Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering ** Blog Tour Review**
I am so pleased to welcome Jane Lovering's Christmas Secrets by the Sea to the blog today. It was published by Farrago on 13th December 2018 and is the first in a new series, Seasons by the Sea.
Sometimes you don’t get the Christmas presents you imagined…
Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her as his owner.
When Tansy’s new-found friends at the cafe in the bay help her find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, she soon discovers that the show’s glamorous star, Davin O’Riordan, is as grouchy as he is handsome – and just as Brian starts forging a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet Seelie, Tansy begins to wonder exactly what Davin’s fans see in him.
As Christmas approaches, Tansy and Davin discover each other’s secrets, and a new bond begins to grow between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the cafe from closing?
Although Christmas arrives at the end of the book, the majority of this novel is set in the run up to the festive season so it is not an out and out Christmas read. You could read it at any time without feeling that you are reading it 'out of season'. I particularly enjoyed how the two main characters of Tansy and Davin's characters are gradually revealed. With both of them, what you see is not necessarily what you get and they both discover some deep-seated issues which they hold from the past. Being given an insight into both of their state of minds really lets you get to know them both.
There is plenty of humour within the story, principally coming from the two little canine buddies of Brian and Seelie but also from some of the over the top characters who are part of the filming. I enjoyed the passing references to the fans who follow the film dramas such as Poldark and the author takes a rather playful dig at their fanatical ways. Being on the coast, the sea and the weather have a fairly major part to play in the plot and the setting on the Dorset beach is set up nicely for the rest of the series. The romance when it emerges is a muted affair compared to the friendships which develop as characters learn to face up to their pasts.
In short: An engrossing read which alternates between humorous and emotional moments.
About the Author
|c. Vienna Johnson|
Jane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, four cats and two dogs of variable sanity. She works in a local supermarket and also teaches creative writing. Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first-class honours degree in creative writing.
Jane writes comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’. Her debut, Please don’t stop the music, won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Awards from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Jane won the RoNA Rose (Love Story of the Year) Award 2017 and is shortlisted for the RoNA Romantic Comedy Award 2018.
Jane’s novels include: Please don’t stop the music, Star Struck, Hubble Bubble, Vampire State of Mind, Falling Apart, How I Wonder What You Are, I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Can’t Buy Me Love and Little Teashop of Horrors and Living in the Past.
You can read my review of Living in the Past here.
Book links: Amazon UK
Thanks to Jane Lovering, Farrago and Fanny Lewis of Farrago for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.