Book: 432 pages (Paperback and eBook)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2019)
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?
Ever since I read Heidi Swain’s first book The Cherry Tree Cafe I have been in love with Wynbridge. I have loved every single book that has revisited the community built there and I feel like I am returning to catch up with old friends so I was delighted that this wonderful Christmassy book was set back in the heart of Wynbridge.
The story follows Hattie as she is made redundant and goes to spend a few weeks with an old friend (Dolly) before moving to the Middle East with her dreamy boyfriend, Jonathan. Of course, the course of true love never runs smoothly and Hattie meets the hunky powerhouse that is Beamish as soon as she arrives in the town and she starts to question some of her life choices.
We get treated to a couple of visits to my favourite Wynbridge haunts – Wynbridge Hall, The Cherry Tree cafe, the Christmas market, the Mermaid pub – and you really get a feeling that you are part of the community (as with all of Heidi’s books). There are a couple of tense, hold-your-breath moments as well as one of two tear jerking scenes – I wont spoil it for anyone. I will say it didn’t end how I expected it to.
I was left wanting more – there is definite scope to develop the story further when we next return to Wynbridge, but mostly I was left feeling hungry and yearning for a festive iced bun and some gingerbread! Ha! A wonderful read, perfect if you are looking for something to take your mind off of lockdown/virus/quarantine for a few hours. I can’t wait for the next instalment from Wynbridge.