“You should never have to feel stupid sharing the things that matter to you with the people you love.”
― Tilly Tennant, A Very Vintage Christmas
Dodie is a hopeless romantic and is absolutely one of a kind, just like the pieces in her shop. When Dodie finds a love letter in the pocket of an old wool coat, she makes it her mission to deliver it to its rightful owner. Following the address, she manages to persuade the handsome but reluctant new tenant, Edward, to help her with her search.
As the story of the letter unfolds, Dodie is there to pick up the pieces and make things right. But who will be there for her when her love story needs a helping hand? Is it too much to dream of a happy ending like the ones in the black-and-white movies she adores?
I was hoping for a simple feel-good Christmas read and was not disappointed. Tilly Tennant does a wonderful job crafting this sweet holiday story. The characters have depth, and they all show their good and bad sides. I am not surprised that this was turned into a Hallmark movie, because it fits that genre perfectly! I definitely recommend A Very Vintage Christmas to anyone who enjoys holiday stories, contemporary fiction, or romance.
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First line: Whenever one desires the attention of those beyond a door, one cannot go wrong with three sharp knocks.
Summary: The royal family of England have gathered at their home of Balmoral in Scotland for a family Christmas. The staff have been dismissed for the day except for the chef and the head of security. The day starts as any other with the chef, Jonathan, delivering breakfast to the king. However, a blizzard is moving into the Balmoral estate as the king welcomes his family with a traditional Christmas speech. But as he takes the first drink of whiskey, he suddenly drops dead. Someone has killed the king and it appears to be a member of the royal family. Jonathan is given the task of trying to deduce who could have poisoned the monarch and do it before anyone else ends up dead!
My Thoughts: I don’t normally pick up something like this. Cozy Christmas mysteries are not what I gravitate towards but I liked the cover and the plot sounded interesting. Plus I wanted something a little different for the last month of the year. I am glad I gave this a chance. It was quick, fun and perfect for the holiday season.
I liked that the royal family is a fictionalized one based on the idea that Edward VIII did not abdicate and married as the government wanted. These are his descendants. I enjoyed the story with its little twists and secrets. Each member of the family has something they are hiding or having held against them. Life is not perfect, nor is this family.
Nothing in the book was incredibly shocking but it was a cozy little read that kept me interested. I cannot say that I liked many of the royal family but that was probably intentional. The main character was the only one who had more of a backstory than anyone but he still felt a little flat. But rather than letting this bother me I just enjoyed the story and feeling of a Christmas murder mystery. The only thing that would have made this more enjoyable would have been a cold and wintery day to read it on.
“There are spells for breaking and spells for mending. But there are no spells for forgetting.”
― Adrienne Young, Spells for Forgetting
Emery’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead, and the love of her life, August, was accused of murdering her. When the island, rooted in folklore and magic, shows signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming.
August returns for the first time in fourteen years to bury his mother’s ashes, and by doing so, he unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget. The island has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.
This book was so interesting. It was the perfect atmospheric read. It was easy to immerse myself in the world Young was describing. I listened to this as an audiobook and even sped up two times it was not fast enough! Each chapter bounces around to different points of view. I think the multiple narrators and timelines added to the story.
The island is eerie and ominous, and the mystery of it was so fun to read as it unraveled. This is the type of book that you will not be able to put down, and it is worth the time! I recommend this story to anyone who likes magic, unsolved murder mysteries, and love stories all wrapped into one.
First line: When Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born in the summer of 1900, Queen Victoria was the British monarch.
Summary: Known to many as the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon used her wit and charm to survive the both world wars, the loss of her husband and the years of change during her daughter’s long reign. Rather than the standard biography this is told through 101 little stories, memories and anecdotes from the decades of her long life.
My Thoughts: I found this book very enjoyable and different from any other biography I have read. It was written in such a unique way that I found myself saying just one more section, one more section…
So much is written about Elizabeth II but not as much about her formidable mother. She lived through tough times and was pushed into the role of queen by the abdication of her brother-in-law, Edward VIII. But even with this huge change in her life she took it on with dignity and strength. Even Hitler considered her to be the most dangerous woman in Europe. She kept her husband and her country steadfast during the long years of the Second World War.
However, after the war and the death of her husband she continued her years of service to the crown and her daughter, the Queen. My favorite parts were hearing about her personality. She smiled, teased and enjoyed a smart joke with the people around her regardless of their status. It seems that until the very end she took care of those around her and kept on smiling through all the tough times.
FYI: Perfect for fans of The Crown.