Recipe for a perfect Christmas read (also known as my review!)
Take one familiar and well loved village (Middledip)
Add a cosy village pub (The Three Fishes)
Ensure that your heroine (Lily) is down to earth, likeable but not without some pretty big secrets
Pre-heat the boss (That’ll be Isaac!)
Dollop in a lovable Dalmatian called Doggo
Add a generous helping of romance
Whisk in some simmering attraction
Stir in some difficult family situations
Carefully blend through some serious issues
Throw in a trip to Switzerland
Coat the mountains with a generous dusting of snow
Sprinkle in some Swiss chalets and twinkling fairy lights
Combine with Christmas markets and delicious sounding food and drink
Add a little Christmas adventure
Mix in more than a hint of spice
Blend together carefully
Don’t forget to sing a few Christmas carols and songs as you wait for the mix to mature
Best enjoyed before the end of December
Verdict? Another fabulous book from Sue Moorcroft. A delicious treat of a book to be savoured this festive season.
Now read on for an extract from the beginning of the book
‘Mum, what’s the matter? Why are you crying?’ Lily Cortez hurried across the lawn to crouch in front of the slender figure huddled over an iPad in a garden chair. The raw October day had almost ended and the light was steely grey.
‘Oh! Lily, we didn’t expect you until tomorrow.’ Roma swiped at her wet cheeks turning the iPad face down in her lap. Roma Martindale was an all-weather gardener and though the October day was blustery, planters, compost and pots of violets surrounded her.
‘I decided to make the journey from Spain over two days rather than three to surprise you.’ Lily frowned. The redness of her mum’s eyes spoke of a prolonged weep and Roma was no cry-baby. Lily felt in the pocket of her fleece for tissues to press into Roma’s chilly hands. It was probably ten degrees cooler in Peterborough than it had been in Barcelona when she’d left at the crack of dawn yesterday, driving away from a Spanish husband who was as relieved as her to call it quits. She gave her mum a minute to blow her nose. ‘Are you ill? Or is Patsie?’ Patricia Jones was Roma’s life partner, a tall and confident lawyer whose dark hair fell smoothly to the shoulders of her dark blue suits.
‘We’re both fine.’ Roma blew her nose again. ‘She’s doing pro bono work at a women’s refuge. And I thought you weren’t arriving until tomorrow so . . .’ Fresh tears leaked down her cheeks.
‘Has someone said something crap about you and Patsie?’ Not everyone accepted same-sex couples. Sergio, Lily’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, never coped well with Lily having two mothers, for example.
Roma shook her head, searching for a dry area of her tissue. ‘No.’ She blotted more tears.
Lily had to swallow before she could speak again. ‘Please, Mum. I’m imagining all kinds of awful things here.’ Then her gaze fell on the iPad. ‘Have you received bad news?’
Roma pressed her hands over the iPad and squeezed her eyes shut. ‘You’ve caught me at a weak moment. It’s something in the past, really.’
Lily had to blink tears away. ‘You’re frightening me,’ she said in a small voice. What on earth could cause her usually sunny, funny, quirky mum to sob so broken-heartedly?
Still clutching the iPad and levering herself to her feet, Roma took Lily’s hand. ‘Come indoors.’
The kitchen was warm and welcoming. After hanging her khaki gardening coat by the back door and kicking off her wellies Roma sat down at the table. Lily took the next chair and watched as the iPad’s screen sprang to life. Slowly, Roma turned it so Lily could read it: the Peterborough Telegraph obituaries.
Lily’s eyes scanned the notice on the screen. ‘This guy Marvin’s died? He was eighty-seven, so quite a bit older than you, Mum.’ Marvin had been a beloved husband of the late Teresa, a loving dad and granddad, a much-missed brother to Bonnie. ‘I’ve never known you cry over a man.’
As a gay woman, out and proud all her adult life, Roma’s friends were mainly female.
Roma was silent, her face blotched red.
Then realisation caught Lily’s breath. ‘I can think of one man you had a relationship with. But he was some one-night stand whose name you didn’t even know . . . you said.’ She gazed into her mother’s eyes, at the apprehensive, apologetic agony she read there. ‘Wasn’t he a one-night stand? My father?’
With a noisy swallow Roma shook her head. ‘It was a mess. You know most of the story.’
My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for allowing me to share an extract from the book and for the review copy via Netgalley. Let It Snow is available now in all formats. You will find all kinds of buying options on the publisher’s website here: Let It Snow
From the back of the book
This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…
Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…
The Sunday Times bestseller returns with a gloriously cosy read, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews.
About the author
Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and been nominated for others, including a ‘RoNA’ (Romantic Novel Award). Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies.
She also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor.
The daughter of two soldiers, Sue was born in Germany and went on to spend much of her childhood in Malta and Cyprus. She likes reading, Zumba, FitStep, yoga, and watching Formula 1.