It’s always an absolute delight to read and review a new book from Sue Moorcroft. The Little Village Christmas was published as an e-book on 9th October by Avon Books, but not too long to wait for the paperback – it’ll be available from 2nd November. I was lucky enough to be sent an advance print copy, and the cover is just beautiful – the snow on those roofs glistens and sparkles, and just looking at it made me want to put up the decorations and get the sprouts on. But just wait until you open it… I always enjoy Sue’s books very much, but must admit this one has joined my list of “top favourites”.
The #1 bestseller returns with an irresistibly festive tale that you won’t be able to put down!
Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.
After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.
But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.
However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…
Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
I was quite beside myself with excitement when I heard this book was going to bring a return visit to Middledip, one of my favourite fictional villages – and I wasn’t disappointed in any way. There’s something I find irresistible about a book set within a village community where everyone knows everybody’s business and nothing stays secret for long, and this is a wonderful story of a group of people pulling together to set up a cafe – against all the odds – in the former Angel pub, with the opening planned just before Christmas.
Alexia herself is an excellent focus for the story – immediately likeable, with a touching back story and an uncertain future one, and an infectious enthusiasm for her design work that draws you into the story and has you rooting for her from the beginning and through all the ups and downs. As for Ben – well, who wouldn’t be drawn to a sad but rather fit and gorgeous young man caring for an injured baby owl, eh? It was lovely to see Gabe (and his pony) again too, although he did have me rather worried about him for a while – and there are a few other Middledip residents that regular readers might just recognise.
The story is just excellent – things were never going to go smoothly, and there’s some villainy and nastiness that inevitably puts the cafe’s completion in doubt. Different characters come into the forefront of the story – I wasn’t a particular fan of Jodie, but I did really like the way Carola’s character was developed. And back to Ben – and he has a fascinating back story to explore, very well handled and with a few real surprises. And as for rescue owl Barney – he’s just wonderful, punctuating things with his loud “heh”.
The book is set over the run-up to Christmas, but you really don’t need to leave it unread until you’ve put up your tree – I’m as averse to reading Christmas stories in October as others may be, but this one would work just fine at any time of year. And Sue Moorcroft’s writing? I’d say that in this book it’s better than it’s ever been – and it’s always something rather special. I thoroughly enjoyed this one…
My thanks to Avon Books (and netgalley) for my advance reading copy, and for including me in the blog tour. You’ll find all the other stops here:
About the author
Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award, and been nominated for others, including a ‘RoNA’ (Romantic Novel Award). Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, and a past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and editor of its two anthologies. The daughter of two soldiers, Sue was born in Germany and went on to spend much of her childhood in Malta and Cyprus. She lives in Kettering.