This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…
Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.
However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.
Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?
What does TWG think?
In all honesty, I have no idea how to even begin with this review. I mean, there is SO much to this storyline from suspense to romance, to domestic situations to crime, I really don’t think that my words about this book would do it justice in the slightest. I will try my very best, but do expect a little vagueness as I don’t wish to undo the authors hard work by giving away her extraordinary storyline.
‘House of Christmas Secrets’ follows on from Lynda Stacey’s previous novel, ‘House of Secrets’ which was published last year. Seeing as I didn’t read the first book before I got stuck into this festive treat, I really do feel that ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ can be read perfectly well as a standalone. However, if you’re wanting to get more of a back story to certain characters, then you may wish to read the first book before starting this book. For me, I found that NOT reading ‘House of Secrets’ beforehand, allowed me to experience more shock when certain situations arose – especially when the author brought some of the characters past to light. I was stunned, emotional and absolutely gripped by the story which the author was drip feeding me. How could Jess and her family move on from such heartbreak and devastation? You would think that Christmas time brought out people’s kind-hearted nature and generosity, wouldn’t you? Well, certain characters in this book obviously couldn’t give a flying candy cane whether it was Christmas or not, as they only had their own interests at the forefront of their mind. Regardless of how much upset it brought to other people.
Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, BUT, this storyline really did take me on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. As I said above, the storyline incorporated romance alongside crime, domestic situations alongside heartbreak – and that’s just the obvious themes! I absolutely loved how ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ was able to take a snippet from most genres, mix them altogether with some rather unforgettable characters, to create one memorable and gut wrenching novel. Reading this book was a bit like having a picnic – you’re unsure as to what one thing you fancy to eat, but with multiple plates full to the brim of exciting treats, you would think it an absolute travesty not to try something from each plate. Why have one genre when you can have multiple?
I did find several parts of this storyline quite difficult to read as the situations were exceptionally heart-breaking and emotional. I really was a bag of nerves hoping that things ended well for a couple of the characters in particular. I had to remind myself to breath! Also, and I might be the only one to say this, but my golly Jack Stone annoyed me! It was like battling with a man-child! Incredibly selfish, he really got my back up!
Overall, ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ is an unexpected, heart-warmingly devastating novel which seemed to enjoy ripping out my heart, before carefully putting it back in like the hearts from Build-a-Bear. I absolutely adored this novel, and I am in awe at the authors skills for including so many jaw dropping themes, whilst also maintaining the high level of emotion, poignancy and intrigue.
Definitely recommend this book, although make sure you switch every phone off before you start reading so that nobody can disturb you. Trust me, you really don’t want to move your eyes off the page for a second.
Huge thanks to ChocLitUK & BrookCottageBKS.
Prize – 2 x signed copies of House of Secrets (UK & Ireland)
About the author.
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories
of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all
romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New
Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit &
Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s
been happily married to for over 20 years.