Return to Little Leyton with Jill Steeples and the third installment in the Dog & Duck story: a story with heart, community and plenty of doggie-moments. Please read on for my review of
Wedding Bells at the Dog & Duck
It’s Christmastime in Little Leyton, but there’s far more happening. Ellie and Max will soon be expecting their first child, there is a massive snowstorm (not unlike this past weekend) and since the Dog & Duck is the perfect gathering place, this is where Ellie has gathered her friends for Christmas dinner. But an unexpected stranded tourist, a baby that has decided he wants to meet Santa and Polly’s newly minted engagement – there is plenty to celebrate. Well, that is until Max makes a huge effort to propose and Ellie, being a little slow on the uptake and a bit of a scardey-cat when faced with a choice, refuses. Almost instantly she realizes her mistake, but with the ups and downs after Noel’s birth, her worry about her parents, the roller-coaster erratic behavior from Katy, Max’s half sister, and the second-guessing that comes with a new baby, particularly a colicky one – and you have a story that is ripe with overthinking, drama, secrets and everyone (yes EVERYONE for this is Little Leyton) qualified to give well-intentioned advice.
From feeling like you are dropped into the center of the village, most of the story is focused on Ellie and her struggles: and triumphs, and she’s a person who can quickly push her own concerns to the side to focus on others, and she’s got plenty to focus on here. From arranging her best friend Polly’s hen night and wedding, to worrying about her parents’ sudden decision to leave Dubai and move back, to Katy’s obvious struggles and the apparent breakdown of Josie and Ethan’s marriage, she’s got plenty to sidetrack her as she stealthily ignores her own reasons for declining Max’s proposal. And when you add in the fact that she and Max are building a family, from inviting the elderly Arthur to stay with them, and accepting Katy’s news (and shock of it) with support, love and plenty of patience: there’s plenty happening to move the plot along.
Granted, this is not a story that you can read easily without having read earlier books in the series, although you’ll enjoy it more if you have: and the pacing is a bit uneven: but these are characters that feel real and plausible. They are flawed and prone to impulsive moments that always lead to a rethink, often overly involved in one another’s lives while they ignore what’s happening at home, but the love and caring is there and make this village a wonderful place to visit.
Title: Wedding Bells at the Dog & Duck
Author: Jill Steeples
Series: Dog & Duck #3
Also in this series: Summer at the Dog & Duck, Happily Ever After at the Dog & Duck
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Aria
Published on: 1 March, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Ellie Browne is looking forward, with her partner Max, to hosting Christmas Day lunch at The Dog & Duck, but heavily pregnant now and with a snowstorm brewing outside, it seems that things might not go quite to plan.
After the dramatic events of the holiday season, Ellie settles into her new life at Max’s country mansion Braithwaite Manor, juggling work and family as best she can. When she’s asked to help organise a summer wedding for one of her best friends it’s only natural that her mind turns to her own, non-existent, wedding plans!
With Max decidedly lukewarm on the whole subject and other family complications threatening to disrupt life further, Ellie fears there'll never be wedding bells at the Dog & Duck after all.
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.