Thursday 25 November 2021

Guest Review: Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea by Cressida McLaughlin

Can she spread Christmas cheer in Cornwall this year?

All Meredith Verren has ever wanted is to escape the holiday season without having to wear a Christmas jumper. Her new job at the cosy gift shop in a picturesque Cornish tourist spot is making it impossible for her to maintain her scrooge-like manner.

With their seasonal hampers on everyone’s wish list, Meredith must paste on a smile and fake some holiday cheer. Then she meets handsome new arrival, Finn, who wishes it could be Christmas every day and wants her to feel the same way too.

Can she embrace the holly and the ivy before the decorations are packed away for another year?

Review: This is the fifth book in the Cornish Cream Tea Bus series from this author. As with all the books in this series, this one is set in a lovely little Cornish seaside town, but this time in Port Karadow rather than the usual Porthgolow. As well as having a new setting, this story has mainly all new characters, except that the Cornish Cream Tea Bus and its owner do make a brief appearance. This book has a glorious cover that combines a Christmas feel with the beauty of the seaside location described in its pages.

The story centres on Meredith, who, following a tragedy ten years previously, tries to avoid Christmas and its festivities as much as possible. This year finds her working for a gift company in Port Karadow that sells a range of Cornish-themed items, including hampers that can be tailored to any occasion, including, of course, Christmas. With her job including designing new products that will help promote the company, ignoring Christmas is more difficult than usual. On her daily swim one morning, Meredith bumps into Finn, a stranger who seems interested in the usually deserted cove she knows so well. As they gradually get to know each other, will Finn be able to break through Meredith’s resistance and instil her with some Christmas cheer?

I have followed this series of books from the start, and really enjoyed this new addition. It truly is a heart-warming festive romance. Even though I have loved getting to know the setting and people in the series so far, I was charmed by the new setting and characters in this book. Meredith and Finn are both complex and interesting players, each taking the time to save the other. There are, of course, many supporting characters as well, all likeable with lots going on in their own lives. The main story line concerning Meredith and Finn is accompanied by interconnecting subplots, one of the main ones which I loved concerning the town’s Christmas pageant - enough to make even Scrooge feel Christmassy. I would always recommend this series of books as a whole, but this particular one would be a welcome addition to anyone’s Christmas stocking.

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

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