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Each month, I publish a “What I’ve Recently Finished Reading” post, so here’s a review of the books I’ve read during December.
As always, in no particular order (other than the order in which I read them) …
The Cornish Cream Tea Christmas by Cressida McLaughlin, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2020
This was an eagerly anticipated read for winter 2020 as I’ve loved Cressida’s other Cornish Cream Bus books. This book is still set in the lovely Cornish town of Porthgolow and some of the characters from earlier books make an appearance. However, this book can still be read as a standalone even if you’ve not read the others.
I really loved the story, it’s a gentle easy-read with lots of warmth. There’s no major surprises in the book, though there is a cute little ghost story that runs alongside the main plot which is very charming. However, even with no big surprise, the book is still lovely to read through to its conclusion. Definitely one of the must reads of this winter.
Christmas Wishes by Sue Moorcroft, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2020
A Christmas story of will they/won’t they part set in Sweden and part set in the village of Middledip where Sue has taken us before. I’ll admit it took me a few chapters to get into this book, can’t put my finger on why but that was just me. Once I got invested in the characters, especially lovely little Maria, I was hooked and wanted to find out how it played out and whether everyone got a happy ever after.
It’s a lovely read and the characters are loveable and believable, as is the premise of the story. My daughter chose this book as one of my winter reads, purely from the design of the cover, and it didn’t disappoint.
The Christmas Invitation by Trisha Ashley, Transworld Publishers, 2019
I am a big fan of Trisha’s (as you may well know if you’ve read my other review and recommendation posts), so I was looking forward to this year’s winter offering.
I was definitely not disappointed, with this being one of my favourite books by Trisha. The story was lovely, the interplay between the characters was gorgeous and I enjoyed the whole story. I was fully immersed in the world of Starstone and totally invested in the lives of the characters. I had a lovely moment part way through where Trisha references one of her other books that I had totally forgotten about until that moment. It brought back lots of lovely memories of that story also and was weaved into this story in a lovely way. Definitely one for winter reading.
One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan, HQ (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd), 2020
I chose this as one of my Christmas reads as I follow Sarah on social and also because my daughter loved the cover. Although I’d seen the book mentioned plenty on social media, I hadn’t actually read the blurb or discovered what it was about but knew it would be “my kind” of book.
Well … I absolutely adored it! I flew through it and read it what felt like the blink of an eye. I was totally absorbed in the world of the characters, loved them all, was drawn in and couldn’t wait to see the outcome of the trip to Scotland. This is an absolutely lovely book and an enjoyable read. I’d highly recommend this.
A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley, Avon (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd), 2020
I was really keen to read this one of Phillipa’s having read “A Perfect Cornish Christmas” last Christmas. I knew it was available as I follow Phillipa on social media but it took some tracking down as either the places I tried didn’t have it or had sold out.
I enjoyed this story and am glad I managed to find it. It’s a lovely easy read for Christmas, it has some twists and turns but you can guess where the story is heading. However, I didn’t find that a problem as the story for me at least, was more about the journey than the destination. I will admit I did spot the odd error here and there but I could overlook those as I enjoyed the story. It’s warm, festive and joyous.
Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior, Transworld Publishers (Penguin Random House), 2020
I will be honest and say that I bought this on whim in a supermarket as I needed another book to qualify for a two for £8 (I think) deal. I follow Hazel on social media so I felt I should give this one a go. I bought without reading the synopsis and, although I have read Hazel’s tweets etc. I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ll admit I did find the story a little implausible (which is why it’s got a four star) but if you can put that aside and just enjoy the story (which is what I did) it’s really delightful. The relationship between the characters was first class and the story was really charming. Definitely a super winter read especially if you’re a penguin lover.
What have you been reading recently? Please do let me have your recommendations in the comments below, as I’m always on the lookout for something new to read!