Wednesday 8 November 2023

Guest Review: Christmas at the Highland Flower Shop by Lucy Coleman

Four months. One impossible task. It's time to save Christmas at The Highland Flower Shop...

Bella Reed has worked at The Highland Flower Shop ever since she left college and now her Aunt Jane has handed the keys and the lease over to her. With the business under her reign, Bella is ready to hit the ground running - until she's dealt a massive blow. They're being evicted.

When dashing businessman Maverick McIntyre turns up in Fort William, Bella discovers the reason they're being kicked out. He has no intention of honouring a ridiculous deal his father made many years ago.

As Maverick and Bella lock horns, they both begin to see different sides to one another and before long the two strike up the most unexpected of friendships. Bella knows she has to keep business separate, but when her head and her heart are saying two different things, life starts to get complicated.

Review: Although Lucy Coleman is a prolific author, I have somehow read only a few of her books. This one caught my eye immediately, with its bright wintry cover and subject matter of a Christmas romance in the highlands of Scotland. The book is set in the Highland Flower Shop, which is located in Fort William, a town sitting at the foot of Ben Nevis.

The story concerns Bella Reed, who has suddenly become the owner of the flower shop where she worked for her aunt for many years. As well as the challenge of becoming responsible for the business and its staff, Bella is faced with the shocking discovery that the building they lease is being sold and, unless an alternative solution can be found, they are going to need to find new premises. She must deal with Maverick McIntyre, son of the man who set up her aunt’s lease, but he is a hard businessman, and the pair don’t hit it off. However, after a few meetings, Bella and Maverick begin to warm to each other, which makes life hard for both of them as they have to remember that business is business while their hearts are telling them otherwise.

I very much enjoyed this gentle Christmas romance. The story has a wonderful setting and some lovely, warm characters. I thought Bella was a remarkably strong business woman, given her age and lack of experience in taking responsibility for running things, and I was cheering her on all the way. I was glad that she was faced with an adversary who wasn’t quite as gruff as he appeared; in fact, he was a perfect gentleman and very handsome with it. I think this makes a marvellous book to read this Christmas, and it would make a perfect gift for readers who enjoy romantic fiction.

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