Thrilled to be taking part in Lily Graham’s blog blitz today, especially as it is also her publication day! ‘Christmas at Hope Cottage’ is available to buy from today! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite, as well as the ARC of Lily Graham’s novel. Here is my review:
In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall. Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.
When twenty-eight-year-old food writer Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Emma’s grandmother is determined to bake her back to health and happiness, as the Halloways have done for generations. Surrounded by old friends and warm cinnamon buns, Emma starts to believe in her family’s special talents for healing again. But then in walks Jack with his sparkling hazel eyes, stirring up the family feud between them.
As the twinkly lights are strung between the streetlamps, Emma remembers just why she fell for Jack in the first place… and why a Halloway should never date an Allen.
The infuriating new lodger, Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?
An utterly gorgeous Christmas romance about the importance of family, freshly baked biscuits, and learning to trust your heart. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Debbie Macomber.
What does TWG think?
Emma Halloway seems to be having a lot of bad luck sent her way. Not only does she get dumped (and not done face to face), she also finds herself looking far too closely at the pavement than she would have liked. No, I don’t mean that she randomly decided to look at the concrete closer – I don’t think she was THAT bored. No. She unfortunately became acquainted with the pavement thanks to a lorry. One word; ouch.
As I got to know more about Emma’s life, it didn’t take me too long to realise that her family weren’t exactly your ‘usual’ type of family. They seemed to have a completely different vibe. A majestic vibe if you will. Some may say that Emma’s family is extremely outlandish, yet some might say that they’re absolutely bonkers. Me? I’ll be honest, I still haven’t quite decided which side I fit. If any.
I have to be honest – I had to keep checking that I was in fact reading a Lily Graham novel as the style seemed substantially different to her previous novels. There were times where I thought somebody else had written the book because of the differences. I’m not saying that in a bad way, it just caught me off guard as it took me quite a while to gel with the storyline itself for that very reason.
I absolutely adore Lily’s writing style and, whilst I thought she was brave in taking a different route for her new book, I found myself feeling a little concerned that I wouldn’t like it as much as the authors previous books. Honestly? I wasn’t sure at first. After reading over a quarter of the book, something finally clicked for me. Looking back on it now, I couldn’t tell you what it was that clicked, but something did. The storyline suddenly made a lot of sense and the characters seemed a lot less bonkers than I had originally thought. It was from that moment that I knew the difference in Lily Graham’s style was a positive where this book was concerned.
‘Christmas at Hope Cottage’ had me entranced. The community’s vocal differences to a certain family not only had me intrigued, it also opened my eyes to exactly how much our family’s pasts can dictate the future in life AND death. Yes there were times where I thought things were a little farfetched, but I found myself falling in love with the overall storyline and the heart-warming message it conveyed in its entirety.
Personally, the highlight of this book was watching Emma flourish from start to finish. She started the book as a character who was lost, stuck in a rut and unsure of life. She ended the book as a character who knew what she wanted in life and where her heart stood, purely by being herself. It really was beautiful watching Emma make that transition and seeing how all of the other characters played a part in breaking down her walls to allow her true personality shine through.
‘Christmas at Hope Cottage’ is a clever, heart-warming and emotional read which will make you see life in a completely different way. Thanks to Lily Graham’s enchanting writing I was able to understand the importance of being yourself and not shying away from anything you believe in. Why should you change yourself to please other people? The only person you should be pleasing is yourself.
Eye-opening, beautiful and definitely memorable; Lily Graham has done it once again. I thoroughly enjoyed every inch of this book and I am annoyed at myself for thinking otherwise to begin with. ‘Christmas at Hope Cottage’ is guaranteed to give you copious amounts of hope…you just need to believe in yourself and the author.
Enchanting, as always.