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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Little Village Library by Helen Rolfe #Review

 I am delighted to return to Helen Rolfe for her latest contemporary romance, The Little Village Library which was published on February 6th. You can read my reviews of some of her other books here: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin  |  Christmas at the Little Knitting Box

It takes a village...
Cloverdale is known for its winding roads, undulating hills and colourful cottages, and more recently, its Library of Shared Things. Need a ladder, a hedge trimmer or a waffle-maker? You can borrow it from the Library of Shared Things.

Single dad Adam is doing a good job of raising his daughter, Zoe, whilst burying his past and moving forwards. When he agrees to run a mending workshop at the Library, new friendships start to blossom.

Jennifer is a volunteer at the Library. When her younger sister Isla moves back to Cloverdale after their mother dies, Jennifer finds herself wondering whether Isla is hiding something.

And when Adam's daughter Zoe makes a startling discovery, it's time for the people at the Library of Shared Things to pull together and help one family with its biggest challenge of all. 

This is a novel with community at its heart. It's about the kindness we can find when we least expect it and the bonds we can form when we're not even looking.

The Little Village Library is a heartwarming story about kindness, community, and new beginnings, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Rachael Lucas


My Thoughts

There is a tremendous sense of community in this novel, which does not just come from the setting in the Library. The inhabitants of the village have their own stories too, but you come to appreciate that though they may be very different people, they all have a sense of fellowship in common. Adam, Viola, Jennifer and Viola all have some deeply buried secrets which are hinted at quite strongly. There are some dark issues hidden in the past and you are left for much of the story trying to figure out exactly what has happened. Nevertheless, despite the seriousness of past events, you do not lose the warmth of the story as Adam's family begin to settle into the village.

     I particularly enjoyed getting to know Isla and finding out what was at the bottom of her relationship with her sister. She is a breath of fresh air in the village. Jennifer seems to be the lynch pin between all the characters and you get a good sense of how alienated she is at the beginning and anxious to reconnect with her family and friends. The relationships between the parents and the children/ teenagers add another layer to the stories and there are some wry observations on 'life with a teen'. 

 In short: A delightful read with a solid heart. 

About the Author

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women's fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen's books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe.

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 finally turned to what she loved and studied writing and journalism. She spent a while freelancing for women's health and fitness magazines, volunteered with the PR department of a children's hospital where she wrote articles and media releases, and eventually began writing fiction in 2011. And now, she thinks she may just have found her dream job.

Helen currently lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with her husband and their children.

You can follow Helen here: Website
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Book links: Amazon UK
Thanks to Helen Rolfe, and Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 
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