- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Avon - GB (23 October 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000826001X
- ISBN-13: 978-0008260019
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Little Village Christmas Paperback – 23 Oct 2017
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Praise for The Christmas Promise:
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‘Effortlessly engaging…a magical must!’ Heat
‘A sparkly Christmas love story which had me cheering in the aisles! I want an Ava Bliss hat!’ Julia Williams
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As with several of Sue’s books, this one is set in the small Cambridgeshire village of Middledip. Following the death of the landlady, the villagers have been fundraising to convert the rundown old Angel pub into a community cafe, due to be open in time for Christmas. Interior decorator and local girl Alexia is in charge of the project, hoping that success there could lead to a step up in her career. When the funds raised for the project are tragically stolen, along with several valuable architectural features of the old building, it seems all may be lost. However, Ben, a newcomer to the village, steps in to help Alexia in her efforts to continue with the cafe conversion as best she can. A woodsman by trade and a skilled builder, Ben is the nephew of Gabe, a long-time inhabitant of the village and backer of the project. As they work together to try and complete the job against all odds, and with other dramas playing out in the background, Alexia begins to wonder if the feelings awakening in her towards Ben might be reciprocated.
This is a wonderfully compelling story full of community spirit as well as Christmas spirit. There is lots going on and always the promise of romance. There is a spark between the main characters, Alexia and Ben, right from the start, but the author has put many stumbling blocks along the way for them so that the reader is kept guessing as to whether they might make it as a couple by the end of the book. There are many other more minor characters who come to the forefront at times with interesting storylines as well; their stories are skilfully woven into the main plot. Tension mounts as the Christmas deadline for the cafe opening draws closer; story telling at its best.
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This book goes back to Middledip. Alexia Kennedy is an interior decorator (not as ordinary as a painter and decorator but not as fancy as an interior designer). She is one the brink of leaving Middledip to work with one of her college contemporaries, Elton, who really is a fancy-pants interior designer making the most of a portfolio of investment properties for a female entrepreneur. In the interim, she is volunteering to renovate a local pub and make it into a community cafe with a flamboyant local resident Gabe.
At the volunteer party to strip the pub of all quality fittings and clear out the clutter prior to the refit Alexia meets Gabe's nephew Ben Hardaker. Ben recently moved to the village and is a bit of a recluse, he works for the local landowner managing the woodlands (cutting hedges, trees etc). After an evening serving BBQ sausages to the volunteers, Alexia and Ben end up spending a torrid night together.
However, the euphoria of the night before is lost the next morning when the village discovers that all the period architecture they so painstakingly salvaged has been stolen, along with the antique tiles from the roof and the £30,000 the village had raised to pay for renovations. Suddenly Alexia's dreams come tumbling down around her ears. She feels responsible for the theft, she loses her chance of the glamorous job in London with Elton, her flatmate moves out and she is scrambling for work. Undeterred Alexia decides to continue the restoration, but this time on an extraordinarily tight budget.
Ben has moved to live near his uncle after being betrayed by his brother and ex-wife. The exact details unfold through the course of the book and aren't what you might imagine, but Ben has run away to lick his wounds in peace. After the colossal mistake of a one-night stand with Alexia he retreats into the friend zone, but as Gabe, Ben and Alexia work together he becomes ever closer to Alexia.
This was such a feel-good read - talk about, it takes a village! It's got kittens, an injured owl, reality TV, conmen, cheating, family fights, the local pub, a stubborn pony, imperfect people and a whole lot of love.
A few years ago I binge-read every Sue Moorcroft novel I could lay my hands on and this one was just as good.
Back in Middledip, Sue has given us another fabulous story. She never fails to get under the skin of her characters and bring them to life for the reader. This is a real community based tale which puts everything into perspective about hope for the future, the testing of trust etc
The two main characters, interior decorator Alexia and woodsman Ben provide plenty of realistic romance action. The whole village is immersed in renovating the old pub and opening it as a community cafe. All goes well until disaster strikes and the funds and items go missing. Can the entire project be saved with a little help from each other?
This all unfolds in the weeks running up to Christmas so it provides a lovely, cosy festive read but it’s not so sickly sweet that means you overdose on Christmas before Halloween!
I love the way Sue intertwines love, friendship, drama, sadness all into one engaging story that makes you feel as though you are part of Middledip among friends. The Little Village Christmas is everything you want in a captivating, enchanting book and more .. put this one on your Christmas wish list now!
I can’t leave without mentioning my absolute favourite addition, Barney .. he is without doubt the main attraction in my opinion. Cuteness itself and I fell hopelessly in love with him and his antics .. yes folks, I now want an OWL!!
Thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for my copies of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
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