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23 December 2016

Review: 'Christmas in the Park' by Laura Lockington (2016)

30-something Sarah has finally decided to start her own business. 

After years of 5 a.m starts, running around a busy television studio, she has decided to hand in her resignation, and begin her dream of running her own cake making business. Swapping her stylish clothes for tracksuits and an apron she gets to work, and is thrilled when the local café agrees to start selling her treats. And – even better – she starts to get to know the handsome and single owner, David. 

Working from home also means she can finally do one other thing she couldn’t do with her hectic job – get a puppy. Deciding she wants a rescue dog, Sarah heads off to the local dog’s centre, and tries not to say yes to adopting the whole lot. One beautiful little Dachshund with adorable amber eyes immediately takes a liking to her. And Sarah knows there is no turning back. She bundles Malteaser up and takes him home, and before long he is helping her to meet new people in her local park. 

But Malteaser can be more than a bit of a handful. And Sarah knows she is no good at disciplining him... So when fellow dog-walker Nick steps in to give her hand she knows she should take his advice. But does he just want to help her out, or is he interested in something else? With an excitable puppy, and lots of orders to bake for the café, could Sarah be taking on too much? And could there be something there with David – or Nick? 

With Christmas on the way, and the café suddenly coming under threat, things get even crazier. And Sarah has to find a way to create a magical Christmas in the Park...

'Christmas in the Park' was released by Endeavour Press in October 2016 and I was lucky enough to get a review copy of the holiday-themed novella via NetGalley. The book focuses on main character Sarah Nash who has given up her job as a producer on a morning TV show to finally start her own cake baking business. Her new career also provides her with the opportunity to do something she always wanted: get a dog. She adopts Malteaser from the local shelter after falling in love with him at first sight and her walks with him to the park are always eventful. They help her meet Nick, an owner of two dogs, who doesn't mind helping out Sarah with her new dog, but they also help her see cafe-owner David in a new light. With Christmas coming up, Sarah has more than enough to keep herself occupied with but the end of the year seems to still have quite a bit in store for her...

I wasn't familiar with author Laura Lockington's work before I picked up 'Christmas in the Park', but I hope to be able to check out more of her stories in the future because I really quite enjoyed this warm-hearted novella! The story focuses on main character Sarah who has recently quit her job within the world of TV to start her own baking business and finally get her own dog. Malteaser is quite a handful and makes sure Sarah finds herself in all kinds of situations. The story is quite fast-paced and I enjoyed joining Sarah and Malteaser on their daily walks to park and discovering what would happen to them and the other secondary characters in the book.

I have to admit I am not the biggest animal lover and usually don't really go for novels in which a pet/animal takes on an important role. Yet, I really enjoyed this and thought Malteaser definitely added his own touch to this tale. The story is a good one in the lead-up to the holidays (even though it's not necessarily that festive); it's easy to read, doesn't deal with too heavy or mind-blowingly complicated topics, and will bring a smile to your face. On the whole I think Laura Lockington's 'Christmas in the Park' is a cute, down-to-earth and fast-paced novella that I really enjoyed, and for me personally a promising first read by this author!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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