Although I have read wonderful reviews of Marie Laval’s previous books I haven’t been able to fit them in until now. I was determined not to miss out on her Christmas novel and I’m so glad I did because I loved this heart-warming story from the first page till I put it down with a satisfied sigh. It’s publication day for this lovely book so if my review makes you feel that you want to read this book too, you can get yourself a copy for only £1.99 and start reading right now!
This is the story of Cassie Bell, who lives with her lovely Grandad and runs a cleaning business called Bluebell Cleaning in a village in the beautiful Lake District. As well as her regular cleaning jobs for her old ladies, she cleans holiday homes and has just been hired as a house-keeper for the local big house, Belthorn Manor. The owner’s friend, French Army helicopter pilot Stefan Lambert, has come to stay as he recovers from a traumatic incident. Cassie is not too keen to go to Belthorn, a place she finds rather frightening, and Stefan is not too keen on being looked after! You can imagine that tensions are high and sparks will fly.
From the minute we first met Stefan, I liked him and wondered about this man who described himself as broken in mind as well as body following a helicopter crash. Cassie Bell was also a character I instantly liked and who made me smile as she brandished a feather duster in defence against what could have been a rather burly burglar! Why was she so worried about going to Belthorn? As soon as an author hints at some past mystery, that’s me hooked! Marie Lavel’s characters are perfectly drawn. Cassie’s talents weren’t just in her pride in her cleaning but she was also a fantastic singer with an eye for interior design too. Her cheerful enthusiasm for Christmas contrasted with Stefan’s dislike of the season. I loved Cassie’s relationship with her grandfather too and the way they both cared so deeply for each other.
Marie Laval created a fantastic setting with big old house set in an isolated area. The landscape of the Lake District mountains, the tarns, the abondoned abbey, the sanctuary stone and the silence made it a perfect place to retreat from the world. But the world always finds a way of getting in. Cassie and Stefan find letters and diaries from the past relating to events at Belthorn Manor. These events mirror the present day situation although the past has a tragic ending. I really enjoyed this part of the story which was a little mysterious and spooky and added an extra element of interest to me.
Another aspect of the story was that there were some awful entitled men who Cassie had to to deal with but she didn’t allow herself to be pushed around, even though it could mean quite a personal cost for her. She remained true to herself and was a very principled person. I really admired that in her.
I really think it’s hard to beat ChocLit authors for beautifully written romance which will pull at the heartstrings. Bluebell’s Christmas Magic is a fabulous Christmas romance, in fact, just a wonderful story which could be enjoyed at any time of the year. Cosy up and get ready to enjoy this beautiful love story.
Thanks to Liz at ChocLit for providing a review copy of this book. Bluebell’s Christmas Magic is published today in ebook for only £1.99 and you will find buying links for various ebook platforms on the ChocLit website here.
From the back of the book
A gorgeous new Christmas story from the author of best selling novel Little Pink Taxi
A flick of a feather duster and a sprinkle of Christmas magic …
Cassie Bell is used to mess. Her cleaning business, Bluebell Cleaning, is well known in the Cumbrian village of Red Moss. However, now it’s almost Christmas and Cassie has a slightly messier situation to deal with than she’s used to.
She’s been hired to help Stefan Lambert, an injured army helicopter pilot who’s staying at the local Belthorn Manor whilst he recovers. Stefan resents Cassie’s interference and is definitely not looking for Christmas cheer. But Cassie prides herself on sparkling surfaces – so, can she bring some festive sparkle to Stefan’s life too?
About the author
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance). She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!