Blog tour! TWG is getting festive with ‘A Winter Affair’ by Minna Howard (@Adelica) @Aria_Fiction

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TWG is getting festive…in September! No time is the wrong time for cosy festivities, especially where Minna Howard and ‘A Winter Affair’ is concerned! I had the honour of being asked by Aria Fiction to review this book on tour, after my review of Minna’s ‘Mothers and daughters’ went live. Truly honoured and thank you for the ARC!

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Blurb.

With a recent divorce and empty nest Eloise Brandon is facing Christmas alone until a harried phone call from her godfather changes everything.

Accepting his challenge, Eloise finds herself en-route to Verbier and to her godfathers chalet in the beautiful Swiss Alps to help cater for some seriously rich, high rolling guests.

What ensues makes it a Christmas to remember. A heady alpine mixture of old friends, ex-husbands, mega-rich, super demanding guests, a dishevelled proprietor and Bert the dog.

What does TWG think?

Having just finished reading Minna’s previous book, I was rather excited to read ‘A Winter Affair’. After all, Christmas in the Swiss Alps, how can you not be excited? Easy for me to say I guess, I’m not the one cooking and running around after high-end clientele all day. Luckily (or unluckily) for Eloise, she gets to spend the festive season with other people, and not alone as originally planned. Will Eloise find herself burying her head in the snow if it gets too much? Or will she brave the slopes like a trooper and grab the challenge by the ski-boots?

There is nothing worse than the prospect of a Christmas on your own, unfortunately, Eloise was faced with exactly that. Christmas day would be just Eloise….and her boxes. Or would it?

By the end of the first chapter, I was already curled up on the sofa in my Minnie mouse dressing gown, with my kindle in one hand, and a cuppa in the other. I had no intention of moving from the sofa until the book was completed. There was something quite different about ‘A Winter Affair’, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. All I knew was that I had to keep reading, the force behind Minna’s writing was too powerful to ignore.

I couldn’t believe how ‘busy’ the storyline became, there seemed to be a constant conveyor belt of situations and turmoil to try to resolve. Usually a storyline like that would be too much in an ‘easy read’ but I felt as though the books true depth came from the intense circumstances and feisty characters. Just like any book that I read, there were characters that I gelled with more than others, and some that had me riled up. I won’t say the names of the characters, but all I will say is that one is male, and the other female! Doesn’t narrow it down at all I know ;).

I LOVED the dog, he is the legend of the book. The things that Bert got up to had me in absolute hysterics. I adore the way Minna described his antics, as well as the responses of the characters around him. Genius. I think he should get his own book to be honest, ‘Bert the dog…and friends’.

The cosy feeling captured me early on in the book, so I was rather hopeful that it would stay with me as I continued reading. Which it did! I consider ‘A Winter Affair’ to be an easy read, a book that doesn’t make me think too much yet is soulful with its words.
The only thing that didn’t quite work for me was the fact the wrap up of the storyline felt a tad hurried.

Minna Howard has written such a soul enriching read which involves you in every aspect of the storyline through her words alone. When certain characters were sad, the book came to a standstill in a good way, it was as though the focus needed to be on that one person and as the reader, I felt as though I connected to the emotions that that one person expressed. It’s incredible that 26 letters of the alphabet create such comprehensive words with intense meanings, tugging at your heart-strings in the process.

‘A Winter Affair’ is a book about going for it, sticking with it and realising your own worth. Nobody can fix everything for you, but they can often give you the tools to help you on your way. Take Eloise for example, if she can grab life by its ski-boots with the help of Minna Howard, then who are we to judge? Another fantastic read from the talented Minna Howard. If you have to unwrap something this festive season, make sure it is this book. It will give you your own kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas.

A Winter Affair by Minna Howard, published by Aria, is available to buy now from Amazon UK.

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Book review – Mothers and Daughters by Minna Howard.

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Blurb.

‘Alice finds herself suddenly widowed in her early forties, leaving her with an empty house and a lonely heart.

Laura and Evie, her twenty-something daughters announce their separate and unexpected news, which ploughs Alice straight out of grieving and into the prospect planning a wedding and becoming a reluctant – yet glamorous – granny, to not one, but three grandchildren.

Frank, an old family friend returns to give his godchild Laura away at her wedding.

A whole host of secrets unfold that rock the family’s foundations and set Alice free to finally begin a new, exciting chapter of her life with no regrets.’

What does TWG think?

‘Until death do us part’ is part of the vow that’s said when you get married isn’t it? You find ‘the one’, get married and imagine your wedded bliss to last for many, many years (I can only assume as I have never been married). But what if you found yourself to be a widow at the age of forty? Don’t they say that life begins at forty? How can life begin at forty when one life has just ended? Alongside the grief and loneliness, add a dose of shocking news from daughter 2 AND unexpected news from daughter 1 and you get one stressed out Alice. Will Alice’s relationships with her daughters survive the newly added pressure? Mother and daughter bonds are strong, but are they THIS strong?

Minna Howard’s book has been sitting on my Kindle since May and I have only just gotten around to reading it, shocking isn’t it? Being a mother with a daughter myself, this book intrigued me immensely.

It didn’t take me that long to warm up to Alice as she has a heart of gold and wants to protect those that are close to her, regardless of the pickles they land themselves in. When it came to her children; Laura and Evie, I found myself leaning more towards Evie. Maybe it was because I could relate to part of her situation, or maybe it was because she seemed to be around more in the story.

I loved the way Minna has based her storyline around modern-day situations, some of which a lot of readers will probably be able to relate to. She has made those particular situations their own personality, and, instead of the usual negativity that seems to appear when those topics arise, Minna has written them with a ‘it’s happened…AND?’ attitude. For me, that was a breath of fresh air. She hasn’t written the circumstances through rose-tinted glasses, she has written them realistically from another point of view.

I may sound old before my time here, but the way that Laura spoke to her mother annoyed me haha. She spoke with such a condescending attitude but it was Alice’s response that surprised me the most. I thought Alice to be a feisty woman, but when it came to the interaction with her daughters, she let herself become a doormat. That made me quite sad. Gosh, I get involved in books don’t I haha.

If I’m honest, I didn’t have any idea what to expect when I read this book, I just went with the flow. Whilst ‘Mothers and Daughters’ is predominantly based around Alice and her two daughters, the book changes direction three-quarters in. Even though I wasn’t expecting anything in particular to happen as it were, I had my mouth open in shock. It’s crazy how you create a bubble for the ones that you love and see no wrong in them, but not everything is at it seems, is it?

Mothers and Daughters is a book about love, trust and new beginnings. Minna Howard has written such a diverse a homely story which oozes with personality and emotion. This book is an ideal read for any day, and every day. A book that will make you want to curl up on the sofa with your favourite chocolate whilst discovering the true depth of a mother/daughter bond. thought-provoking and deep. Roll on the next book!

Mothers and Daughters by Minna Howard, published by Aria, is available to buy now from Amazon UK.