Winter at the Dog & Duck – Dog & Duck #1 by Jill Steeples

When Ellie Browne was made redundant from her high-flying consultancy job in London she decided to take some time for herself and moved back home to Little Leyton.  Taking on a part-time job in the local pub, ‘The Dog and Duck’ and starting a dog-walking service, Ellie finds there is more to life than working all hours.

When the arrival of a strange and handsome man arrives at the Dog and Duck, Ellie finds that she is fighting for more than her heart when the heart of the community could be at stake.



Beautiful story that takes the reader into the heart of an English countryside.  Ellie is forced to return home when she loses her job and leaves London.  Finding the beauty of the great outdoors she begins dog-walking and finds herself face-to-face with Max Golding, the new, handsome, Lord of the Manor.

Max is a charming man but behind the charm he is keeping secrets.

The attraction between Max and Ellie is undeniable but I think I would be exactly like Ellie is my mistrust after he kept so many secrets.  She is looking for someone reliable but turns away the one man who is.

Interesting story with a HEA – although it does continue in a follow-up book called Summer at the Dog and Duck, where maybe all is not as happy as we left it.  I will be reading this, probably in the summer.

The Christmas Mail Order Bride – Holiday Mail Order Brides #1 by Kit Morgan

Summer James had spent her entire life in a orphanage now it was time to leave.  With her options being as they are she enlisted the help of a mail order bride service. Arriving at the small town of Nowhere, the last thing she expects is to be shot by her own fiancé.

Sheriff Clayton Riley finds out on the day she arrives in town that his brother has brought him a wife for Christmas. Clayton has been married before and does not want or need another wife, but when he sees his new bride he just might change his mind, that’s if she doesn’t change hers after he shoots her.

Can Summer earn the Sheriff’s trust and friendship enough to make their relationship last and in turn can Clayton prove to Summer that he is not the loveless man he seems to be? Or will outside influence end the marriage before it has even happened?



With the orphanage as the only home she has known and being rejected her entire life, Summer James finds it hard to trust in anyone but she has also lead a secluded and sheltered life.  Venturing out into the big wide world is a scary prospect but moving to an entirely different state to marry a man she has never met goes far beyond scary.  The relationship between Summer and Clayton is strained from the start.  Clayton is still living in the past and trying to atone for the death of his first wife.  Everyone, well almost everyone, in town is encouraging Clayton to give Summer a chance and when he finally does realise his feelings it could be too late.

There is a build up to a threat against Summer at the beginning of the book which I really think could have been used more in the story. I appreciate that it is the reason that Summer doesn’t return to New Orleans but I kept expecting something to happen and it wasn’t what I expected.  I suppose this could be viewed in two ways: disappointing that there was a build up with nothing happening, but interesting that what you thought might happen doesn’t but something else does instead.  Kept the story a little less predictable.

On the whole a nice story of growing love and Christmas miracles.

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea #2 by Jane Linfoot

Seraphina East loves her little corner of the world.  The Little Wedding Shop where she creates her beautiful designs is about to be hit by a snow storm…in the form of Sera’s sister, Alice.

Alice has dreamed and planned her perfect wedding for the last three years, every detail is accounted for, right down to the snow. Even though she hasn’t asked her sister to design her dress she has still enlisted her help in ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

With not one but two best men, who don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, can Sera protect herself as well as the wedding or will everything end up frozen?



Seraphina is not so much the shy type as the ‘can’t be bothered with people’ type.  She is happy in the little Cornish town where she has made her home and has a select few friends.  Yes, she had big plans when she was younger but, like for most of us, those plans got changed along the way. Now she is a successful wedding dress designer and content with her life. That is until her sisters wedding.  For years she has not had interest in any man, then two turn up on her doorstep – one new and one a blast from the past.

The twists and turns, will she won’t she, and who do you trust, that poor Sera has to cope with, along  with trying desperately to keep her sister’s wedding on schedule makes this book a very entertaining read.

The male characters are great:

Quinn, Best Man #1, is so much like Sera that they seem like the perfect pair.  Unfortunately Quinn is very much the player but Sera gives him the benefit of the doubt if he can help her with the wedding. Sparks fly of the romantic kind but Sera is a little more cautious these days.

Enter Johnny, Best Man #2 and a former friend of Sera’s who she thought might be the man of her dreams.  Seems those dreams where not to be but they all come flooding back when Johnny turns up to help.

Sera has her hands full keeping these two in line and away from each others throats, not to mention away from her!

A funny, heart-warming and enjoyable Christmas read to get you in the festive spirit.

A Yorkshire Christmas – Christmas Around the World #2 by Kate Hewitt

All Claire Lindell wanted was to escape the ‘perfect’ New York family Christmas her mother had planned and have a quiet few days in the country. When she accepted her God Mother’s offer of her cottage in the English countryside she doesn’t expect to be pushing a sheep out of a river, having her car stuck in a snow drift, or having her heart tugged by the local farmer.



This is a short but lovely written story of love found at Christmas.  Both Claire and Noah are reluctant to engage in a relationship not least because of the obvious difference in living arrangements.  Noah has been caught out by a flighty rich girl before and wants nothing to do with another well-bred woman.  Claire was escaping a  romance that wasn’t quite what she thought it was and had no intention of getting mixed up with anyone, least of all a grouchy farmer from a small village in Yorkshire.

A feel-good romance with a touch of Christmas spirit.


A Christmas Code – Code Breakers #2 by Jacki Delecki

Growing up, Lady Gwyneth Beaumont used to follow her older brother and his best friend, Viscount James Ashworth, around, much to their annoyance.  Now she is the one being followed. As one of the most beautiful debutantes of the season, Lady Gwyneth is in high demand but her eyes and heart are still set on Ash.

Arriving back from a three year assignment in France, Viscount Ashworth, known as Ash, hasn’t seen Gwyneth in all that time. Now coming home and finding her a woman he is grave danger of losing his heart.

With a mission at hand to prevent the assassination of the Prince Regent, Ash is reluctant to accept Gwyneth’s help but she proves to be more than just a beautiful distraction.  Can Ash keep Gwyneth safe and save the Prince or will it be Gwyneth who does the saving?



Great twist on a historical romance.  I will admit that I have not read the first book in this series but that was not essential to enjoy the second.  Gwyneth’s brother is the head of His Majesty’s spy service and Ash is his number 2.  The story is enjoyable and based around the  Christmas ball where deadly plots are being planned.  There are a few red-herrings to keep you guessing and some unexpected turns along the way.

Gwyneth and Ash are a great couple and even Gywneth’s brother is accepting of their union.  Gwyneth has loved Ash since she was a little girl, perfecting her spying techniques by following him around the grounds, but this year she has decided that he needs to notice her for the woman she is not the child she was…and boy,  does he notice!

Heat, passion and intrigue all mix together to make this an exciting Christmas romance.

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn

Christmas has never been a happy time for Lucie Quigley and so for the last few years she has had nothing to do with the season of joy.  When an invitation to be a bridesmaid at her friends wedding in America lands on her door she snaps it up.  The only thing she is missing is a date.

As Lucie’s best friend, Dale Treharne has kept their relationship completely platonic (well except for that one time) so when she asks him to accompany her to New York he can’t say no.  The only problem is telling his mum he won’t be home for Christmas.  When wires get crossed and fake relationships are made can Lucie and Dale keep being friends or will attraction ruin everything?



Very entertaining story with a Christmas twist.   A bit on the ‘When Harry met Sally’ side but different enough to make it it’s own.

Lucie and Dale are great characters and I was cheering for them from the start.  The big question is why on Earth they hadn’t got together sooner.  Dale is such a calm, gentle guy and keeps Lucie from doing anything stupid, although that doesn’t always stop her but he is there for support when she needs it.

Lucie has had a rough time of it over the years and there are secrets that she is too embarrassed to share, even with Dale, but as with most of us her past has defined who she is now.

A fun, enjoyable Christmas romance with some lovely characters (and some not so nice ones)


The Naughty List: A Christmas Romance by Hazel Kelly

Holly Flynn has one Christmas wish, to be an actress. Her current role isn’t exactly what she aspires to – Cheerful Elf at Burke’s Department Store, but rent has to be paid and who knows what Santa might bring.

On one cold but festive day, Holly meets the handsome Anthony who definitely belongs on the naughty list.  Has Santa visited Holly early? And will she end up with more than coal in her Christmas Stocking?



Love Anthony. He is naughty, sexy and funny. Although this story is fairly predictable in who Anthony really is, it is still enjoyable and is more a case of waiting for Holly to catch on.

Holly is a great character.  She works for what she wants.  She has no secret past. She has a normal family who do normal things at Christmas.

If you are looking for a bit of romance, a bit of naughty sex and a happy ever after with a Christmas twist then this a book you will enjoy.