Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 13 October 2023
When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life.
One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
All three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but with Christmas on the horizon, is that really the best way to celebrate the season?
A Christmas Celebration was my first Christmas book of the season and what a festive treat it is!
In our ninth visit to Wynthorpe, we once again travel to the idyllic Wynthorpe Hall, home of Angus and the rest of the Connelly family. The family are busy preparing for Christmas at the Hall but with some family members away, they are a few hands short. Fortunately for them Paige, Angus’s goddaughter, arrives at the Hall just in time to help out with the festive plans. Recently having returned to the UK, Paige is in need of somewhere to lay low whilst she recovers from her ordeals abroad. Paige presents as a strong and capable person, yet there is a sadness and a hint of vulnerability lurking behind her smile. We also meet Albert Price, a grumpy older chap who initially seems pretty resistant to Paige’s attempts to help him. There is a mystery to Albert, one which Paige can’t quite figure out.
As a reader, you can’t help but be curious as to the reasons behind the sadness that hangs over Paige and Albert, and it’s a delight to see how their fragile friendship pulls them both back to life. As Christmas approaches, Paige and Albert’s secrets are gradually revealed and the reader is shown how truly important a bit of patience, kindness and compassion can be.
In fact, the friendship between the two would have been sufficient enough for the tale and yet we, the reader, are also treated to the handsome and brooding Brodie. Like Paige, Brodie is a newcomer to Wynthorpe and he comes with his own secrets and troubles. Will this be the start of a festive romance or are Paige and Brodie too consumed by their own problems that they won’t have room for someone else’s insecurities and woes?
Heidi Swain’s books are always a delicious treat and this one is no different. A Christmas Celebration left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling (and a big hankering for Christmas baked goods!). The setting is just perfect, the story is heartwarming and engaging, the characters are very likable and there is a wonderful sense of community throughout the story. This is a marvellous winter tale, a true festive delight.
I should also point out that if, by any chance, you haven’t read any of Heidi’s previous books (which you definitely should do!), don’t worry, A Christmas Celebration can be read as a standalone.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster and to Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of this book
Various bookseller links for A Christmas Celebration can be found here
Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk.