Christmas Secrets by the Sea

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I think this book just wasn't for me. Everything seemed so convoluted and I just couldn't get into it. Although I love all the tropes that were used in the story. I have friends who might like it and I would recommend it for them, but other than that I wasn't really a fan.
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This was a very enjoyable story set right on the beach in Dorset. I loved Brian, the scruffy abandoned dog that Tansy took in and looked after and the beautiful whippet, Seelie, that he was in love with!

Tansy is living in a camper van on the dunes in Dorset after having lost her thriving business to her nasty ex. So she's licking her wounds and contemplating her next move whilst living in a freezing camper van in the middle of nowhere. But then she find out they are filming a very popular coastal series in the next bay over and the director turns out to be an old London friend of Tansy who offers her work scouting out locations for a new series, and 'adult-sitting' his star, Davin.

Davin was a right grumpy sod for about half the book, it did take me quite a while to warm to him, which is unusual for an Irish character for me, they're usually so charming. He did have his reasons for being grouchy, secrets which are slowly revealed as he and Tansy get closer.

The beach cafe near Tansy's camper van is in danger of closing as the elderly owner/benefactor has just died and his relatives want to sell. So Tansy and Davin work together to help save the cafe and help the lady running it, Karen, and her 14 year old son Toby, from losing their home and Karen's job.

I really liked Tansy's character, and did feel really sorry for her when the full story of how she ended up broke and living in a camper van after owning a thriving and expanding business in London was revealed. But it worked out for her anyway as she ended up just where she should be, in Devon with a (not so grouchy by the end of the book!) Irishman, instead of in London with a cheating, lying ex - every cloud has a silver lining.

Very enjoyable book with a fair bit of drama towards the end (the dogs are OK!). I see that it's book number one of the Seasons By The Sea series and I really look forward to reading the rest of this series.
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Festive-infused tale pitting the forthright charms of down-on-her-luck heroine, Tansy Merriwether against the ascerbic wit of the  brooding, arrogant actor, Davin. A slow burning romance transpires as they both discover each other’s ‘secrets’ and realise that first impressions can often be misleading. I did read to the end, but for books following this formula of: character’s life falling apart, followed by a  retreat to a rural setting where they find themselves, love and a fresh start/more meaningful life, Jenny Colgan is my still my preferred choice.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After losing her business and home to her scheming ex, Tansy Merriweather finds herself living out of a van on a beach in Dorset. While she has no intention of staying long, she knows she doesn't have the money to keep traveling, and is forced to look into employment. Unfortunately for her, the only job she seems to find is working as a location scout for a TV show. It's here she meets the prickly actor, Davin "Not Gavin" O'Riordan. Davin is a bit of a newcomer to the acting scene, but already has a reputation as being grouchy and difficult to work with. However, after some initial verbal sparring, the two find in each other something of a kindred spirit, and soon the two work to save a local cafe, as well as help each other overcome past sorrows.

While I was definitely expecting a much happier and lighter read, Christmas Secrets by the Sea was an engaging read with a delightful cast of unique characters. I loved the believable slow-burn relationship between Tansy and Davin, and enjoyed reading about both of their complicated, if a bit depressing, pasts. I do wish the explanations for Pansy's past were a bit less vague, and would have preferred the flashback scenes for Davin were slightly more substantial, but found them enlightening nonetheless. I also really loved the plotline involving Pansy and Davin's dogs, finding it adorable and hilarious. 

Overall, I found this book to be incredibly entertaining, as well as both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Tansy was a compelling and sympathetic character I feel would appeal to many readers. While Lovering was a new-to-me author, I can definitely see myself reading more from her in the future, and would definitely recommend this novel to romance and women's fiction fans.  

4/5
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A most enjoyable book by Jane Lovering. As usual, she does not disappoint. A slow burning romance with normal and  likeable characters. The story unfolds gently as we discover what has happened to the lead characters in the past and wait for their 4 legged friends to help them in the road to true love.
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Never heard of this author before but the cover caught my eye and I'm glad I gave it a read. It was festive, entertaining and heart-warming. I liked this authors easy style of writing. Will be looking out for more by her in future
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Tansy Merriwether has pretty much hit rock bottom, in the last year she has lost her successful cupcake business, her business partner/ lover, her home and her money. Now she's living in a decrepit caravan on a Dorset beach. When she befriends the single mother who runs an isolated cafe nearby she hears about a TV crew which is filing a series in a nearby cove who might need someone to run odd jobs. When Tansy approaches the crew she finds out that she knows the director from when she lived in London. He suggests she could help the crew enormously by scouting for locations for a new series and taking the obnoxious male star with her, he and his female co-star are impossible when working together.

Davin O'Riordan isn't the man the PR people make him out to be, he isn't the man he pretends to be, he has lots of secrets but for some reason he likes Tansy, she's the only woman who doesn't swoon at his feet and who sees more than just a former model turned actor. But can two people learn to trust each other?

If I say that this book contains a sexy Irish actor, a teenage boy with a bottomless stomach, a single mother, Christmas, a vegan actress, a beautiful whippet and a smelly stray dog, and quaint English villages would you be interested? Yes, me too. This was charming, funny and a saccharine-free holiday romance. Maybe if I was being really picky I would have preferred fewer flashbacks to Davin's past (which didn't generally seem to add much) and maybe more to Tansy's past which (to me) still remains somewhat shrouded in mystery.

Overall, if Poldark revs your engine then I think you'll like Davin, he's been described as looking like Chris Hemsworth and Aidan Turner had a baby!

Recommended for fans of Sue Moorcroft.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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