Wednesday 17 November 2021

Guest Review: Christmas by the Coast by Mandy Baggot

After a terrible heartbreak, Harriet Cookson worked hard to build her life back up. Now she has a dependable boyfriend, a great job and a decent flatshare. But when her beloved grandmother passes away, Harriet drops everything to fly out to the Hamptons to comfort her grieving grandpa.

Christmas is coming and as she arrives on the sandy beaches of her childhood in Montauk, Long Island, Harriet spots someone she never expected to see again – her 'one that got away', ex-soldier Mack Wyatt. Now, Mack is determined to win Harriet back and show her that the life she's been living might be the wrong happily-ever-after.

Review: I can’t believe that, although Mandy Baggot has written a number of Christmas titles, this is the first one that I have read. Being a lover of all things Christmas, I was instantly attracted to this title and was also excited to find out that I was to be treated to a trip to Long Island within the pages of the book. Once I started reading this book, I was instantly hooked and found it difficult to put it down until the very end.

The story revolves around Harriet Cookson (known as Joanna by her family). She is living in Bournemouth, where she is in business with boyfriend Iain. When her beloved grandmother dies suddenly, Harriet returns to Montauk, Long Island, where her grandparents own a tiki bar and she spent so many happy summers as a child. Planning to stay for the funeral and to make sure that her grandfather is OK, Harriet is shocked to find Mack Wyatt, an ex-soldier who she once thought she would spend her life with, living in the village and friendly with her grandparents. With Christmas fast approaching, Harriet tries to follow the traditional activities enjoyed by the local residents and outlined in a series of letters her grandmother has left for her. Meanwhile, Mack is thinking back to the letters she and Harriet exchanged when he was serving and struggles with the idea that he might win her affections back.

I thought this was a powerful and moving story, with just the right amount of humour thrown in. I loved the concept of the two characters brought together by chance after such a long period apart and the misunderstanding that forced their separation being explained. Harriet is such a strong young woman and by no means a pushover; she is certainly not going to make things easy for either man in her life. Mack was a really likeable character that I was cheering on all the way along, but Iain was probably my least favourite. There are many other interesting players in the story, along with a couple of intriguing animals. Letters play a big part in this story; how clever to have Harriet’s grandmother speaking to her from beyond the grave through the letters she left behind. I can definitely recommend this festive book. As well as a love story that will keep you guessing, the reader is treated to a wonderful escape to The Hamptons, complete with cocktails and delicious food.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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