Many thanks to Farrago Books for asking me to kick off the blog tour for Jane Lovering’s latest novel, ‘Christmas Secrets by the Sea’. Here is my review:
Christmas by the sea – that sounds romantic, right?
Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her.
When Tansy’s new-found friends at the cafe in the bay help her find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, when she finds herself babysitting the show’s grouchy star, Davin O’Riordan, she’s not sure she wants to stay around. But when Brian forges a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet Seelie, Tansy begins to see another side to Davin.
As Christmas approaches, secrets emerge and Tansy and Davin discover a bond between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the cafe from closing?
What does TWG think?
Special mention needs to go to the doggy characters in this book!!! What hilarious additions to the storyline they are, especially Brian!
Tansy went to Dorset to think and clear the cobwebs from her mind, as life hadn’t been treating her so nicely recently. Everything she once knew was no more and she no longer knew her place. People say that change can be a good thing, but how can it be when your life becomes so strange to you, you have no idea how to just….live?
Of course if Tansy was left to think then there wouldn’t be a story! It didn’t take long for Tansy to find herself caught up in the community’s dramas….well, her and Brian, naturally.
The storyline didn’t grab me at first because it seemed to take a while to find out just why Tansy was in Dorset. At times I felt as though I was left waiting for things to happen more than they actually did happen. However, I felt that just after the halfway point was when things started to come together and the storyline had the bounce I was so desperately craving.
Looking back now, that sounds quite harsh as it was the latter half of the book where we found out about Tansy’s situation. I wasn’t revelling in her turmoil, not at all. It was actually quite emotional to read and definitely tugged at my heart strings multiple times.
I thought that Jane Lovering filled her storyline with such dry and brilliant humour, catching me off guard with the sarcasm that fell out of her characters mouths. It was lovely to see multiple flawed characters come alive and come together due to the situation they found themselves in, and I thought that the author wrote from the heart until the very end.
Overall, ‘Christmas Secrets by the Sea’ was a pleasant and heartfelt novel to read.