Christmas at the Little Knitting Box by Helen J Rolfe ** Blog Blitz Extract, Review & Giveaway **

There are plenty of seasonal touches in Helen Rolfe's Christmas at the Little Knitting Box which is celebrating its first birthday today. I have an extract from the book to whet your appetite and even a Giveaway- details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. First though, a bit about the book:

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …
The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.
Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.
When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?
Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.

Extract
Dylan is about to realise how he’s already involved with Cleo…
The warmth of the restaurant surrounded him and he stood up to take his sweater off. He hadn’t meant to pull his shirt up at the same time, but when he caught Cleo looking at his stomach, he was glad he hadn’t let himself slide after Prue walked out. A couple of guys from the office had hit the wrong side of thirty-five, and all the client dinners and drinks after work had started to show around their middle. Dylan supposed he had Prue to thank, not only for his children whom he adored, but also for her obsession that he worked out. He’d found her nagging amusing at first, but after a while it had grated on him and he’d started running and lifting weights just to get some peace. He’d been pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed it.
‘You look lovely tonight,’ he told Cleo. The dress showed her figure well, hugged her womanly curves, and the colour brought out a glow in her cheeks.
‘Thank you.’ She looked down at the menu momentarily and he wondered if his compliment had made her uncomfortable. When she looked up she said, ‘You’ll usually find me in jeans and a top, very casual.’
‘Don’t you dress up for work? Wow, I haven’t even asked you what you do yet.’ He shook his head. When he realised how little he knew about this woman it made him nervous, but he wouldn’t show the weakness.
‘I’m my own boss so I pretty much wear what I like.’
The waiter came and took their order and Dylan topped up his wine glass. Cleo hadn’t touched hers yet, but it was a fine wine and he was enjoying being in adult company. He got so little of it these days as a stay at home dad that he often craved a conversation that didn’t revolve around dolls or Lego constructions.
‘What do you do?’ he asked when the waiter retreated into the shadows.
‘I run my Grandpa’s knitting store.’
‘You say that as though it’s a bad thing. Don’t you enjoy it?’
She grinned. ‘I love it. It’s just that I’m used to anyone around my age giving me a look. Some people find it peculiar and usually associate it with something an older person would do.’
‘Ah yes, my grandmother was a keen knitter.’ He pondered. ‘Come to think of it, she’s the only female in my family who ever knitted. Mom never took to it.’
‘It’s gaining in popularity.’
As Cleo told him about celebrities who knitted, youngsters who came into the store, how she’d never been that interested until she had the business to run, she finally sat back in her seat and enjoyed some of the wine, relaxing as they talked.
‘I wouldn’t know where to start.’ He laughed and then thanked the waiter who delivered Cleo’s chicken in honey sauce and his Singapore noodles to the table.
‘It’s like anything,’ Cleo explained. ‘You need time, and a lot of patience.’
‘Do many men knit?’
‘You’d be surprised.’ She showed her prowess with chopsticks as she picked up a succulent morsel of chicken. ‘I have lots of regulars who are men, or wives come in to buy yarn for their husbands. Knitting is something that once you’ve got the hang of, can be quite an adventure.’
‘So where is this store of yours?’ He had a second shot at picking up a decent portion of noodles and succeeded this time.
‘In the West Village. There’s a little row of stores not too far from Hudson Street and The Little Knitting Box sits between a café and a bridal boutique.’
When she announced the name of her store, he only just managed to swallow the mouthful, but it went down the wrong way and he coughed, rescuing himself with a sip of water.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed reading Cleo and Dylan's story which slowly unfolded as the novel progressed. There were plenty of background details for both of them and both their doubts gradually made sense. Cleo has such an independent character and Dylan also goes against the stereotype of the alpha male. At the heart of both of them was the love for their family and wanting to act for the best for everyone.

    I was able to picture all the settings as Christmas preparations in New York gained pace. It is a feelgood story for the festive season and with character development  and a well paced plot, it makes for a great Christmas read.

In short: festive feelgood fun.
About the Author
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women's fiction with an
emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen's books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.
Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women's health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children's hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn't missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.
After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.
You can follow Helen here: Website   |  Facebook   | Twitter
Book links: Amazon UK   |  Amazon US  
Thanks to Helen Rolfe and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the event.
Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Christmas at the Little Knitting Box and chocolates, follow the link below.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas at the Little Knitting Box is Book 1 in Helen's New York Ever After series. Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn, Book 2, is out on December 12th 2017. You can pre-order here:Amazon UK   |  Amazon US

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... but is it the time to fall in love? 
 

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog. I loved it!
    Helen J Rolfe x

    ReplyDelete

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