A Cotswolds Christmas by Kate Hewitt
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publishing Date: 17th October 2016
Series: Willoughby Close #1
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 112
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.
Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.
What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?
Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.
I haven’t read many books by Kate Hewitt but those that I’ve read I really loved, so I was really excited when I spied “The Cotswolds Christmas” on NetGalley. The festive cover, the lovely title just scream Christmas, don’t you think? It is also a prequel to Kate Hewitt’s new series, Willoughby Close. The setting was gorgeous, and the idea of renovating the cottages was also brilliant, and I personally can’t wait to see them when they’re finished. I’d only feel sorry that it snowed only once in the story.
The writing style was brilliant, just the way I like the stories to be told. It was warm and inviting and – simply – I liked it. In comparison to the slow pace of the whole story, the end felt much too rushed and it wrapped up so quickly. Anna and Colin are this kind of characters that you don’t feel any connection to, so as a result you also don’t care much about them, and it’s a pity, because there was a lot of potential and their stories were interesting. I don’t know, Anna seemed so impassive, expecting Colin to take matters in his hands and fight for her. It’s OK, of course, but there are always two sides, two people, right? She just made assumptions and jumped to conclusions. I think that with more depth and development to the characters I’d enjoy them much more, I just had a feeling I don’t know them well enough to like them more. But I still enjoyed them, and I also liked being introduced to all the other characters that I hope we’ll see in the future parts of the series.
So actually yes, in theory everything was OK with this book but it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. There was in fact not much happening and the whole romance/falling in love/feeling the attraction bit felt flat for me – don’t get me wrong, it was cute and lovely and quick (but as much as it was cute, it was also incredibly quick – I mean, after only three days of being together Anna and Colin started to plan their life together and wondering who should give up on their previous life. Yes, sure, lovely and sweet and romantic but somehow rushed) but I didn’t feel the sparkles. and somehow I also couldn’t warm to the characters, I am not sure why, I just had a feeling they both really don’t know what they want. There is also not as much of festive feeling, as I have expected, judging on the lovely cover. However, brownie points to the author for adding the more poignant moments and giving the story more depth and touching upon some sensitive issues. It made the story much more realistic in my opinion, as it was not only bed of roses but some real troubles and problems as well. So altogether, “A Cotswold Christmas” is a lovely, emotional romance, but it was lacking in the festive feel for me, as I expected tons of snow and Christmas trees. But it was romantic and cute and yes, I liked it, and I will be for sure reading the other parts in the series.