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The Vintage Village Bake Off by Judy Leigh #Review

  Here we are with another amusing romcom by Judy Leigh . The Vintage Village Bake Off was published by Boldwood Books on December 4th. Now in his seventies, Robert Parkin is stunned to find himself the unlikely sex symbol of the village gardening club. Living in happy solitude with his cat Isaac Mewton in the Devon village of Millbrook, entertained by his mischievous chickens and goats, Robert has never figured out the rules of romance. But as the local ladies vie for his company, it soon becomes clear that Robert's Victoria Sponge cake is the lure, and as his baking prowess grows, so does his confidence. Cheesecakes, meringues, puddings, Robert can do it all, but his real masterpieces are his scones - ginger, rosemary, coconut, fruit, his recipes are inspired and soon come to the attention of the local media. Which county does the best cream tea - Devon or Cornwall? It's time for an age-old debate to be settled with a competition. Robert's sisters Bunty and Ha

Keeping a Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas #Review


I was delighted to get a place on the tour to celebrate the publication of the latest festive novel, Keeping a Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas. It was published digitally on September 22nd by TransworldThe paperback version will be published on October 13th by Penguin.

A Christmas to remember for a friend they'll never forget…

Four friends

While on holiday twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. As they talked about families, careers and travelling, the future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed...

One promise

Now, Freya and two friends are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they've lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern lights. Nothing - not even a snowstorm - is going to stop them.

A life-changing adventure

When an avalanche leaves them stranded, a handsome local, Petur, comes to the rescue and shows them how the community come together to survive. With Christmas fast approaching, the women throw themselves into village life preparing for the festive celebrations.

As Freya's love for the village and feelings for Petur grow, could this be her chance to find true happiness?


Keeping a Christmas Promise is an uplifting and heart-warming story about friendship, adventure and learning to love again set in a picturesque Icelandic village.

 My Thoughts

If you want a gorgeous festive read this winter, this is the one! Set in beautiful Iceland in December, you taken to a quite magical place which you feel is is protected from the outside world by the elements. The community understand how vulnerable they are and come together to look after each other. Freya and her friends have come to Iceland to fulfil a promise to their friend, Laura. They bring with them their own particular issues and have been looking forward to seeing the Northern Lights, as tourists, staying in a luxury spa hotel. Circumstances lead then to Petur's farm and they discover some surprising things about themselves during their stay.

     As the community works together, you see individual acts of kindness. There is a deliciously festive feel, with gorgeous descriptions of the local food and the natural phenomena. Freya in particular, re-assesses her life and comes to appreciate the values of the locals she meets. She sees the benefits of their sustainable lifestyle and the threats that can be found in the greed and self-centred interests of outsiders. The story swept me along. I found this character-driven story to be a perfect winter read. 

In short:the story sparkles like the winter snow

About the Author

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, including time at Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show.


Jo's debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller and won both the RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the Festival of Romance Best eBook Award. Her recent book Escape to the French Farmhouse was a #1 bestselling eBook and in every one of her novels Jo loves to explore new countries

and discover the food produced there, both of which she thoroughly

enjoys researching.


Jo lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and three children, where cooking and gathering around the kitchen table are a hugely important and fun part of their family life.

You can read my review of Jo's The Honey Farm on the Hill here 
Coming Home to Winter Island here  Escape to the French Farmhouse here and Finding Love at the Christmas Market here and Celebrations at the Chateau here.

You can follow Jo here:  Twitter   |  Website   |  Facebook

Book link: Amazon UK 
Thanks to Jo Thomas, Transworld and Penguin and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!



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