find themselves faced with difficult decisions. But if they are prepared to risk their hearts, they might find they are about to have a Christmas to remember…
Welcome to the town of Wishing Tree. Camryn returned to her home town after her mother became ill and since her mother passed she’s been running the family business Wrap Around the Clock which provides custom wrapping paper and wrapping services and also playing surrogate mother to her teenage twin sisters. When she is called to a meeting with Helen the owner of the Crane hotel empire she thinks she is there to discuss wrapping paper but Helen has something else in mind. Helen is looking for a wife for her son Jake (which she has uniquely called Project: Jake’s Bride) and sees Camryn as a candidate. Camryn makes it clear that she does not want to take part in Helen’s mission and informs Jake. But Helen’s plans don’t stop at Jake because she also appears to be trying to find love for Dylan (Jake’s best friend and her unofficially adopted son) and works her magic so he is crowned the town’s Snow King. Camryn’s friend River is new in town and to help her feel at home her friends nominate her for Snow Queen and to her shock she’s selected. As Camryn and Jake start to spend more time together will love truly blossom especially as Camryn does not intend to stay in Wishing Tree long term. As the newly appointed Snow King and Snow Queen (Dylan and River) are crowned and they start to spend more time together will Dylan’s secret stop them from pursuing a romantic relationship?
There is just something about a Christmas book or a Christmas book cover that just makes me feel cheery so I am more than happy to read Christmas books anytime of the year as they lift my spirits. As soon as I finished reading this book I just wanted to read it all over again. The storyline was warm, cosy, heart-warming and I can only describe it as like being given a really big hug. I was ready to pack my bags and move to Wishing Tree because it sounded like a completely magical place. I truly adored the storyline and can’t fault it in anyway. There are two romantic storylines running in this book i.e. Camryn and Jake’s story and Dylan and River’s story. The characters are connected as Jake and Dylan are best friends and Camryn and River are also close friends. I loved the characters in this book because they were so easy to connect with. Camryn is very work focused. Her priority is her sisters, the family business and then leaving Wishing Tree once her sisters go to college. So she doesn’t want to start something with Jake that she knows will only be temporary. Jake has had no luck in past relationships and although he wants to find the one he is worried that he will mess things up like his dad. I really liked the dynamic between Jake and Camryn because they just really clicked from the beginning. I loved how Camryn was very honest with Jake about Helen’s project and it’s through this that they become closer and start a relationship. They both know that anything between them is only temporary, but feelings creep in and they both start wanting something more. Spending time with Jake also makes Camryn rethink what it is that she truly wants. Her plan has always been to leave Wishing Tree and go back to her old life but when she reassesses her life after she meets Jake she starts to realise that what she now wants is closer than she thinks. Then there’s Dylan and River. Dylan isn’t averse to finding a partner but his previous relationship was destroyed because of his secret so he is guarded and concerned that it will happen again. That is until he meets River. River is probably the character that I liked the most because I recognised that we shared some of the same characteristics. She is a complete introvert and doesn’t like being lied to. She doesn’t like being in the spotlight or the centre of attention and she’s definitely one of those people who will happily fade into the background and go unnoticed. However, when she becomes Snow Queen she has to move outside of her comfort zone. Having Dylan by her side makes it easier and she is able to open up to him. I have to say Dylan and River was my favourite couple because their interactions were so sweet. One of my favourite scenes was when River bought a part of gloves for Dylan because he kept losing his. As for Jake and Dylan they have been added to the book boyfriend list.
A comforting Christmas read!
SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.
Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the ragdoll cat and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.