Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage By Linn B Halton
Series: Christmas in the Country #2
Release Date: 3rd November 2017
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Genres: Romance / Women's Contemporary / Holidays

The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elena James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.
Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?
The perfect read to curl up by the fire with … for fans of Rebecca Boxall.

‘Mum, can we light the log fire tonight?’ Maya looks up at me with eager eyes.
‘I think we should wait until the weekend, darling. There isn’t really time to appreciate it on a school night, is there? Besides, I’m not even sure whether there are any logs left in the store. I promise to get it sorted as soon as I can.’
It was Niall’s job, sorting the fire. He would have booked the chimney sweep in early autumn and had the logs all ready and waiting, stacked neatly against the back wall of the garage. Ironically, last year I was much more organised. I suppose it was one of my coping mechanisms during those raw, early weeks and months. Keep going; keep doing something – anything, so I didn’t have to listen to what was in my head. But I feel bad. Maya will remember that this time last year we spent every evening huddled together on the sofa in front of the fire, reading. Hour upon hour we escaped into alternative worlds inspired by some wonderful authors. Roald Dahl’s Matilda, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, and Maya’s favourite, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, a story of tenderness and triumph.
It was the very worst of times, but I focused on getting us through it one day at a time. My gut instinct, immediately after the accident, had been to sell the cottage just to escape that prevailing sense that something was missing. Niall was no longer here and it would never, ever be the same again. But soon realisation dawned that Maya needed a sense of continuity; the memories trapped within these walls were a lifeline for her, although a cruelly painful reminder for me. In a way she feels her dad is still here and I can’t take that away from her.

Elana is simply going through the motions of every day life but is drowning in grief after the tragic loss of her husband. She knows that she must maintain some sort of normality for her young daughter Maya who is missing her father terribly. However, its been more than a year since her husband's death and Elana feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising her child alone, making ends meet as a writer while trying to finish a book and trying to finish the renovations on the cottage she and her husband had bought. Will it ever feel like a home without Niall there to share it with her? Will Bay Tree Cottage ever be filled with love and laughter again?

Unexpected repairs to the cottage bring Luke Stevenson into her life. Luke works for his father undertaking the repairs to the cottage and offers to do the work himself outside of his normal working hours to help Elana out financially. Luke is trying to come to terms that he can only be a part time father to his son after his relationship breaks down. He and Elana become confidants for one another and Luke desperately tries to make sure that the chimney in the cottage is repaired in time for young Maya to post her letters up the chimney to Santa. Something very important for any child, but for Maya its extra important.

This beautiful book is not what you'd expect it to be. Its a book that is filled with so many heartrendingly sad moments that it broke my heart. Elana's grief, her fears and her dreams are so well voiced in this book that I became very emotionally invested in her.  Linn B Halton's writing is so wonderfully descriptive in its telling of a story of broken hearts and wounded souls, second chances and Christmas wishes that this was a hard book to put down. It's not a depressing book but rather one filled with hope and a message of love and making every second count. Maya is a fantastic little character who just melted my heart. The wisdom of a 6 year old is sometimes the smartest thing anyone can hear.

This is the sort of book that requires a blazing fire, some candles, a snuggly blanket and lots of chocolate. Its a book to lose yourself in and a real treat. Well done to Linn B Halton for producing yet another wonderful book and for bringing a tear or two to my eyes! Everyone should be putting this book on their Christmas list for Santa! Highly recommended. 

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Bristol-born Linn lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her lovely husband and cat, Ziggy. She has been writing novels since 2009 and has written short stories for a number of magazines. She is also known for her series of ‘Home by Design’ articles wearing her former interior designer hat.
"I'm a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache ..."
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-selling novel in November 2016. Linn's novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, romantic comedy, women's contemporary fiction and psychic romance. Publishers include Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

Goodreads Author Page:

4 Responses so far.

  1. Aww ... thank you - love this review! It's always a thrill for me to write a Christmas book and I do miss the characters in this one. But then I will always love Christmas because it brings out so much love and thoughtfulness! Thank you, too, for another awesome tour! BrookCottageBooks is awesome and you are a star! Hugs xxx 🎄❄️🎅🏻❄️🎄❤️

  2. Sarah Forster says:

    My favourite thing about Christmas is family time (and the food!)

  3. Thankyou for this fantastic prize fingers crossed 🤞🤞🤞

  4. carla says:

    I love Christmas day watching our girls open there presents and having Christmas dinner playing games :)

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