#Blogtour #Review #Extract: The Best Little Christmas Shop by Maxine Morrey @Scribbler_Maxi @rararesources @HQDigitalUK
Release date - 3rd November 2017
Book length - 384 pages
Publisher - HQ Digital
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
*I want to thank Rachel from www.rachelsrandomresources.com for providing me with a copy of this book for review, and for the opportunity to take part in this wonderful blog tour.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Come home for Christmas to the Best Little Christmas Shop – the snowiest, cosiest place you can be!
Home for the holidays…
Icing gingerbread men, arranging handmade toys and making up countless Christmas wreaths in her family’s cosy little Christmas shop isn’t usually globe-trotter Lexi’s idea of fun. But it’s all that’s keeping her mind off romance. And, with a broken engagement under her belt, she’s planning to stay well clear of that for the foreseeable future…until gorgeous single dad Cal Martin walks through the door!
Christmas takes on a whole new meaning as Lexi begins to see it through Cal’s adorable five-year-old son’s eyes. But, finding herself getting dangerously close to the mistletoe with Cal, Lexi knows she needs to back off. She’s sworn off love, and little George needs a stability she can’t provide. One day she’ll decide whether to settle down again – just not yet.
But the best little Christmas shop in this sleepy, snow-covered village has another surprise in store…
Maxine Morrey where on earth have your books been all my life?! My first time reading anything by this author and this story simply blew me away with its emotional narrative, beautiful descriptions, and characters that have burrowed into my heart forever.
Lexi likes to play to her strengths and she knows she is an excellent engineer as her previous career in Formula 1 has proven, but when she makes a personal choice it changes her life drastically and she finds herself living back home, working in her family's beloved store, unsure of what her next move will be. Relationships only ever seem to cause pain so Lexi definitely wants to avoid entanglements of the heart but when a little boy and his handsome father walk into the Christmas store one day, Lexi knows she is in trouble. Can Lexi find the strength and self-belief to take a chance at love? Or will she push everyone away as she tries to protect them from the hurt that she believes will inevitably happen?
I completely fell head over heels in love with this story and all of the characters, from Lexi, Cal, and adorable George, to Lexi's fabulously nosy family and friends who want to see their Lexi light up with love. Now there were times where I wanted to shake some sense into Lexi but I understood why she was acting the way she was, which made her all the more likeable.
THE BEST LITTLE CHRISTMAS SHOP by Maxine Morrey is an emotional, romantic, captivating story about love, fear, and taking chances, and I could not put this book down. Reading this story beside the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree was the perfect end to a lovely day and I highly recommend that you all read this wonderfully festive story now.
Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens - perfect for a bookworm!
As years went by, she continued to write, but 'normal' work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, aswell as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.
In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK's 'Write Christmas' competition with her romantic comedy, 'Winter's Fairytale'.
Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read sew and listen to podcasts. As she also likes cake she can also be found either walking or doing something vaguely physical at the gym.
For more information:
Website - www.scribblermaxi.co.uk
Twitter - @Scribbler_Maxi
Facebook - www.Facebook.com/MaxineMorreyAuthor
Instagram - @scribbler_maxi
Pinterest - ScribblerMaxi
I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE A WONDERFUL EXTRACT FOR YOU ALL TO ENJOY ...
I stared out the window at the falling snow as we drove on through the darkness, flakes glinting as they crossed the beam of the headlights. Glancing back at Cal in reply, his smile made me wonder if I shouldn’t start making another for and against chart with him as the topic of thought. But no. I didn’t need that. I already knew the sensible answer to that question.
I slid a glance sideways and studied my companion’s profile for a few moments. I’d had such a lovely day … I knew what the sensible decision was but I was fairly sure that, if he wanted, Cal Martin would be more than capable of helping me forget what the word sensible even meant. But that just wouldn’t do. As much as I liked him, relationships and me just didn’t get along. They were complicated. They weren’t like a car engine where you knew what went where and what you had to do to make it work.
Although Cal had backed off from telling me too much, there was clearly more to his story. He’d had a rotten childhood and he deserved everything in his adulthood that the world, and the woman he chose, could give him. I already knew that as much as I was interested in him, which in itself had been a surprise as men really had been the last thing on my mind this past year, I wasn’t the one for him. I couldn’t be. Cal slowed behind other traffic as the lights ahead turned red, the shades above each bulb holding a small pile of snow. He pulled on the handbrake and looked over at me.
‘We’ve still got a bit of a way to go yet. You look exhausted and I assume you have work tomorrow?’
‘Yes, but I’m not tired.’ The fact that I said the last word through a yawn didn’t really help my defence case all that much.
‘No, I can see that.’ He laughed. ‘Honestly it’s even harder to get you to admit you’re tired than it is a five-year-old. I promise I’ll drive carefully. Apart from anything else, I’m pretty sure Dan would hammer me to a pulp if I let anything happen to you. I mean, I can take care of myself but he’s a big guy and anyone can see how close you two are. I’d rather not risk it.’
My eyes, heavy-lidded until now, widened. ‘You think I don’t trust you.’
He checked the lights before returning his gaze to me. ‘I think you’re used to being in control. Or at least wanting to be.’
‘No, not always.’
I saw the quirk of his lips and the sparkle in his eyes and I rolled mine in response.
‘I’d say sorry but I’d hate to lie to you.’ He was still grinning.
‘Anyway!’ I said, pointedly. ‘It’s not that I don’t trust you. I do. Totally. I know you wouldn’t do anything reckless or stupid. Not least because you have a very precious cargo back there.’
‘I’m pretty sure the one in here is more precious.’
I met his eyes, surprised. His mouth smiled but it was hard to tell his true expression in the low light.
‘I don’t know whether you’re teasing me or not sometimes.’
From the corner of my eye, I saw the lights ahead finally begin to change. Cal quickly hooked an arm around me, pulled me closer for a moment, and dropped the briefest of butterfly kisses on the top of my head.
‘Close your eyes for a little while,’ he whispered before pulling away.
I’m assuming that my body over-ruled my brain because the next thing I knew I was blearily blinking awake as the car’s interior lit up. Cal passed in front of the car, lit by the sidelights he’d switched to while dropping me off, and then he was at the passenger door as I tried to shove my brain into gear.
‘Hello.’ He smiled as I began wrestling a foot into one of my boots. Cal peered around me.
‘Try the other one.’
‘The other boot. You’re trying to put your left foot into the right boot.’
I sat up and stared down. He was absolutely correct. Excellent. I wasn’t really worried about trying to impress Cal but neither did I have any desperate inclination to make myself look an idiot either. One out of two wasn’t bad. I quickly swapped the boots round and rammed my feet into them before jumping out of the car, his hand at my elbow as I did so.
‘OK. Well, I hope the car works out well. Thanks for dinner.’
Cal stood in front of me, causing me to tilt my head back some way in order to meet his eyes.
‘You’re welcome,’ he replied, his voice soft. The main house was some distance away from the garage and had excellent double glazing these days but I still crept around once it started getting late, despite the fact that it was unlikely I’d ever disturb anyone.
For a moment, I thought he was going to say something else. And for a moment I really wanted him to. Despite knowing it would be a bad idea. Despite the fact that I still wasn’t sure what I was doing with my own life, let alone with someone else who was responsible for a child. Despite that fact that there was a possibility he might want more from me than it was possible for me to give. For that moment, none of it mattered. All I wanted was for Cal Martin to wrap his arms around me and –
‘I said are you OK? You drifted miles away for a minute there.’
Not exactly miles …
‘Oh. No. Yes. I’m fine. Just tired. Long day.’ I walked to the steps that led up to the little flat. Steps that now had a generous coating of grit on them thanks to Dad now being overcautious following my skating escapade the other week. As I turned back to say goodbye to Cal, I caught the concern in his look.
‘But good. It was a good day too. I did honestly have a great time. Thanks for letting me come and get involved. I really enjoyed it.’
‘I know you know your stuff. I value your input. It was purely a selfish move on my part, taking advantage of your knowledge. It’s good to get a second opinion on things sometimes. And –’ he took a step nearer ‘– if I’m honest, I wanted to spend every moment I could with you.’
‘Lexi, I know you’re wary. I’m not sure why exactly at the moment but I want to find out. I want to find out everything about you. It’s been such a long time since I met someone I’ve felt like that about.’
I felt myself blush and looked down at my feet, unsure of what to say. I could banter with the best of them and swear like a sailor on shore leave if I needed to but this? This was definitely out of my comfort zone.
Cal hooked a finger under my chin and gently lifted it back so that I was once more looking into those maddeningly hypnotic eyes.
‘Are you blushing?’
I pulled a face. ‘Of course not,’ I said, as my hands went up to my cheeks. ‘It’s the cold.’
Looking at him, he knew he’d caught me out. I lowered my gaze.
‘I’m sorry. I’m just not very good at all this sort of stuff.’
‘And you think I am?’
I looked back up at him. ‘You seem to be. Yeah.’
‘I’m pretty out of practice.’
‘I think you’re doing fine.’
‘Says the woman whose last boyfriend could whizz her to Monte Carlo for lunch in a jet if it took his fancy?’ He was teasing, I knew, but the comment hit a nerve.
‘I wasn’t with Marco for his money,’ I replied, turning away and taking a step towards the garage. It was by no means the first time I’d had that accusation levelled at me, but somehow, coming from Cal, it hurt more. I gave a quick head shake of frustration, the action sending miniature snow flurries from my hat onto my shoulders. ‘It’s late and it’s snowing and I’m cold. You should get home to –’
Cal’s hands were gently cupping my face, and suddenly I didn’t feel quite so cold any more.
‘I’m sorry. I never meant to imply that you were. I haven’t known you for very long but I know you’re not made that way.’ He dipped his head, making me catch his eye. ‘Like I said, I’m way out of practice at this.’
‘What is this?’ I asked, the confusion I felt telling in my voice.
‘Honestly? I don’t know yet. I really like you. I mean …’ He ran a hand across the back of his neck and gave the briefest of smiles. ‘I really like you. That’s something new for me, and right now, I’m not quite sure what to do with it. I don’t know how you feel, and I don’t think asking you would help as I don’t think you’re quite sure of the answer to that question yet either. You may be leaving again and I have a five-year-old son to consider in anything I do these days. George is already nuts about you, and the last thing I want is for him to get hurt.’
I felt tears sting my eyes unexpectedly. ‘You think I would hurt him?’
*MY THANKS AGAIN TO RACHEL AND MAXINE MORREY FOR EVERYTHING AND DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT ALL OF THE OTHER STOPS ALONG THE WAY!!!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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