Christmas Secrets By The Sea
By Jane Lovering
A heartwarming tale about new beginnings and giving love a chance.
Book Review, No spoilers I swear!
Published in 2018 by Farrago it not until the other week when I sat down and read this book and my word it was beautiful. I came across this book on Twitter and I just needed to read it, so off I went to Amazon (the website not the place) and bought it. I briefly read the blurb but didn't exactly pay much attention to it, all I knew was that it was a Christmas romcom by the sea. At least that's what I thought.
The story follows Tansy Merriweather who is down on her luck and has lost almost everything apart from her campervan that she lives in. Parked up on the Dorset beach Tansy just wants enough money to move away which means finding a job. If life couldn't get any worse, Tansy finds herself the owner of a smelly dog who won't leave her alone. Tansy soon finds a job thanks to her new-found friends from the cafe and ends up working on a new TV show, the job, babysitting the shows leading man. The grouchy, impossible Irishman, Davin (not Gavin) O'Riordan which, if anything makes Tansy want to leave the place even more. However, its not until Tansy's dog sparks up a romance with Davin's elegant whippet, Seelie that Tansy begins to see a different side to Davin. As Christmas approaches, secrets are exposed threatening everything Tansy has tried so hard to leave in the past and forget about, but could these secrets strengthen the bond between Davin and Tansy, or will they break with the storms that are heading their way- and more importantly, can they save the cafe from closing down?
I thought when I read this blurb that I had this book all figured out, that it would be just like the other romcoms I have read. How wrong was I! This is so different to what I expected. Lovering has the ability to keep you interested throughout with the many twists and turns along the way. The story takes you on an emotional roller-coaster of things that I didn't expect to read in this book. Without giving anything away, this is not like other Christmas stories, this is one that gives you the feels, and will most likely make you cry, both sad and happy tears, I know I did both.
The characters are brilliantly written with a real feel to them. When we find Tansy she is this broken person who has lost everything and is trying to heal. However, its not until Tansy is around other people that we see a different side to her, the side that says, 'everything is fine' in how she hits back at Davin with her wit and banter, when in reality we know that this is just a front Tansy has built. As the story develops Tansy begins to open up, and Davin allows her to, not pushing her but lets her talk. This is so powerful as many people just bottle up there emotions whereas, Lovering demonstrates through these characters that its okay to talk and to cry.
Davin on the other hand comes across as the typical actor arsehole who expects everything on a plate. At least that's how we see him at the beginning, but Tansy soon realises Davin is just like the rest of us. Davin is just as broken as well, carrying his own baggage around, not feeling comfortable enough to open up to anyone, keeping it buried. The other characters in this book are also perfectly written and brings this book to life, making the story seem more real and therefore more heartfelt in a way.
This story is sad yes. But it is also so heartwarming, it made me want to read more, I need more, but how Lovering decided to end it was nothing short of blissful. Leaving it an ending full of hope and new chances and not ending in a cliche. This is such a wonderful book, one that is best accompanied with hot chocolate and plenty of biscuits in the evening (that's how I read it anyway). To say its my first Jane Lovering novel to read I will be looking out for more of her books.
So if you like mischievous dogs, handsome bad-tempered Irishmen and a bloody good heartfelt romance then this is a book for you.
Without saying no more and worrying that I may spoil this book for you I will say nothing more than go and seek this book out, its a wonderful book, a story that I no doubt will remember.
My rating out of 5*, I'd say 4.5*
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,
Till Next Time,