Thanks to Welbeck Publishing for gifting me a copy of this festive read in exchange for an honest review.
As you may have guessed I am trying to read as many Christmas books as possible this month and this was my 3rd read of the month. This books is actually a sequel to The Guesthouse at Lobster Bay which I haven’t read yet. So without further ado let’s have a bit of a blurb.
When Emma and Aidan decide to expand The Guesthouse at Lobster Bay, Emma feels certain it’s the project she needs to develop her beautiful retreat, and to keep her and Aidan together. She has three months to complete the project before her guests arrive for a sumptuous Christmas break. But unforeseen problems soon turn her and her loved ones into festive humbugs.
Unexpected structural problems, the arrival of a long-term guest, and an errant puppy who is determined to chew her way through every piece of pipe and furniture, push Emma and Aidan to their limit, and it’s not long before cracks begin to show in their relationship. Determined not to give up, Emma pushes on.
But when a winter storm blows in, work grinds to a halt, pushing Emma and Aidan to the brink. As Emma battles to keep her dream alive, will it be at the expense of her relationship?
I don’t know about anybody else but there is something extra cosy and special about a festive read set in Scotland. It must be the combination of the cold, snowy scenes with the beautiful, picturesque locations and countryside and this book is no exception.
We begin by meeting Emma, manager of the Lobster Bay, having ditched her life in London for a new start. But, as work starts to stabilise and she achieves her dream she wonders whether it was all she wanted or whether this life isn’t enough for her. She contemplates returning to London when the idea for extending the hotel comes up. She now has another challenge, another project to focus on, with a tight deadline.
As the book progresses we see how Emma overcomes several obstacles and deals with the day to day running of the hotel whilst also juggling her relationship with Aiden and managing her staff.
This is a wonderful, cosy read and comes with all the feels. Like all festive rom coms we have the relationship issues, the friend dramas and life troubles in general which all come together for a sweet, festive ending.
One particular aspect I loved about this book were the quirky characters we were introduced to, with most of them being employees of the hotel. We have Rhona, the crazy but caring woman who already has a houseful of children and another on the way, then we have Peggy, one of the older characters who is the chef at the hotel, she loves the old, traditional recipes but when Emma asks her to modernise some of them she rises to the challenge, but not without a bit of resistance. Some of my favourite moments were the discussions of the menu between Emma and Peggy, they are humourous as well as hunger inducing. Then we have George, the mysterious stranger who has just turned up as a new resident of the village and ends up staying at hotel for an extended amount of time whilst he waits for his accommodation to be ready.
All these characters each stand out in their own way whether it is their mannerisms, their personality or their dramas and I loved them all.
You would think that this story was character driven from what I have said, and this is partially true but one of the main parts of the book is the scene setting. Nearly everything happens at the hotel and so this becomes a focal point of the book. From the modern, fresh rooms to the delicious meals, the hotel is often the star of the show. Combined with the local beach and amenities the writer creates an idyllic, festive image throughout.
If you are looking for a cute, cosy festive read with drama, romance and everything happening in a wonderful snowy, Scottish location then you definitely can’t go wrong with this book. It will leave you with a smile on your face and a hankering for some delicious Christmas food!
⭐⭐⭐⭐ – a fun festive read which will make you laugh and cry, occasionally at the same time.