Cover Image: Christmas in the Scottish Highlands

Christmas in the Scottish Highlands

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Member Reviews

Despite experiencing her own recent heartaches, Libby is excited to be a bridesmaid at the wedding of her best friend Willow. The Christmas Eve wedding promises to be a good time, up until the point Libby find out her ex will be there. When they get snowed in and a handsome stranger bonds with Libby, things get awkward, Will Libby be able to put her ex behind her? And what secret is the handsome stranger keeping? A good story.
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Belle Albany immediately begins to worry after crashing into an elderly woman named Edina, who suffers a broken bone. It doesn’t take Belle but a moment to realize that Edina is living all alone in a crumbling Scottish castle. Belle cannot walk away. It is the Christmas season and Belle had actually been feeling quite alone herself. She moves in with Edina while she recovers. Christmas starts to look brighter. 

However when Edina received a FaceTime call from her grandson Jack, Belle begins to worry is that she may have overstepped. Belle soon learns that Jack has not seen his grandmother for decades. Despite this, Jack shows up. What is more is he is rude and arrogant and has no desire to make Christmas enjoyable for anyone. Any Christmas plans that Belle and Edina had begin to form look like they will fall apart. He only intends in being in Scotland long enough to find a better place for his grandmother to live.

Belle decides to go ahead with the Christmas plans that she had begun to form with Edina. Every step of the way, Jack disagrees. However, the ice around his heart begins to thaw and before long Jack and Belle soon realize that they are both drawn to one another. Will the pair find that the Christmas holidays bring joy to both of their hearts or will something from Jack’s past be responsible for ruining any chance that happiness for them? In this touching story by Donna Ashcroft the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Christmas season, the love of family and friends, and two hearts all come together in a wonderful story that proved to be a delightful read.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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Really enjoyed this book. Loved the community feel. A good read to get you in the Christmas spirit.                  .
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I absolutely loved this festive read!
When busy schoolteacher Belle accidentally crashes her bicycle into an elderly lady she doesn’t plan to add more to her heaping plate of to-dos, but she knows she has to help the lonely, sad Edina. Belle temporarily moves into Edina’s crumbling Scottish castle to help nurse her and bring some cheer into the old lady’s life, unexpectedly coming face-to-face with Edina’s very handsome estranged grandson Jack…
What I loved about this heartwarming story:
• a fun cast of characters, including an adorable Donkey Bob and cute cat Jinx
• enemies to lovers trope
• the gorgeous Scottish setting, full of snow and cairns and beautiful countryside
• the depiction of kind, caring people and people with capacity for change 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Bookouture for the copy in exchange for review!
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Super cute Christmas story. I really enjoyed this, seeing all the people of the village getting together to help each other out. Is a feel-good read which will cheer you up. 
Thanks #netgalley for the advanced copy.
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I enjoyed this book, and found the characters great, apart from Jack. Sadly, it meant that for about half of the book I just found myself feeling annoyed with him and disliking everything he thought and said! Don’t let it put you off though because it’s nice, easy reading Christmas story. Looking forward to my next book by Donna.
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I have to say I really could not get in to this book. I originally picked it because it is set in the Scottish Highlands and being from Scotland myself it is nice to have a book which is set closer to home. However, within the first 5 or so pages I felt that the book was a bit stereotypical and cringeworthy - all tartan coats, lads, lassies and very Scottish names. 

Maybe for someone else but not for me this time unfortunately! ,
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Every once in a while I like to read a sappy romance novel and this Christmas in the Scottish Highlands was the one that caught my attention. I honestly didn’t expect anything huge or new and what I got was a nice and easy story. 
We have 2 completely different but absolutely gorgeous people who hate each other at first but fall in love in the end. They are likable enough and the story itself is funny and entertaining enough but that is all. The story gave me nothing new and I’m honestly tired of beautiful people falling in love with other beautiful people. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my copy.
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Sweet Christmas read! I enjoyed it. It felt like watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. I found the main character really enjoyable.
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’ll admit I was a bit gutted when I saw Donna Ashcroft’s new book, Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, wasn’t set in the village of Lockton as her last few books have been. I have come to love this setting and its characters and wanted more from them. But as soon as I started this new amazing, feel-good story my disappointment was instantly alleviated because I I found the village of Christmas was near to Lockton and some of the previous characters were briefly mentioned but also this really did have all the traits that I have come to love from a Donna Ashcroft book and it truly is the most wonderful of festive reads. It’s definitely one of the best out there this year. 

The author has a way of making you feel at home within the story right from page one. She has such a brilliant way of describing her settings and the wide range of characters introduced and of bringing winter and the festive scene to life from the pages. I loved every minute of this uplifting, sweet and cosy read which featured such warm, lovable characters.

Belle Albany has been living in the little village of Christmas in the Scottish Highlands for the last two years. She loves her job as a teacher in the local school and is now young free and single since her boyfriend emigrated to Australia. I connected with Belle straightaway being a teacher myself but there was also just something about her that made me see so many traits of myself within her. All the emotions she was feeling and her need to do all the things for all the people whilst forgetting about her own needs, well that sums me up perfectly. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t think the majority of the traits that Belle had were wrong or not useful, in fact the village of Christmas would have been lost without her considering all she does. I don’t know how she kept so many balls constantly juggling in the air whilst staying sane.

I found Belle to be an admirable person and someone who deserves respect and gratitude but at the same time she needn’t have spent so much time worrying about others and could have stepped back a bit and taken some time for herself. Will she be able to do this or is she just too used to taking on so much and therefore uncomfortable in asking for help for herself when needed? With Christmas just around the corner and lots going on in this magical little village, will the Christmas show turn into a disaster when the costumes can’t be found or will help from an unexpected source provided Belle with the support she hasn’t used for herself for some time but up until now she has refused to admit to?

One word that sums up Belle is reliable. She is the one, people turn to in times of a crisis and when she knocks Edina Lachlan over when her bike skids on ice and Edina suffers a fractured ankle, Belle knows she has to step in. It’s a way of assuaging her guilt over the incident but also she is killing two birds with one stone. Edina lives alone in Evergreen Castle and has become quite isolated from the village over the last several years. Belle volunteers to move in with her and help her until she is recovered. In doing so, she can let a family in need of a home stay in her own cottage until they find something. She has no close relatives nearby as her father works in Kenya and has never really returned to visit and the Aunt she shared the cottage with has passed away. This is just a prime example of the caring, kind and considerate nature that Belle has. She never stops and rests. She always has a multitude of things on her to do list and she is always thinking of others. How can she reduce some stress in people's lives? How can she help out with Christmas preparations in the village? Yet at the same time you can sense she takes on too much but I would say similar to myself she is reluctant and uncomfortable to ask for extra help to share the load. Partly because she gets a good feeling when she is doing good deeds but also sometimes don’t you just feel like you would do a good job of getting something if you did it yourself and you know it is done to perfection.

Edina was a fabulous character with a wealth of world experience and I felt a real connection between herself and Belle. Edina has only recently connected with her grandson Jack who is estranged from his mother Tara. This strand of the story was sensitively and expertly developed and you just knew that Belle was itching to get her hands on Jack’s problems and try and help him solve them. But also she did see him in a bad light for quite some time wondering if had ulterior motives and wanted Evergreen Castle to be sold as Edina is getting on and finding it difficult to manage. Therefore she would end up in a retirement home which Belle knows she really doesn’t want that. Jack himself had such a suspicious nature. He avoids intimacy and finds it to difficult to trust and he has felt alone in the world and cast adrift since his Dad died. Is now the time to reconnect with his mother or has his head been filled with too many things of an unsavoury nature to make him want to go back to his roots and become a family once more?

Jack believes that no one does anything for nothing that surely Belle has something sinister up her sleeve? I hated the fact that he couldn’t see how genuine Belle and Tavish actually were. He really needed to revaluate his whole outlook on life. Jack is so stubborn and needs to allow people to talk and he should listen and you question given his nature will he ever allow this to happen? I loved the gradually thawing between himself and Belle and that Jack came at first with one goal in mind but that village and its community spirit and of course Belle at the centre of it all really wanted to show him that keeping people at arms length and protecting your heart may not always be the right thing to do.

Perhaps for me the element of the story that really brought a smile to my face and made me all excited and eager for Christmas was when the children from Belle’s class came to the castle to write their Christmas lists. This was the inspiration for a big part of the overall book. Belle sees that Edina has written her own list with some way out there requests but also some more heartfelt things that she wishes to come true. Once again Belle’s instincts to help out are set in motion and she is determined that Edina’s list will be fulfilled and in doing so this allows for lots of little lovely things to happen in the run up to Christmas both for Edina and for the village as a whole. There is a more pressing issue on Edina’s list that Belle is not sure that it can be fulfilled but she will always try her best to do so. Belle always wants to do the right thing for the right reason but perhaps it might not always bring the happiness that one would expect? Will her plans prove fruitful and will she also reveal why she has spent so long doing so much? 

Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, is just a fabulous book from start to finish and I desperately hope that these characters will feature in future books by Donna Ashcroft. It’s packed full of all things festive to get you in the mood for the big day. Not to mention it’s infused with such warmth, humour and genuine human understanding. Quite simply, it was a great book and I am sad it’s over and do make sure to put it on your Christmas wishlist this year.
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An overworked school teacher, a cynical divorce lawyer and a lonely grandmother are the main characters in this fun Scottish highland Christmas tale. When Edina is injured by Belle in her bike in the snow Belle moves in to take care of her elderly neighbor much to the chagrin of Edina’s grandson Jack with whom she’s just come into contact with. Belle’s constant goodwill makes Jack suspicious but as time goes on her goodness starts to break through his shell. But when Edina’s Christmas list to Santa includes him  reconnecting with his estranged mother Jack doesn’t want anything to do with our dogooder Belle. Yet the attraction seems to be irresistible.

A sweet story and quick read. The relationships are well developed and has just enough heat with all the heart attached.
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Ok wow ! Christmas came early this year ! Absolutely adored every moment of this cute read. I am always crazy about holiday romances but there are very few that are exactly the right blend of warmth, perfect believable  characters and cuteness ! 
In this one  both the lead characters and their back stories were so credible and I found myself rooting for both of them. 
The setting was out of a fairytale. A castle in Scotland in a village called Christmas village but the author pulled it all off without overdoing it. There’s snow, an amazing old lady, a donkey and a cat, a mother and a son, a very cute side romance too. Can’t recommend this enough if you’re looking for a cute Christmas romance!
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I gorgeously uplifting feel good book. Filled with tonnes of Christmas spirit and joy, a sweeping romance, fantastic characters and a wonderful storyline. This book is perfect for the festive period.
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Gorgeous Christmas tale.

Belle spends her life running herself ragged looking after everyone else. But deep down she is in need of someone who will care for her too.

When an accident leads her to help an old lady out, she gets more than she bargained for.
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I really enjoyed Christmas in the Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft. It was full of characters, from Belle and Jack to Bob the donkey. A heartwarming Christmassy read. Another great book by Donna and I can’t wait to read her next one.
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A gorgeous story Christmas in the Scottish Highlands about forming new friendships, renewing family relationships during the Christmas holidays. School teacher Belle plowed her bike into an elderly woman called Edina. Due to the accident Belle found herself staying with Edina to look after her until she improves. Christmas lists made and Belle ensures to help Edina she went out of her way to see that Edina’s Christmas list is crossed off but who will help Belle with her own Christmas list. As friendships and relationships are being formed the village and school community helps unite together to make certain events occur. As Snowstorms and tempers flare causing couples and relationships open up communication that they are too scared to state what’s happening and asking for help. The book demonstrates communication skills which are needed for any type of relationship to work and stay on track. The plot shows the up and downs of any relationship and events of why relationships have broken down and how someone’s actions and words can hurt the ones we love. 

#ChristmasintheScottishHighlands #NetGalley
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture  via NetGalley for my honest review of the book.   The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own thoughts, feelings and viewpoints of the book.

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Lovely little feel-good Christmas book. :) featuring lots of snow and festivities. 

Also read whilst I was visiting Scotland and loved it even more because of it.
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Christmas in the Scottish Highlands was an absolute delight to read! It’s one of those cases where I can’t quite put my finger on what it was I liked, so I’m just going to share some of the things about it that charmed me as I read.

The premise for the characters coming together was a little bit wacky (Belle crashing into Edina on her bike) but didn’t feel entirely unnatural. This meant the characters, to me, didn’t feel pushed together. There was an excellent supporting cast of villagers and friends, which I always love, and the links between the characters, and why/how they knew each other didn’t feel forced. I really felt like everyone belonged in the story.

Belle and Edina in particular were great characters. I really liked that while Belle had some trouble saying no and probably put others before herself far too much, she was still confident and wasn’t always putting herself down (something we see way more often than I would like in these sorts of cosy romance stories). I loved seeing Edina come out of her shell and thought she was just a super fun character.

I liked that Belle and Jack didn’t start as enemies for no reason, but instead had kind of tended towards a distrust and uncertainty of each other in the beginning, which was probably appropriate given the strange situation under which they meet. Both certainly have reason to be suspicious of the other, and it was fun to see how that shifted as they got to know each other and their friendship developed.

The setting of the story was also great. I thought the castle was fabulous, and I loved that we got some snow. Centering parts of the story around the school and their nativity play worked really well for me – I liked the way that this gave the villagers something to work on and towards, and the scenes with the kids in them really let some of the characters show a different side of themselves.

There were also a couple of great animal characters in this one, which is something I’m always a sucker for!

Overall I really thought this was a fun, festive, charming read. I think this would be the perfect read for fans of Hallmark style Christmas movies – I actually think the combination of the gorgeous setting, the fun cast of characters, and the sprinkling of sweet and funny bits throughout would make a great movie!
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It may be a tad slow to start, but this little Christmas tale is charming to say the least. I love the relationship between Belle and Edina. It has all the Christmas feel-good vibes.
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This was a cute Christmas story. I loved the quirky villagers and the main characters. But I loved the meaning of the story.
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