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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.

A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering #Review


Today we have an uplifting story from Jane Lovering with some serious undercurrents. A Midwinter Match was published by Boldwood Books on 19th August.

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

My Thoughts

 Here we have two contrasting characters to get to know, Ruby and Zac and it is clear that they both have their own back stories. As you learn more about them, you also begin to see what they might have in common. Family is an important part of the story and there are some dark themes woven into the story. Dementia, unemployment, mental health issues all give it a grounded feel. Zac's story is particularly affecting and the contrast between his childhood and Ruby's is stark. Nevertheless, it is a warm and uplifting tale and one I enjoyed very much.

    There are also some quirky and amusing secondary characters who liven up the story. The people who Zac and Ruby advise are varied and add to the story so much, as do their co-workers. The humour is always gentle and never at the expense of the characters.  I wasn't too sure how the situation Ruby and Zac find themselves in was going to be resolved and certainly, the ending took me by surprise. 

In short: Warmth and affection melt the heart despite some serious issues.

About the Author



Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.  Her first title for Boldwood will be published in September 2020.


You can follow Jane here:  Twitter  | Facebook |  Website   |  Bookbub  |  Newsletter Sign up

Book links: Amazon UK

Thanks to Jane Lovering, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

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