Review: 'A Very Country Christmas' by Zara Stoneley (2015)
Love is in the air in Tippermere as Lottie dreams of a white Christmas with no trimmings – other than her hot and hunky eventer, Rory. But things are never quite that simple on the Tipping House Estate.
Festive fervour takes over and it isn’t all seasonal peace and goodwill as expectations rise and it soon escalates from cosy dinner for two, to all the trimmings for ten!
With missing turkeys, loose horses, troublesome terriers and randy huntsmen, Lottie is hard pushed to find time for a kiss under the mistletoe, let alone find the opportunity to woo Rory with her sexy Santa costume.
But there is only one thing Lottie really wants for Christmas, and only one man can deliver it…
Earlier this year I had the chance to check out Zara Stoneley’s Tippermere book series, consisting of her two novels ‘Stable Mates’ (click here to read my review) and ‘Country Affairs’ (click here to read my review). I really enjoyed both books, so was quite excited when I discovered Zara has written a festive novella as the latest part in the series, ‘A Very Country Christmas’, which is set a few months after the end of ‘Country Affairs.’ I was lucky enough to receive a review copy via NetGalley and couldn’t wait to join Lottie, Rory and the other characters for the festive season!
Lottie Brinkley can’t wait to spend Christmas with her fiancée, Rory Steel. She already has dreams of a white Christmas, just the two of them in front of the telly with enough Christmas food for days, the house to themselves, and hopefully that one special Christmas present Lottie has secretly been wishing for… But when the merry and kind-hearted spirit of Christmas unexpectedly hits Lottie, she suddenly finds herself inviting all her friends and family for Christmas at her and Rory’s place. Instead of an exclusive dinner for two, Lottie finds herself preparing a festive meal for ten and all of a sudden Christmas at Tippermere isn’t exactly what Lottie expected it to be…
I loved this wonderful festive trip back to Tippermere and once again seeing all these familiar faces! While ‘A Very Country Christmas’ could be read as a stand-alone, I definitely recommend reading it as part of the series, because it provides you with that extra bit of background information that makes this story even better than it already is. The author has included a guide with all characters’ names and a bit of information at the beginning of the story, which is really helpful to refresh your memory or help you when all these characters get a bit too much. I loved the fact that almost all familiar Tippermere faces make an appearance in this Christmas novella and I had a big smile on my face throughout.
The novella is divided into three separate parts: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which was a nice division. Zara Stoneley’s writing style is great; it flows well, provides enough detail, and made me laugh several times. I personally know nothing about horses and am also not a particularly big fan, but Zara has made me fall in love with Tippermere and its characters (also the great animals, mainly dogs and horses) and I can only hope we will be treated to another part in 2016! ‘A Very Country Christmas’ is a light, feel-good, festive read that is definitely worth picking up this Christmas; I loved it!