Rating: 3 stars
Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.
Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.
What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?
Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.
I received a free copy from the publisher through netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it
A Cotswold Christmas was a short and cute read. Sadly it fell a bit flat for me, I did enjoy reading it, but there was nothing that really stood out. I only had a few issues, but I just didn’t quite care about anything. This book is about Anna who is going to visit the UK for a Christmas vacation, the Bed & Breakfast where she was supposed to be staying got flooded and so she ends up camping in a small cottage that isn’t quite finished yet and meeting Collin who helps her.
From the cover I would’ve expected a lot of focus on snow and Christmas charm. There was very little Christmas charm, yes it takes place during Christmas and there are some mentions about Christmas activities, but it didn’t quite come alive. Which was too bad as that was what I was hoping for when I picked this one up. I do think that makes it easier to read this one out of season as the Christmas part is only a small part. And it snows only once. So no snow covered walks like the cover suggest, which also was a bit disappointing. I had hoped the setting would come a bit more alive and while it was said how cute and small and pretty everything was, it didn’t quite come alive in my mind and I had trouble imagining things vividly.
Anna and Collin were nice enough characters I guess, I just didn’t quite care about them. I do like how the author tried to make their connection feel real and even in the short time they know each other they did open up to each other and the story touched upon some deeper issues as well. Collin is someone who likes fixing things, he’s a bit of a perfectionist and has lots of unfinished projects lying around. Anna has had some bad news recently and is trying to deal with it. I didn’t quite warm up to either of them, although I did like Collin more than Anna. Collin seemed real and down to earth, while Anna spend far too much time making assumptions that had no basis in reality. There are some scenes where she convinces herself so much that something is true and she acts like they are, but there never was any reason for her to believe that, she just assumed it was true.
There is a bit of drama and conflict, but mostly it was a cute romance. Things do progress quickly and the ending felt a bit rushed, but besides that the pace was well done. I didn’t quite care for the conflict and in the end they still don’t quite solve it. I also didn’t quite care for Anna her attitude, she did nothing at a certain point, but did expect things from Collin. Luckily she did realize this eventually, although she still did nothing about it. I wish she would speak her mind more often or ask questions, instead of making assumptions and not checking if they were correct or not.
To summarize: this was a cute and short read, sadly it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. The setting didn’t quite come alive and sadly no snow covered walks like the cover suggests. The Christmas elements are quite light. I didn’t quite warm up to the characters, although I did like Collin a bit more than Anna. Some of Anna her behavior and how she constantly made assumptions bothered me a bit. But both characters did seem realistic, I just didn’t quite like reading about their type of realistic behavior. The romance was cute, it happened a bit quickly and things at the end felt a bit rushed, but besides the pace was well done. I liked how the author tried to add a bit of depth to their relationship and made it feel real. There is a bit of drama and conflict that I didn’t quite care for and one of the conflict points doesn’t really get solved. All in all it was a fun and cute romance set around Christmas time.