Wednesday, 20 December 2017

REVIEW - CHRISTMAS BEGINNINGS BY EMERALD BARNES

Title: Christmas Beginnings
Author: Emerald Barnes
Release Date: 5th December 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Christmas is meant for new beginnings, and Megan Whitehead is in desperate need of one. 

Jobless, homeless, and divorced, Megan returns home to her small town in Mississippi and gets a job working for her former high school sweetheart, Ryan McKinley, at his pet store. Falling for him again was never supposed to happen, but as Megan has to face who and what she ran from and the whole sad truth comes out, Megan must face why she ran. And Ryan is offering help each step of the way—along with her faithful Basset Hound companion, George. Will Megan find love and healing in time for Christmas?


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
Emerald Barnes is one of my favourite authors so when I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. That and I was also trying to read some Christmas themed books too, so this novella fit the brief perfectly.

The cover has a couple on it to represent main characters Megan and Ryan. Megan is actually wearing an outfit described as a Mrs Claus outfit in a scene in the book and of course Ryan is also wearing a Santa hat. The colour red is featured a lot which fits the Christmas theme. It's quite a cosy little scene on the cover which if you are looking for a bit of a Christmas romance read is just right. I think the cover would stand out enough on a shelf to make me want to pick up the book in a bookstore.

The genre I would say this book falls into is Romance. It really is a book to curl up with on a cold night near the fire with a warm drink. I guess I'm trying to say this book would suit quite a large age range and variety of reading tastes.

Once I started this novella I didn't want to put it down. I think most people think about endings and new beginnings around Christmas time and that is exactly the position Megan finds herself in. Megan's marriage didn't work out so she has now divorced her husband and as she worked with him she finds herself without a job or a home to call her own. Naturally like most of us would she returns to her childhood home and her parents. Megan reconnects with her old friend and school sweetheart, Ryan. Ryan generously gives Megan a job at his large pet store. The more time Megan spends around Ryan the more she feels herself falling for him all over again. Then she doubts herself thinking perhaps she is rebounding from the breakdown of her marriage. Megan has a secret she hasn't told anyone that is a heavy burden to carry alone. The whole sorry mess and the reason for her desperate sadness is revealed when her ex-husband turns up to visit her.
Who is the right man for Megan? Could she rekindle the love she and her now ex-husband had prior to the accident that caused all her sadness. Or is Megan now able to put her past behind her once and for all and move on with a new relationship with Ryan?
The only thing that seems to comfort Megan at all is her beloved, loyal basset hound George.

The characters I really liked other than the main two of Megan and Ryan where Megan's grandmother who takes everything and anything in her stride. Megan's grandmother comes across as a very wise, wily lady who would love nothing more than to see her grand-daughter Megan happily married. The other character I loved was George the basset hound, the way he always comforts Megan and yet seems to know when to leave her alone. It's difficult to explain why I loved George but I guess he made me smile and laugh too. 

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this novella were that I loved it and that I'd also love more of these characters and perhaps meeting other characters from the small neighborhood Megan and Ryan live in would be great too.

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