Reviews by Suze
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Faith is a big fan of Christmas. She's just opened The Old Mill, her own boutique hotel, and has decorated the place enthusiastically. Faith hopes she will soon have a hotel filled with cheerful guests. Her first guest, Adam, is sad and lonely though. He's booked a room at the hotel to escape Christmas. He doesn't like the festivities at all. This is something Faith can't easily accept, but she likes a challenge. Will she be able to make him believe in the magic of Christmas again?
Faith is trying to give her business a good start, but her first guest is a difficult one. Adam isn't at The Old Mill to celebrate anything, he's there to stay away from the festivities. He wants to be alone and doesn't count on the lively Faith to become a part of his daily routine. Will he enjoy his stay at The Old Mill even though it isn't what he expected when he booked it and will Christmas be another horrible holiday for him or will Faith manage to make him enjoy it?
A Little Christmas Faith is a wonderful romantic Christmas story. Faith is kindhearted, caring and incredibly sweet. She's there for everyone and taking care of her hotel guests is the perfect profession for her. The Old Mill and Faith are a great match and seeing how much she belongs there put a big smile on my face. She's hard to resist and can melt any frozen heart, which is what Adam could use the most. He's being consumed by grief, something this lovely gentle man doesn't deserve. The lively Faith is exactly what he needs and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out if she'd make his Christmas better and heal what's broken inside of him. I love beautiful romance and A Little Christmas Faith definitely put a spell on me.
Kathryn Freeman's writing has a nice easy flow that always grabs me straight away. Her love stories are original with plenty of surprising elements. A Little Christmas Faith has the most amazing setting. The colorful descriptions of The Old Mill are making the place come to life incredibly well. Kathryn Freeman manages to create a gorgeous atmosphere by getting every fabulous detail perfectly right. A Little Christmas Faith is a sparkling, charming, festive and endearing Christmas story. I really enjoyed reading this heartwarming book.
If you love romantic Christmas stories about beautiful main characters you should definitely read A Little Christmas Faith.
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Melissa's Christmases were never festive. Her parents didn't love her and her ex-husband Lawrence was cruel to her and their son William, so she never had the chance to discover the magic of a warm and inviting family holiday. Simon even told his young boy that Father Christmas doesn't exist. Melissa left her husband and tries to convince William of the opposite. William is seven years old and dispirited, but the verdict is still out. Writing a letter containing his Christmas wish might give him the proof he needs.
Melissa has taken William to tennis lessons given by Daniel, who used to be a professional tennis player. Daniel instantly likes Melissa, but she doesn't date and the last thing she wants is another relationship. After Lawrence a new domineering presence in her life is something Melissa dreads. William is shy and scared and that's all because of her ex-husband's bullying. Daniel doesn't give up easily though and is determined to give Melissa and her young boy the Christmas they deserve. Will she eventually give him the chance to show her that men can also be kind and caring?
A Second Christmas Wish is a heartwarming Christmas story. Melissa grew up without love and when she was a teenage model she thought the charming older Lawrence would give her the affection she so desperately wanted, but instead he was controlling and cold. Reading about his bullying brought tears to my eyes and I was glad Melissa and her son are finally experiencing some happier times. William is timid and doesn't say much at first, which is heartbreaking. He's smart and absolutely adorable and I kept wishing he would eventually feel more like himself again. Tennis is exactly what he needs and I loved his connection with Daniel. They instantly click and they both grow because of their bond. I loved that Kathryn Freeman has given them a special and equal friendship. It was beautiful to see how the grown man and the child connect. Daniel also has an amazing click with Melissa and I was anxious to find out if she would give love another chance or not.
I like it when Christmas stories are festive and romantic and a Second Christmas Wish has all the right ingredients. It has gorgeous main characters, an endearing child, stunning clothes, cozy homes and decorations and plenty of sparks and charm. Kathryn Freeman's writing flows easily and she has a lovely tone of voice that gives her story a fantastic atmosphere. I really enjoyed reading this Christmas book, it's absolutely wonderful.
If you love wonderful heartwarming Christmas stories A Second Christmas Wish would be a perfect choice.
About Kathryn Freeman
I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton I began working life as a retail pharmacist, quickly realising that trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for me. I left to join the pharmaceutical industry where I spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. My life long love of reading romance often led me to wonder if I could write about it, too. If only I had the time.
In 2010 I made a New Year resolution to make that time, and started my first book. It was surprisingly easy to stick to, because I enjoyed writing so much. In 2011, backed by my family, I left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many guises.
Thank you so much for inviting me onto With Love for Books. I really enjoyed answering your questions - boy did they made me think!
1) Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
When I’m not spending my days falling in love with hunky heroes (being a romance writer is a tough job) I’m a wife and mother to two teenage boys who think what I do is both embarrassing and weird. In between writing books, I do a bit of medical writing – I’m a pharmacist by training and have spent most of my working life writing about disease and medicines for the pharmaceutical industry. I’m at my happiest surrounded by family, drinking champagne, eating fish and chips and watching Notting Hill/Top Gun/Pretty Woman/Poldark. Or with my nose in my Kindle.
2) ‘Heroes can come in many guises’ is something you talk about on your website. What’s the best thing about writing about this subject?
I sit at a desk and dream up men I’d like to fall in love with – what a way to spend the day.
3) What should a true romantic hero be like, no matter what form he comes in?
He can be dark or fair, brown-eyed or blue, but one physical attribute I always demand of him is a killer smile. I can forgive a man almost anything if he smiles into my eyes. Forgiveness suggests he’s going to make mistakes, and I think that’s another vital ingredient. I don’t want a man who’s perfect (but if my husband is reading this, it shouldn’t stop him trying). A soft, gooey centre is another must – he can be tough on the outside, but he has to be kind. My final ingredient is a dry sense of humour. A handsome man is attractive, but a man who makes me laugh … he’s downright sexy.
4) On your blog you write about what you learnt, how did you get the idea for these posts and why is it so important to keep learning?
Learning keeps us moving forward, which is always a good direction to head in. That’s something I love so much about writing. Every book requires research into something. Since I’ve been writing I’ve learnt about the law, refuge camps, formula one racing, the life of a model. For A Little Christmas Faith I had to do a bit of research on owning a hotel, architecture, and the Lake District J.
5) You’ve written a Christmas story, what do you like most about Christmas books?
I love uplifting stories and there’s something about Christmas that seems to provide that. It has a special aura - a time of year when anything seems possible. When sentimentality and love are embraced.
6) You write about a man who’s fallen out of love with the holiday, how did you prepare to write about the difficulties he’s facing?
I’ve mentioned that magical feeling Christmas can instill in people. Equally, if you’re not in a happy place in your life, Christmas can be a really difficult time and all that cheer can feel oppressive. I know I felt it the first Christmas after I lost my dad. That’s what I tried to capture when I put myself in Adam’s shoes.
7) A Little Christmas Faith is set in a hotel, what’s the inspiration behind it, have you based it on a real place or have you written about a hotel you’d love to visit yourself?
The hotel isn’t real, but based on photographs I saw on the internet. When I decided Faith was going to own a hotel, I searched on boutique hotels in England and scrolled through the images. A converted millhouse caught my eye, and that’s how the Old Mill Hotel was born.
8) Could you describe the main characters of A Little Christmas Faith in six words each?
Adam: introverted, kind, quiet, haunted, strong, dry (humour).
Faith: determined, talkative, easy-going, fun, confident, warm (some would say soft)-hearted.
9) What does true love mean to you?
Ooh, what a tough question. Certainly I think it includes embracing everything about the other person, including the things that drive you nuts. I spend every weekend in the summer watching my husband play cricket…that must be true love, surely?!
10) What are your plans for the future?
Keep writing! I have more books in my head than I have time to write them, but that’s an exciting place to be. My next book is set in a biscuit company, so I’m looking forward to revisiting Crumbs (and it’s managing director, Doug Faulkner) when the edits come in. I also have an idea for my next Christmas book.
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of A Second Christmas Wish.