The Cat of Yule Cottage by Lili Hayward
I decided to read The Cat of Yule Cottage in the run up to Christmas and as a seasonal holiday read, it hits the mark. However, it is more than a piece of romantic escapism. Jessamine Pike arrives at Enysyule having split from her boyfriend and had her book accepted by a publisher. She decides that her life needs an overhaul and takes on the tenancy of the house despite the rather odd stipulation that she should care for the incumbent cat, Perrin. Whilst the cat lives, her tenancy is safe. The house in run down and she soon realises that the locals in the Cornish village all have a view about her. Family rivalries and disagreements from years ago should have nothing to do with her but she is drawn into it all because of her strong feelings about the house and the rather aloof and arrogant cat. Beset by strange dreams, she soon realises that there is more to Enysyule than she had anticipated.
I enjoyed the mix of Cornish magic and mystery which seemed to swirl through the story like the wintry weather that was enveloping the area. There was a good mix of characters, especially in the rival factions who live there. As Jess uncovers the secrets of the past, you feel the jeopardy she senses. Ultimately it is an uplifting yet surprising tale.
In short: a mixture of romance, magic and mystery - a great seasonal read.
Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton who sent me a copy of the book via Bookbridgr.