**Book Review** Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair

Sleigh rides and silver bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain

I am on a roll with books and the minute. I have this book in real life and on audible so it was a mix of reading and listening for this one, which was a journey I tell you.

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all…?

I love a Christmas story, you know I do! I especially love one when I am feeling a little down or sad as I remember to carry Christmas spirit with me always, and to funnel my energy into making people smile, positive energy and being kind and considerate to others. I remember these things and it reminds me how lucky I am and I start feeling a little better. So a Christmas story will always be welcome on my books shelf.

Heidi Swain is one of my favourite authors, I have read her other books and I have truly enjoyed them. This book was no exception, I liked reading about Wynthorpe Hall and all the excitement of Christmas. I didn’t fall in love with the main characters Anna and Jamie like I usually would. I am not sure why, I guess I didn’t connect them. I think maybe I didn’t fully engage with their stories or history. Jamies character felt somewhat flat, without any spoilers there is a section of the story where I really didn’t like him very much at all. Which is unusual for me with a male lead. I am usually very forgiving. I didn’t really fall for the love story either, it seemed a little forced and somewhat pretentious. The relationships between the main characters and the secondary characters were much more interesting and exciting than the romance story. However, the secondary characters made this book oh so worth it. I loved all the characters from Angus’ larger than life, loveable father figure to the local villages Anna meets on her travels around the village.

Heidis description of Wynthorpe did make me fall in love with the fictional hall and village and it made me long for our family visits to National Trusts. The warmth and love she described was adorable and I absolutely would recommend this to anyone who needs a little festive cheer up.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️★ 4/5 stars I would definitely recommend.

This blog has affiliated links, if you click on the links below in this blog and buy any products, I may receive a small fee.

*Book Review* Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

A sweet and bright tale that moves quickly and draws you in with its wonderfully beautiful characters.

If you can read this heart-warming story of a lady running from her past, with the intention of not getting too close to people, but eventually making some lovely friendships, without getting the urge to go out in the sunshine, start a garden and make new friends, are we even reading the same book?

I like a book to build the characters up, and explore them so we grow to love them and want them to get their happily ever after. Which means, normally I like a slower paced book. This book was much more fast paced, I felt like something exciting was always happening, from ex-husbands, to new men, babies and gardening. But even with this fast paced excitement, I didn’t feel the character development lacked, in fact I think i was brought into the excitement even more, so I really wanted everything to be ok for Kate in then end.

Kate’s bizarre view on love, happiness and happy ever after’s was a little crazy but I can quite see why people may think this. As much as I was definitely more on board with Lisa’s way of thinking, I could quite see how Kate who was blissfully in love with a man she thought was her soul mate, might believe that was her happy ending gone forever.

This book had a complete different feel to the usual chick lit story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was really invested in the small patch of garden the residents wanted, and I really wanted Heather, the new mum to realise that what we think of motherhood before children is very different to the reality. I don’t know how I would feel if I lived in Nightingale Square, but the idea of a quaint village where everyone knows and supports each other, sounds blissful but I fear reality would be a lot of nosiness and not a lot of privacy, but reading about this cute little square where everyone is friends was divine.

I loved the colourful array of characters and how they all came together. I wasn’t a huge fan of the exe’s storyline, how the two exes came together. I feel that was a little unrealistic but I can see it made better story telling.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I half read and half listened on Audible, and it was absolutely fine to do either. I find some books I can happily listen to and just immerse myself in the story, other times I really need to read along and listen and take the story in. This book was fine either way! Which makes it a very enjoyable book to read a long or listen to in the car.

★⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars. A cute read which makes you pine for village life and new friendships. I didn’t like the ex running away storyline but the rest was perfect.

<a target=”_blank”  href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077MDLWZX/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B077MDLWZX&linkCode=as2&tag=butterflychil-21&linkId=4f44e38d6cb4800b7fbb618d40034cd6″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=GB&ASIN=B077MDLWZX&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=butterflychil-21″ ></a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=butterflychil-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B077MDLWZX” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />