Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie’s looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.
But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie’s ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie’s heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated…
Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?
What does TWG think?
Absolutely thrilled to be taking part in Jill Steeples’ blog tour! -does happy dance- I LOVE her books. Not only is today TWG’s stop on the tour, it is also the last day of it! -sniff-. Don’t worry, all is not lost though, if you buy the book you’ll be able to see the beautiful cover whenever you like! Win win really! I have the joy of bringing you not one, but TWO Jill Steeples delights today in the form of a review and an extract. Hope you enjoy!
Sometimes when life gets a bit too hectic and crowded, all we need to do is take a step back, breathe and focus on our next step. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Ellie seemed to find it simpler than she thought it would thanks to a few four legged friends. Ellie’s life seemed to do a U-turn as she found herself back in her hometown and back working in her local, but she doesn’t quite seem to mind. After all, a random man has seen her looking like a drowned rat with a dog, and was ever so easy on the eye! Could Ellie find her reason for staying in her hometown permanently? Or will the random man turn out to be a wolf in sheep clothing?
When it comes to Ellie and her life, the phrase ‘home is where the heart is’ seems to ring rather true. She strikes me as the type of person that seems to hide behind a mask and tries to keep her emotions bottled up. Because of that, I warmed to her straight away as I am exactly the same. Plus it made for ace reading as I tried to work out whether any decisions she made would be done via her head, or her heart.
I thought that the harrowing topic a lot of the book was based around, was rather humbling. It opened my eyes to the devastating truth which in turn made the storyline stand out. Honestly? I thought Jill was rather brave to incorporate it into her story, as it is a topic that people do have a rather harsh opinion about, especially in the media. During the shift in the storyline, I got to see another side to a few of the characters, some of which have been holding their cards rather close to their chests until then. Lovely to see.
Jill Steeples has written such a refreshing and humbling read that will grab the hearts of the readers in more way than one. A story about staying true to yourself and what you believe in, as well as never giving up without a fight. Such a cosy, inspiring read that can be read time and time again, whatever the time of year.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in return for my honest views.
Christmas at The Dog and Duck, by Jill Steeples, published by Aria is available to buy now from Amazon UK.
Taken from Chapter 3 of Christmas at The Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples.
Oh yes, definitely handsome. From the corner of my eye, I noticed Polly
raising an eyebrow at me, her half-smile suggesting that she very much approved of my latest
customer. It was almost as if the Goddess of Dating had been eavesdropping on our
conversation and had sent down a shining ray of hope, in the form of this man, telling us to
keep the faith.
‘Oh, hello,’ he said, with a warm smile of recognition, ‘I’ll have a pint of the special,
Why were my fingers shaking all of a sudden? I pulled his pint carefully, grateful to fix
my attention on the golden nectar filling the glass, allowing me the opportunity for some
much needed pulling-myself- together time.
‘So,’ he said, after he’d taken a sip from his glass, his tongue searching out the creamy
froth left lingering around his lips, ‘how’s your dog?’
I must have seen that very manoeuvre, the tongue-licking one, performed by dozens of
men newly acquainted with their pint of beer, but suddenly it had taken on a whole new level
‘My dog? Ha ha, oh yes, my dog.’ What was wrong with me? Acting as though I'd never
met a good looking man before! Well, I suppose it had been a long time. ‘She’s fine. I mean,
he’s fine. Milo, you mean?’
The man shrugged and looked at me blankly. Gawd. How could he possibly be expected
to know the name of my dog? And what must he think of me? The first time we met I was
wading about in a river, soaked through, pretending everything was perfectly normal and now
I was a giddy wreck, babbling incoherently.
‘Yes, Milo’s fine,’ I said. ‘Only he’s not actually my dog. I was just looking after him.
That’s what I do for a living, you see. Well, apart from working in here. I look after dogs.
Dog-walking, dog-sitting, that kind of thing. And pouring pints of beer too.’
I was wittering on, divulging far more information than this man probably wanted to hear,
but I couldn’t help myself. I always spoke rubbish when I was nervous.
‘Look here’s my card.’ I pulled one out from my back pocket and handed it to him. He
took it and turned it over in his fingers, a bemused expression on his face.