Today is my stop on the blog tour for Heidi Swain’s fantastic new Christmas novel, Underneath the Christmas Tree. There’s nothing better than a feel good festive tale and Heidi certainly knows how to write those!
Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.
But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.
When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?
The first thing to mention here is the cover – isn’t it delightful? They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but I think on this occasion it would be perfectly acceptable to do so. From the moment I set eyes on the book, I just knew I was going to love it.
Set on the Norfolk coast, at Wynter’s Trees Christmas tree farm, it’s pretty obvious that this book is going to be full of festive feeling.
Liza is returning to her Dad’s Christmas tree farm for the first time since his death. It’s a place that has never felt like home to her and she just wants to see the back of it. However, returning to the place evokes unexpected memories and feelings, not least towards the new manager, Ned, and his gorgeous husky, Bandit. Liza agrees to stay until after Christmas, helping Ned and his father Dave with the Christmas market that they are running onsite whilst trying to persuade Ned to buy her share of the farm. Will time at Wynter Trees help Liza come to terms with her past and help her to look ahead to her future?
The book sensitively explores the issue of loss, whilst also looking at the importance of relationships, both romantic and friendship. This is helped by the warm and loveable characters we meet in Underneath the Christmas Tree, from the site workers to the local stall holders and, of course, the wonderfully appealing main characters, Liza and Ned. Liza can be somewhat frustrating, particularly in the earlier chapters, with her stubbornness and unwillingness to view things from any angle other than her own. However, it’s easy to see that this trait comes from the loss of both parents and a fear of further hurt.
There is great chemistry between Liza and the gorgeous Ned, even if it takes them a while to realise it.
I loved the setting on a Christmas tree farm and the addition of the festive market provides a great sense of community to the story, whilst giving a great excuse to include some familiar faces from Heidi Swain’s previous books. I love Christmas markets and I could almost smell that citrusy cinnamon sent that comes from the requisite mulled wine and mince pie stalls!
Heidi Swain is undoubtedly the queen of romantic fiction and Underneath the Christmas Tree certainly lives up to expectations. A cosy and heart warming tale of romance and friendship packed full of festive cheer, this book definitely gets a thumbs up from me. An absolute joy to read and the perfect book to ease you into the festive season.
A huge thanks to Books and the City and Simon and Schuster for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for sending me a review copy of Underneath the Christmas Tree.
Due for release on 28th October, you can pre-order the book using the link(s) below:
Heidi Swain is a Sunday Times Bestselling Author who writes commercial fiction for Simon and Schuster.
She has three series set in fictitious Wynbridge, Nightingale Square and Wynmouth and writes two titles a year – a summer and a Christmas book.
She also writes short stories and non-fiction for magazines and is represented by Amanda Preston.
Heidi always wanted to be a published author and her big writing break came in 2014 when she submitted The Cherry Tree Café to Books and The City (the digital first imprint of Simon and Schuster). The book was published a year later and she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her books are available in paperback, E-book and audio and have been published in Italy, France and Germany as well as the UK.
She lives in the east of England, is a member of the RNA and the Society of Authors and has a TBR pile which is always out of control.
You can follow the rest of the tour by visiting the Twitter profiles listed below: