Having only read one other Kate Hewitt novel (“Rainy day sisters”) which I loved, I was keen to try another of her works. I purchased “A Cotswold Christmas” because it is the first installment in her Willoughby Close series – and it fits perfectly in this festive season.
The setting is as idyllic and ‘chocolate box’ as it could possibly be. Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas there?
“She’d come to England so she could curl up by herself, lick her wounds, and hopefully heal.”
When thirty-five year old New Yorker, Anna Vere travels to a charming Cotswolds village to spend Christmas, she expects the lovely B&B that she booked. She arrives, exhausted, only to find that the old house is flooded and she cannot stay there. Being so near Christmas, all the hotels and B&Bs are fully booked. The landlady apologizes and suggests that she stay at some cottages in the next village which are being renovated by her cousin.
“She was feeling vulnerable and alone”.
The ‘cousin’, Colin Heath, comes to pick her up. She is shocked to see that instead of the elderly gentleman she was picturing in her mind, he is a handsome man of about her own age. Another shock comes when he shows her the cottage. It has only just been finished and there is no furniture, towels, or trappings of any kind! He has brought along some of his camping gear and she is to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag. Despite the meager accommodations, Anna finds Colin to be helpful and somehow…. someone she instinctively trusts and even likes.
When the owner of the newly finished cottages evicts Anna, Colin invites her to stay at his house, which he shares with his black lab, Millie.
Over the next few days Anna and Colin spend quite a bit of time together. They discover a strong mutual attraction, and talk for hours revealing their ‘baggage’ – and they DO both have some. When it comes time for Anna to return to her life in New York, the couple have some difficult, perhaps insurmountable decisions to make…
This charming Christmas romance will appeal strongly to those who prefer to read romantic fiction. It was just a little too romantically driven for me. That being said, I really enjoyed the characters and the setting, so I do plan to pursue this series in further novels.
Kate was born in Pennsylvania, went to college in Vermont, and has spent summers in the Canadian wilderness. After several years as a diehard New Yorker, she now lives in the lovely Cotswolds in England with her husband, five young children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.
You can follow her musings on village life at her blog, http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.
or on Twitter @katehewitt1