Christmas Angels- Nadine Dorries

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This is the 4th book in the Lovely Lane Series and another wonderful read. We join the nurses of St Angelus and the wider community in the build up to Christmas. Matron is concerned that Sister Tapps never takes a break from her nursing career and has made it possible for her to be off all over the Christmas holiday.
At the time it was common for nursing staff not to be able to work after marriage so the Matrons and Sisters were often single ladies who made their hospital their life. It was interesting to read about how the nursing homes were like families and then the sisters rooms were again their homes. It was also astonishing to read that the children’s wards only allowed family visiting once a week. The poor families must have been devastated to have their children taken in- especially those that were in for lengthy spells.
I loved the characters and the warmth that they feel for Sister Tapps. You could feel her anguish about being taken away from her beloved job and the problems it causes.
It really explores family relationships, romance, post war life and conditions and nursing practice. There is a real sense of community decorating the wards and you really felt a part of the build up. This is a really nice series and I will be keen to read more.
 

 

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Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage

 

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Christmas has arrived in the little village of Welford. The scent of hot roasted chestnuts is in the air, and a layer of frost sparkles on the ground.

This year, vet Mandy Hope is looking forward to the holidays. Her animal rescue centre, Hope Meadows, is up and running – and she’s finally going on a date with Jimmy Marsh, owner of the local outward bound centre.

The advent of winter sees all sorts of animals cross Mandy’s path, from goats named Rudolph to baby donkeys – and even a pair of reindeer! But when a mysterious local starts causing trouble, Mandy’s plans for the centre come under threat. She must call on Jimmy and her fellow villagers to put a stop to the stranger’s antics and ensure that Hope Meadows’ first Christmas is one to remember.

One thing’s for certain: this Christmas, there’ll be animal escapades, kisses under the mistletoe…and plenty of festive cheer for all.

Hope Meadows is based on the globally bestselling Animal Ark series. Perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley

You can buy from Amazon here

My review

This was another wonderful book in the Hope Meadow Series. Mandy is getting her animal rescue centre up and running- but comes across some local opposition who are making things really difficult for her. You really feel for her- trying to keep all the animals safe until they find new forever homes but worrying that the spiteful events will cause her to have to close the centre.
I loved all the animals coming into the centre and the way they caught the hearts of the people visiting and even Mandy’s dad, who is a vet.
The baby donkeys are really cute and you can imagine the children coming running to see them.
There are some really lovely magical scenes and romance blossoming, again with a few hitches. This is such a wonderfully warm and cosy read- you can curl up and lose yourself in a gorgeous story full of animals in a lovely village.

The Dressmakers Secret- Charlotte Betts

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I love books that educate you certain eras in history and make you curious enough to research more about the people. I’d never heard of Caroline of Brunswick before and love to hear about Royal relationships and how tricky some of them have been.
Emelia has travelled widely with her mother picking up dressmaking jobs along the way. Her mother has always fled in fear when she thought she saw her ex husband in certain areas and Emelia is tired of a nomadic life.
When they settle in Pesaro , a lovely Italian village and find work in the Royal household she thinks they will finally be able to settle down and start to enjoy life. She finds romance and thinks life is finally looking up.
We find her in London searching for long lost family and her life takes an unexpected turn and we see a privileged lifestyle with connections to Royalty.
I really loved the characters and the descriptions of life in both backgrounds. I will definately look out for Charlottes next book.

The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop- Caroline Roberts

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This was such a gorgeous book- full of friendship, romance, a coastal setting and the most wonderful chocolate shop. Emma is trying to make her little shop profitable but still a magical place for the locals to buy their weekly treats.

Northumberland is somewhere I would love to visit and it would be great to find a little chocolate shop when I manage to spend a holiday there!

The scenes are drawn so clearly that you can taste the new chocolates being created and picture the window displays enticing everyone walking past. The christmas display sounded particularly pretty.

Emma’s friends are lovely and Holly, the young girl who works in the shop on a Saturday is a delightful character. She comes up with the idea to make the shop into a cafe to bring extra customers through the doors and the plans are so exciting. I would love a return to the cafe.

 

Christmas at Woolworths- Elaine Everett

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This was a lovely book about a group of friends who met through their connection with Woolworths . We hear about rationing, women’s war work which I found very interesting and the evacuees who went to the country.

The girl’s friendships run very deep and they warmly embrace a new lady into their fold who is hiding heartbreak.  They are all embracing life despite the many hardships they face.  They accept their trials and tribulations and look to the future.

You really felt as though you were experiencing everything through their eyes, getting excited about a dance and getting a new outfit ready from either old material dyed with beetroot or refashioned!

I look forward to reading Elaine Everetts next book.

Broken Bones- Angela Marsons

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I love the character Kim Stone- she has a heart of gold hidden beneath a very tough exterior. She gets the best out of her team and they have her back aswell. In this book she is literally left holding the baby which is highly amusing. There are several crimes and mysteries that they need to solve before more harm comes to anyone else.
It was a really gripping story where you really don’t want to put your book down and miss any of the storyline. Things like sleep have to be put of hold whilst you are in the middle of the latest investigation. Although I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump- this book had me truly back turning the pages and deep inside the heart of the story. I just could not leave it.

Christmas with the Bomb Girls- Daisy Styles

 

This is the third book in the Bomb Girl series and it was lovely to catch up with the characters again. It is full of wonderful friendships, romance, relationships, family moments all amongst the setting of the bomb factory on the Moors.

The girls have a dangerous job- but the camaraderie between them is great. Some of them are harbouring secrets- but you are sure that the warm friendships will have them confiding in each other at some point.

The bomb shelters and underground stations bring the horror of the war home and you really do wonder how some of the girls manage to cope on very little sleep and a demanding job and families and homes to keep.

The Christmas Day scene in the book is so lovely- you can just imagine yourself there joining in with the singsong and watching the children in awe with Father Christmas.

I can’t wait to read the next in the series already.