aren King makes her first visit to the blog today with a story about family, friendship and defying expectations on the way to a happy ending in
Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel
Saffy is a go-getter and career girl, and completely attached to her belief that she doesn’t need a man or relationship to make her life complete. With a set of lovely friends and a sister with twins and a husband down in Cornwall, she’s never prioritized ‘family’ time, and has a litany of events planned for the Christmas holidays. But, a wrench is thrown into the works when her sister Hannah calls in a favor: she and her husband are in Tenerife for a pre-holiday getaway, but the twins are down with measles, and won’t be able to fly until Boxing Day. Which means that the Christmas dinner that Hannah has hosted for years for the single parents and their kids won’t be held, unless Saffy steps up. Alternately pulling in a favor and guilting her into it, Saffy agrees to head to Cornwall to her sister’s B & B, and manage the event. Despite her reservations and unease about all of the children that will arrive.
Logan and his daughter Chloe have been watching Hannah’s dog, and keeping an eye on their home, and Hannah has offered up his services to help Saffy out with the prep for the party. Nothing to it, Saffy is in this to win it, and she’s got plenty of ideas of her own. It’s not that she doesn’t want family, but her father’s leaving when she was a child left her feeling that nothing is permanent, and with a bad breakup years earlier, that feeling was reinforced. Logan’s ex Jade, Chloe’s mother, disappeared and has been an infrequent and unreliable parent. Unwilling to see his little girl hurt again, and with one ‘relationship’ with someone in the small village that ended badly and still makes things awkward, he’s not interested in anyone remotely “career oriented’, finding them too reminiscent of his selfish ex. When you add in Saffy’s first impressions (city-girl, pulled together with mile-high heels) and her obvious unwillingness to ‘ask’ for help – these two have an interesting start. Made worse by the electricity sparking between them. When you add in the arrival of one of Saffy’s best friends, Robbie, devastated and pouty when his proposal to his partner Duncan didn’t go to plan, the addition of another party to the mix helps Logan and Saffy to start to build a friendship, and the child-like excitement when Chloe discovers Saffy’s polar bear onesie (WITH ears and a tail!) seals the deal.
Back and forth, we see Logan’s worries for Chloe and the issues with her mother and the stress weighing on him. It makes him quick to react, and often with the worst of impressions. But Saffy’s starting to see (and perhaps want) something different for herself, something she never considered: a family and children. Things she believes are both impossible and will end every relationship before it starts – she can’t risk the hurt again. Making sure that Robbie and Duncan patch things up, getting the party with thirty-five guests, games, presents and food, and getting that white Christmas, Saffy’s back and forth has highlights of great heights and some pretty large moments of self-correction. Bonding with Logan and Chloe, but thinking that ‘casual’ is all it can be, Saffy’s desire for a family, a connection to a place and people who are more than friends, and the offer of a promotion at her work that brings her closer to her sister and the people she’s come to meet over the holiday. With solid advice and support from friends and family, and a new chance with Logan who has found (for the moment) a happy medium with his ex and her relationship with Chloe, and the obvious fears that both he and Saffy share about the future, it only takes a pushy sister, left-behind keys and some honesty to get these two on the same page and setting them along the way to a happy ending. King build this story so the characters, their hearts and fears were up front and accessible, and you can’t help but cheer on the good moments, worry about the bad ones, and enjoy these people, wanting them to be your friends and neighbors. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here – but each moment is handled with care, given the opportunity to show growth and change, and bringing some of the joy of Christmas to everyone.
Title: Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel
Author: Karen King
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Holiday Themed, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, Woman's Fiction
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 9 November, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Snowy rooftops, mulled wine, and a hot single dad. Not the Christmas Saffy wished for… but maybe the one she needs?
Twenty-nine year old Saffron Baxter knew her holiday plans didn’t stand a chance the moment her sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of being home before Christmas. Saffy would just have to abandon thoughts of wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall.
Because every year her sister hosts a huge Christmas meal for all the single parents in her village. And Saffy knows it’d break her heart to let them down.
Arriving as snow starts to fall over the thatched cottages of the little harbour town of Port Breok, she meets Logan – the tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed, devoted single dad who lives next door, with his adorable daughter Chloe. At first she thinks he might help her make Christmas Day extra-memorable, but he just seems convinced she’ll never manage – that she’s just a party girl who doesn’t care about Christmas, or anyone’s feelings.
Maybe he’s right. After all – she doesn’t want to settle down, she’s only there for a few days… But she’s still determined to do her sister proud with gorgeous decorations, the most beautiful real tree – complete with extra twinkly lights, and delicious mince pies. To make it a Christmas everyone will remember, especially little Chloe. Even if, when the mistletoe comes down, she knows she’ll probably never see Logan again…
The perfect festive romance novel, ideal for fans of Nora Roberts, Jenny Hale and Debbie Macomber.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.