The three Craig children, Lainey, Joey and Pippa find themselves locked in a fight to keep their beloved Huntersbrook; dare they transform it into one of Ireland's most sought after countryside venues?
Renovation work is well underway when life rears its ugly head and everything stops in its tracks. The Craig family is forced to reassess what matters and although they no longer live at Huntersbrook, can the house work its magic even so ... and lead them into the light once more?
I'd originally planned to review The Heart of Winter earlier this week as part of a feature day but once again life got in the way and I ran out of time to write the review so better late than never here it is!
Life for the Craig has changed a lot since we last met them in Driving Home for Christmas as they've had to make the hard decision to turn their beloved family home Huntersbrook House into a business by hiring it out as a venue for exclusive events. But they have a few hurdles to overcome first before they will be able to see if they can make their new family business a success and keep it in the family.
Although it was great to catch up with Joey, Pippa and Lainey, I also found myself getting wound up at times with some of their self-absorbed actions and how they were not seeing the impact that they were having on those closest to them. Joey was one of my favourite characters in Driving Home for Business but I found myself in a love/hate relationship with him in this book as he seemed to be so career focused to the detriment of his relationship with girlfriend Skye! And let's not even go there with Pippa who was still acting like a spoilt brat at times thinking of only herself, and Lainey who was struggling to adapt to her new life but was reluctant to accept help from her own mother.
I'm a fan of Emma Hannigan's writing and loved that in The Heart of Winter she reunited us not only the Craig Family but as an added bonus we meet up again with the delightful Jodi from Perfect Wives, it really was like meeting an old friend and it was great to be able to catch up with her.
I would say that The Heart of Winter could probably be read as a standalone but I would personally suggest that you read Driving Home for Christmas first as then you'll be able to get more of a background to the central characters and see the changes that develop over the timeframe of both books.
The underlying theme for this novel is definitely family and how they are there to support one another, in good times and the bad, and this family definitely had their fair share of both. Another wonderful feel good read from Emma that can be enjoyed anytime of the year not just in the Winter.
I'd like to thank Frances at Headline for sending me a copy of this book to review.