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Blogmas Day 15: Blogtour! Book Review: Christmas Secrets by the Sea – Jane Lovering

My very first blogtour – so exciting!!! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Christmas Secrets by the Sea in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Farrago Books and especially Fanny Emily Lewis who was so very kind in our email exchange!

So what’s this book about? Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes you don’t get the Christmas presents you imagined…

Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her as his owner.

When Tansy’s new-found friends at the cafe in the bay help her find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, she soon discovers that the show’s glamorous star, Davin O’Riordan, is as grouchy as he is handsome – and just as Brian starts forging a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet Seelie, Tansy begins to wonder exactly what Davin’s fans see in him.

As Christmas approaches, Tansy and Davin discover each other’s secrets, and a new bond begins to grow between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the cafe from closing?

What did I think?

I really liked Christmas Secrets by the Sea! I think it’s the perfect read for this time of year and perfect to read on a cold and cloudy day in front of the fireplace (or tv). I think it would be a great read for all of winter, not just for the Christmas season. Yes, it’s Christmas in the end of the book, but it doesn’t really focus on it. So you can also put it on your list for Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nick, or whatever you call the nice, bearded man who’ll bring us presents very soon, and enjoy the book well into the new year!

This book has a number of very special characters, who are all very different, but each very likeable in their own way. Interestingly, I think I might like some of the minor characters more than the main ones, and that’s a rare thing, isn’t it? Not to say I didn’t like the main characters, but the others deserve special attention here. I especially loved Tansy’s new friends from the beach café. Single mom Karen and her 14 year old son Rory are amazing characters, both very kind and caring, and I liked the idea of letting a teenage boy help out the TV team on set. It was as good as it’s unusual!

The other awesome characters were the two doggies Brian and Seelie – especially Brian (maybe also due to his name) often reminded me much more of a person rather than “just” a dog. (It is a very unusual name for a dog, isn’t it? Very fitting for his character though!)

But what about the main characters now, you may wonder?
Well, Tansy and Davin are very different, but in the end we find out they might actually fit together much better than you’d initially expect. Tansy left behind her old life (she was born into a very rich doctor family) and came to Dorset in a camper can in order to find out what she really wants from life. She seems very undecided and a bit broody at first (which is no surprise), which might be the cause of why I didn’t fall in love with her character immediately, but you’ll later find out more and more about her and her life, and you’ll understand her better. Same thing (but different) with Davin. He, too, is hiding his true self behind several layers of masks (which turn out to be rudeness much more than general broodiness as is the case with Tansy), but both are actually very kind and caring people. What I probably loved most about them was their innate kindness, humor and sarcasm. I love sarcastic characters!!

What the book reveals only slowly is that each of the characters has their own flaws, dark secrets and sad background stories, but it’s so nice seeing their development and how everything turns out in the end!

Overall, I can say that Christmas Secrets by the Sea is a pleasant novel, perfect for winter time. It may not be as festive and Christmassy as the title suggests, but that only gives you the chance to read it into the new year as well! I will have to deduct one star because it was a bit harder for me to get into the story and be patient enough to find out more about the characters, but the end was definitely worth the wait. 4 stars from me!

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