I loved my visit to the fictional town of Pebblestow last year in A Christmas Wish on a Carousel and was really looking to returning this year. One Last Dream for December didn’t disappoint. I thought I’d do my review in a slightly different way which I hope you enjoy. Incidentally, the author Lottie Cardew will be my #AuthorInTheFestive Spotlight on Monday so watch out for that.
About the Book
Sometimes, the dream we think we don’t deserve is the one that’s trying to come true…
Esme Blythe has led a nomadic existence for the last ten years, never thinking she fits anywhere, and never feeling she’s earned the right to. But when she moves in above Percival’s, the charming old toy shop in Market Square, Pebblestow, it seems the village is about to weave its signature fairy-tale magic.
Surrounded by wooden soldiers, rocking horses, and vintage doll’s houses, not to mention the locals who seem determined to be part of her life – from her endearing grumpy uncle, to warm-hearted co-worker Blodwyn, and smouldering single dad Seth – Esme has to face up to everything she’s been missing, or turn her back on an incredible opportunity.
New friends, formidable foes, and the thrill of a budding romance, conspire to make this the most bittersweet December ever. But when she finally learns the truth about the toy shop’s owner, her elusive benefactor, the mysterious Mr Percival, is it already too late for Esme to change her mind… and heal her heart?
My Thoughts in a kind of acrostic form
D is for Delightful
The settings in this book really are delightful. I love the community of Pebblestow which Lottie Cardew has created. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and with few exceptions, all seem to care and look out for each other. I also really liked the toy shop, owned by the Percival family for years which sold traditional toys and games, many of which were made on the premises. There was something very special about it. although this is the second book set in Pebblestow, it’s very much a standalone. Readers of the first book will be pleased to spot some familiar faces though.
R is for Romance
I do love a romance set around Christmas time, There’s something particularly lovely about characters getting together at a time of year associated with spending time with loved ones and sharing happy times together. This book has a beautiful slow-burn romance between two kindred souls who have experienced a fair bit heartbreak in their lives and so deserve to have a happy ending.
E is for Enchanting
The book is full of enchanting characters. There’s Esme who is a bit adrift in life and given the opportunity to look after Percival’s Toyshop. Seth is a single dad to Tamika who has her challenges but is very endearing. Then there’s Esme’s Uncle Samuel, the elusive Mr Percival and Esme’s new friends Blodwyn and Cara. I really enjoyed getting to know them and especially the sense of mystery surrounding Mr Percival.
A is for Authentic
One real strength of this book is the authentic way that both Esme and Tamika’s experiences are portrayed. They both see and experience this world in a different, often overwhelming way from most people. I felt that I learnt a lot about what it might be like to be neurodivergent. The author used her own experience to good effect and really showed how this can affect every aspect of someone’s life and how it can be different for each neurodivergent person.
M is for Magical
It wouldn’t be a Lottie Cardew book (or a book by this author in her different guises) if there wasn’t a hint of magic sprinkled throughout the story giving it a very special touch. Christmas can often seem to be a magical time of the time anyway and there is plenty of Christmas spirit in this book leading to an uplifting ending sure to warm the coldest of hearts.
My thanks to the author for sending me an e-copy of her book for review. One Last Dream for December is available in paperback and ebook. You can order a copy here: One Last Dream for December
About the Author
Lottie Cardew writes uplifting, witty(ish), heartstring-tugging romantic fiction. She lives in North Wales, UK, subdues the other members of Novelistas Ink if they misbehave – including the popular authors Trisha Ashley and Sophie Claire – and is an advocate for diversity in fiction. Lottie is diagnosed autistic with suspected ADHD. Her home is overrun by husband, not-very-small children, and a ball of fluff masquerading as a Pomeranian, so Lottie frequently takes refuge at her desk.
Facebook: Lottie Cardew – Author