It’s such a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe – published for kindle on 6th December, and available from Amazon in the UK and US. You might just have noticed that I’ve been particularly enjoying Helen’s writing recently – and you have pre-ordered The Little Café at the End of the Pier, out on 24th January, haven’t you? – but this is the first time I’ve tried the New York Ever After series. And I’ll admit I’m rather kicking myself that I’m only discovering it with the fourth and final book – although this one was just fine as a standalone read, but I’d really like to go back and find out the stories that went before.
Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?
Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.
Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.
Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?
Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.
Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.
I’ll admit it took me a little while to get used to the US setting and flavour of this book – after my recent experience of the author’s Salthaven-on-Sea, I felt just a tad outside the story, and I didn’t immediately take to Holly as she adapted to her new life as a freelancer, taking her photographs and settling on her future direction. Her relationship with Pierre didn’t really convince me either – there didn’t seem any warmth to it – and I was a little worried where the story might going. But then she found Mitch and his log cabin, and suddenly the story became everything I hoped for – and Inglenook Falls (and Manhattan at Christmas) was the place I really wanted to be.
Helen Rolfe really is wonderful at locations – she totally captures the “small town” feel, the way everyone knows everyone else’s business, and her descriptions (I feel like I’ve actually visited The Knitting Box…) are quite superb. I loved the scene at opening night for the new hotel – over the top and glitzy, the taking of photographs providing the perfect frame for lingering over its sumptuousness, and all in such sharp contrast to the lives of ordinary people. Mitch’s cabin is drawn in loving detail too – with a heart, brought about by the important links with love and family.
It’s a great story – corporate greed and sheer nastiness, full of misunderstandings and wrong turns, people showing their true colours, carefully plotted and well tangled. But I particularly loved the ongoing transformation of Mitch – his loss and sadness, his disintegration, his gentleness, his love of his environment and its trees, and the glimpses of his loveliness inside in his friendship with young Jude. There’s a perfect – real and believable – love story too, with happy endings all round, but a satisfying number of twists and turns in getting there. The whole story has a lovely Christmassy feel – the trees themselves, the Christmas markets, the tinsel and lights, the gifts – and who doesn’t enjoy experiencing Manhattan in all its festive excess?
I thoroughly enjoyed this one – and really recommend it as a late addition to your Christmas reading list!
About the author
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.