Today it’s my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog blitz for A Cosy Candlelit Christmas by Tilly Tennant. Happy publication day Tilly. My thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for inviting me to be a part of the blitz. I’ll be letting you all know my thoughts on the book in just a moment, but first let’s see what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
All singleton Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but a surprise trip to the Alps means there’s a chance for romance in every snowflake that falls…
It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her.
She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville?
There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings.
Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?
A gorgeously heart-warming festive read to help spark a little romance in those long winter nights. Perfect for fans of Jane Linfoot, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan.
What would you do if the family you hadn’t spoken to in years suddenly got in touch? If you heard from a solicitor that you are due an inheritance from a long estranged grandmother, on the proviso that you try to repair the relationship that never existed with a father who abandoned you? That is exactly the dilemma facing Isla McCoy in A Cosy Candelit Christmas, and it’s not an enviable one for sure. On one hand, she has a potential inheritance to consider and as a struggling student anything would certainly be welcome. But on the other hand she has to see her father and, after years of no contact, Isla has to decide whether the pain it would cause her mother, and potentially herself, is worth it. In the end she agrees to travel to France to see her father and learn of her inheritance, taking Isla on what could well be a life changing journey full of snow, mountains and some incredibly suspect hot chocolate.
From the very beginning I warmed to Isla. A slightly older student than her friends, she immediately came across as a bit of a no-nonsense character, probably owing to her upbringing and the way in which her very dominant mother had shaped her life. However, due to her father abandoning her, Isla had spent her life avoiding romance and personal connections with everyone other than her best friend, Dodie. Afterall, if you don’t give someone your heart, they can’t hurt you. I kind of identified with that sentiment and it was played out very carefully in the novel. Isla wasn’t heartless or cold, more cautious and perhaps cynical when it came to the idea of love. But she was, above all else, really likeable.
From the minute she set foot in St Martin-de-Belleville you could tell that she was a fish out of water. Nothing about the place was within Isla’s comfort zone and it was amusing at times to watch her navigate her way around the town. After a near miss with another tourist at the airport, getting to the hotel proves to be a little less dangerous although her lack of sturdy footwear is apparent. Uggs really aren’t designed for ski-resorts. The hotel, and the town are all that Isla and hoped for and she is overwhelmed by her room. Until that is a chucklesome error occurs which paves the way for one of the books most aww-esque friendships. Tilly Tennant has done a brilliant job of creating a truly festive and whimsical setting, just primed for a bit of gentle romance. Not what Isla is there for, obviously, but still. Snow, mountains and romantic little restaurants … what else do you expect.
There are a couple of rivals for Isla’s attention. First up is her sort-of-but-not-really cousin by marriage, Justin, who comes to talk to Isla on behalf of her father following a distrastrous first meeting. He is the ultimate in French charm, make of that what you will, but it is impossible to deny the chemistry and attraction between him and Isla. That said, he wasn’t a character I particularly liked or trusted. On the other hand you have Sebastian, a very reserved and somewhat quirky guy who is in St Martin to study mountains and glaciers. Yep. He’s a glaciologist. How rock’n’roll right? Well with his bow ties, wandering suitcases and hotel suite mix-ups he is someone who keeps reappearing in Isla’s life in the most unexpected ways. The complete opposite of Justin in every way, he is a very sweet guy and the blossoming friendship between the pair is beautiful to watch.
And then you have Dahlia, the hotel owner/manager. She is quite the character and a little bit mischievous to boot, trying her hand on more than the odd occasion at a little matchmaking. That said she is a great character who really brings the story, and the hotel to life and it wouldn’t be the same without her.
The setting is beautiful, the situations the characters find themselves in often comical, but then at the centre of it all you have the true heart of the story. That of a family trying to find their way back to each other, the divisions years in the making, slowly being rubbed away. And you have a beautiful and gently blossoming love story too. Yes, I’m an old cynic when it comes to that kind of thing, but even I couldn’t help feeling a little bit of a smile creep over my face when the right couple finally admitted their feelings towards each other.
A beautifully heartwarming read with more than a touch of humour and a wonderfully festive mountain setting, what more could you ask for? Do yourself a favour, grab a cocoa, grab this book and settle back for a few hours. You won’t regret it.
My thanks to publishers Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy of A Cosy Candlelit Christmas for review. It is available now from the following retailers.
About the author
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.
Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her tenth Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at www.tillytennant.com
Make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the blitz: