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Review by Suze
Anna wants to spend her Christmas on her own in the Cotswolds instead of with her family in America. In just a few months time she's lost everything that was important to her. She hopes that a Christmas in England will help to heal her heart. When the bed and breakfast she booked is flooded she's being placed in Colin's care and he takes her to Willoughby Close where he's working on several unfinished houses that will be rented out in the new year. Anna has to camp in one of the cottages as there's nowhere else for her to stay.
Colin initially thinks Anna is far too fancy for him, but when they start talking they both discover that they have a lot in common. Maybe Anna's Christmas won't be so bad after all. Nothing can happen between them though as Anna is from a different continent and they don't have much time to get to know each other. Will the magic of Christmas bring Colin and Anna closer together or are there too many difficulties they'd have to overcome?
A Cotswold Christmas is a sweet and romantic Christmas story. Anna has been through a lot and Kate Hewitt describes her issues in an empathic and believable way. I had tears in my eyes when I read about what happened to her. Anna is strong though and it's brave of her to spend Christmas so far from home. She gives herself a new start and that's exactly what she needs. Colin has his flaws, but he's a gentle and good man. I liked him straight away. He's completely unpretentious and he's honest about himself. There's a wonderful spark between them and it's clear from the beginning that they are great together. The distance makes having a relationship problematic and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen, if they could work something out between them or not.
Kate Hewitt has written a fabulous endearing winter story. She makes her setting come to life very well, Willoughby Close is an interesting place and I'm glad there will be more books about this lovely location. Kate Hewitt's writing is vivid and colorful. It flows easily and she knows how to write about true love, which is an amazing gift. I really enjoyed reading this heartwarming Christmas story and highly recommend it.
About Kate Hewitt
1) Could you tell a bit about yourself?
I am an American ex-pat living in a small market town in Wales. I am married to a school chaplain and have five children ranging in ages from 3 to 18! Life is a little crazy :)
2) A Cotswold Christmas is a story about a journey that doesn’t go according to plan. What inspired you to write about this topic?
I think the most interesting stories are about what happens when life surprises you. My life hasn't gone according to plan--far many more house moves than I ever wanted--but it has allowed me opportunities to meet people and have experiences that I wouldn't have otherwise had. I wrote this story when I'd just unexpectedly moved, so I think that inspired it.
3) What’s the most important part of Christmas for you?
The true meaning of Christmas, celebrating Jesus Christ's birth, is the most important part, but I do love all the trimmings--presents, decorations, lights, carols, and gathering your family around you.
4) What makes a Christmas book magical?
I love Christmas books where something unexpected happens--an everyday miracle, as it were, and people find forgiveness and hope.
5) A Cotswold Christmas is the first part of the Willoughby Close series. Can you tell a bit more about it?
Willoughby Close is a group of four cottages converted from the stables of a manor house and each book in the series focuses on a woman who moves into the Close. All four women start as strangers and become friends, and each has a journey to take.
6) Can you describe Anna and Colin in six words each?
Anna: Glamor girl wanting something different
Colin: Sexy builder looking for forever
7) What’s your best Christmas memory?
I remember going to the midnight carol service at our church with my family when I was little. It felt very grownup and special to stay up so late, but I also remember feeling happy and safe with my family all around me. All was right with the world.
8) What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?
Opening stockings as a family before presents--it's a scrum of tissue paper and very noisy but I love it
9) What does a normal writing day look like for you?
I drop my daughter off at preschool and then write for about 2-3 hours before picking her up again. Next year she will be in full-time school, at last :)
10) What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to keep writing books that warm people's hearts but also make them think. After the Willoughby Close series I have another set of books in mind, set around a crumbling castle in Cumbria.
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive kindle copies of Kate Hewitt's three Christmas novellas, A Cotswold Christmas, Falling For Christmas, and A Yorkshire Christmas.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.