For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
Guest Review By Mick Arnold
I am now a Master Milliner...well, perhaps not, but I know a whole lot more about hat creation than I ever did before. They go on your head. Correct?
Here I am, fresh from having survived the new Sue Moorcroft novel, The Christmas Promise. Don't get worried, by survived, I mean that Sue's stories are always emotional roller-coasters, she's that good.
Lucky enough to obtain an advance copy of this novel, I settled down to immerse myself, knowing that my attention would never be allowed to wander, no chance of skipping even a word here and I wasn't disappointed.
All wrapped up in a snowy cover, don't be fooled. Sue is a master of emotions and here, you're going to be pulled left, right and centre before the conclusion; actually, afterwards too however, you'll need to read the book for that little Easter egg.
Ava is to a degree, damaged emotionally, as are all good characters and we follow her in a journey of trust, who to trust, how much to trust them, learning to trust herself even. She dislikes Christmas due to her parents attitude to it when she was growing up and now finds herself caught up as the victim of Revenge Porn. Riding to her rescue is Sam. Ah, to have his qualities would be wonderful...I digress. Stumbling into each other, attraction is mutual but Sam is just as traumatised as Ava in his own way and so we watch them bond over his mother's cancer struggle, Ava's feelings of perceived guilt over those pictures, getting close but neither feeling able to make that final step that will enable them to become the couple we know they should be.
I refuse to give more of the plot away than that. If you want to know more, then there are other reviews where you can find that out. I'll only tell you about the emotions I experienced from reading this. So, the characters are perfectly written and make us love, sympathise and hate them at exactly the right moments. These are traits that only the best can accomplish and yet, somehow, this is still a love story, a love story with a lesson for us all that in even the worst of situations, there should be hope.
Speaking of hope, I trust I haven't made this sound like a hard read because it isn't. What it is, is a rewarding read. You will be rewarded whenever your throat chokes with emotion as mine did on many an occasion; you'll be rewarded when you punch the air crying, 'Yes!' as Ava (or Sam. Read the book) wins at something; you'll even be rewarded when you feel the tears slide down your cheek as the sheer emotional rollercoaster you're taken on compels you to ignore them and carry on reading.
My thanks to Avon and Netgalley for this review copy.
My thanks to Sue Moorcroft for having the guts and skill to write this for us.
(PS..take me to Middledip!)
Sue Moorcroft writes women's contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her new book, The Christmas Promise, will be published by Avon Books UK (ebook 6 October 2016, paperback and audio 1 December 2016).
The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers' Best Romantic Read Awards. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing 'how to'.
Sue was born in Germany, the daughter of two soldiers, then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She's worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all 'proper jobs'.
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor.