Regular Linda’s Book Bag readers might think I’m a little obsessed with Tracy Rees’s writing, but I enjoy her books so much I am delighted to participate in the blog tour for her latest Bookouture release The Little Christmas House. My thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part.
Recently I was thrilled to review Tracy’s The Rose Garden as my first ever online review for My Weekly magazine in a post you’ll find here.
You’ll find my review of Tracy’s contemporary novel Hidden Secrets at the Little Village Church here.
Amy Snow was one of the first books I ever reviewed on the blog here.
Florence Grace was one of my Books of the Year in 2016 and you’ll see it featured here.
I also reviewed Tracy’s The Hourglass here and Tracy was kind enough to provide a guest post all about her memories of Richmond when Darling Blue was published. Darling Blue is still on my TBR but it’s just over a year ago that I reviewed The House at Silvermoor here.
Published by Bookouture on 22nd October 2021, The Little Christmas House is available for purchase here.
The Little Christmas House
In gorgeous Hopley Village twinkly lights are going up, snow is falling and the delicious smell of gingerbread is in the air. Will two broken hearts find their happily-ever-after this Christmas?
Thirty-year-old Holly Hanwell’s life is almost perfect – she loves her cosy little house in Hopley Village with its yellow front door and cute window seat, and adores teaching at the village school. Although she’s secretly nursing heartache after her ex-boyfriend dropped the bombshell news he was leaving her to have a baby with someone else. Now the most wonderful time of year is approaching but Holly doesn’t really feel like celebrating…
Until she bumps into Edward, the handsome but troubled-looking single father of her newest pupil. He’s moved to Christmas House, at the edge of pretty Hopley, to give his eight-year-old daughter Eliza a fresh start after his wife abandoned them three years go. Sheltering from the snowy weather in the warm village café, they bond over delicious mugs of hot chocolate, topped with cream and sprinkles.
Despite the attraction between them, Holly knows she needs to protect her already fragile heart and she’s determined NOT to fall in love this Christmas. But holiday magic works in mysterious ways and Holly and Edward’s paths seem to cross more frequently – present shopping, the annual carol service and the children’s nativity show. Just as Holly realises her feelings are growing for kind but complicated Edward she discovers a secret from his past which makes her question everything she thought she knew.
Can Holly trust Edward? And will their December romance be over before it’s begun? Or will this be a Christmas to remember?
Curl up with this magical, feel-good Christmas read! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.
My Review of The Little Christmas House
Holly, Eliza and Edward all need a new start after a difficult year .
You know, The Little Christmas House is one of those ‘women’s fiction’ books that I wish those who deride the genre would read, because although it might have all the elements readers expect from a ‘happy ever after’ book, it also exemplifies how excellent writing is, indeed, excellent writing whatever the genre. Tracy Rees has such a fluid style that manages to have a literary quality as well as a light hearted deftness that draws in her reader, entertains them perfectly and makes them feel better about the world. I thought Tracy Rees’s descriptions, especially of the natural world and settings, were so evocative. There’s a poetic touch in The Little Christmas House that is equally as good as any literary fiction because it creates vivid images in the reader’s mind. I loved the way the story is positive and uplifting without contrived humour too. The Little Christmas House is glorious.
There’s a plot that engages the reader from the very first moment because Tracy Rees has the ability to show the perspectives of Edward, Holly and Eliza with sparkling clarity in a way that made me care about them completely. This is no mean feat as I’m not a lover of children, but Eliza feels so authentic and genuine that I would happily have her in my life. I loved the way Clarissa’s personality balances Holly’s too and provides a pitch perfect equilibrium so that all life is here in Hopley. The school term, the Christmas pageant, Edwards’s attempts to manage single parenthood, and Eliza’s development, give super interest and engaged me throughout.
Whilst The Little Christmas House is a positive read, that doesn’t mean Tracy Rees shies away from more difficult topics. Not all can be mentioned here for fear of spoiling the read for others, but her exploration of relationships, of genuine emotions and of different forms of love and support covers a wide range of experiences for her characters. Through both character and theme Tracy Rees conveys the concept that happiness isn’t about materialism, but rather is about developing our potential whilst accepting our flaws. I finished this book genuinely feeling inspired and happier than I have in a long time.
The Little Christmas House is the perfect winter read. It’s warm hearted, charming, uplifting and filled with positivity and cheer. The Little Christmas House seems written not just about love, but with it too. I thought it was wonderful.
About Tracy Rees
Tracy Rees was the first winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition. She has also won the Love Stories Best Historical Read award and been shortlisted for the RNA Epic Romantic Novel of the Year. A Cambridge graduate, Tracy had a successful career in non-fiction publishing before retraining for a second career practising and teaching humanistic counselling. She has also been a waitress, bartender, shop assistant, estate agent, classroom assistant and workshop leader. Tracy divides her time between the Gower Peninsula of South Wales and London.
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