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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Review: Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

So, I decided to fit in one last Christmas read before heading back to work and the ‘real world’ today- you know, just to wring every last ounce of festive-goodness from my break as possible- and I’m so glad I did. Heidi Swain’s Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market was a lovely way to end my Christmas holidays.

Ruby has admitted defeat, packing in her master’s course at university, she has headed back home to Wynbridge to stay with her parents and gather enough cash to give in to her wanderlust in the New Year. She has everything planned and is looking forward to manning a market stall as an outpost for her friends at the Cherry Tree CafĂ©. What she isn’t counting on is having to battle her father every step of the way, fighting against his own views of what his highly academic daughter should be doing with her life.

And it’s not only her dear old dad that Ruby has to contend with- she wasn’t expecting to fall head over heels in love with the town, and the market in particular. She soon finds that she’s at the centre of its battle for survival. And having Steve, her ex, working on the stall right next to her certainly isn’t helping her heart-rate either.

Ruby is a brilliant character. She’s resourceful, loyal and incredibly feisty. I loved the fact that she fights for what she believes in- even if it means making life difficult for herself. The supporting cast of characters is fantastic and it was great to catch up with so many names from Heidi's previous Wynbridge books.

With all the town events in the lead up to Christmas, I could recognise so many characters from the villages and small towns I’ve been a part of. The WI ladies, the school-mums, the market traders who’re like a close-knit family- impenetrable at first glance, but incredibly hard-working and once you get to know them- kind and community-minded. I think this is the real charm of Heidi’s writing, the ability to capture a sense of community and its importance. It’s something so rare these days, that to find it perfectly represented in a book is something very special.

As well as being beautifully festive, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market is full of joy and those moments that really tug at your heart. The plot was full of bits of intrigue and mini-mysteries that kept me glued all the way to the last page. And boy, what a last page it was. I thoroughly enjoyed cheering Ruby on, and wished for the very best ending for her and all the folks of Wynbridge. Do they get it? You'll just have to treat yourself to a read, and find out!

If you're getting Christmas withdrawal symptoms, I highly recommend that you grab a copy and spend some time in Wynbridge- this is a warm, festive hug of a book, and a complete joy to read.

Paperback:                   Kindle:

The Blurb:

Christmas has arrived in the town of Wynbridge and it promises mince pies, mistletoe and a whole host of seasonal joy.

Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.

But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs.

The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…

This Christmas make time for some winter sparkle – and see who might be under the mistletoe this year… 

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