Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Emma's Guest Review: Talli Roland - Christmas at Cranberry Cottage

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Home is where the heart is . . .  

With a whirlwind lifestyle travelling the world, the one thing Jess Millward relies on is Christmas with her gran in cosy Cranberry Cottage. When her grandmother reveals the house is directly in the path of a new high-speed railway, Jess is determined to fight. 

Can Jess save the cottage from demolition, or will she have no home to come to this Christmas? 

Amazon link: Kindle

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage has such a gorgeous cover that sums up everyone's dream Christmas. Although for the majority of us we don't get the white Christmas we long for nor the break in a beautiful cottage like the one which features on the cover. This is definitely a short story, it really can't be considered a novella as you will read it in less then ten minutes. Though this is a super short read (I'm not the biggest fan of the short story) I was willing to give it a go for the title and cover alone.

Photographer Tess leads a whirlwind lifestyle jetting here, there and everywhere on assignments for various agencies. She enjoys her work but now Christmas is drawing near, she is once again looking forward to returning to the small village of Lindbrook and her gran who lives in comfy Cranberry Cottage. Having lost her parents at a young age her gran had brought her up and now despite the hustle and bustle of her life she is keen to reconnect and relax over the festive period. Christmas is a routine of familiarity for Tess and she hopes everything has remained the same. But how can someone leave a place they treasure so dearly and expect it to remain unchanged? Tess says 'and I love that I could go back in time from whatever place I had been to and everything would be exactly as I left it'. Surely Tess has enormous expectations that cannot be fulfilled?

On arrival home Tess discovers things are not as they seem and a huge upheaval is about to take place for both herself and her gran. Here I felt we really saw Tess' selfish side as she battles to overturn events that are really and truly out of her hands. Christmas is approaching and she should certainly think about spending more time with her gran instead of racing around the village fighting a cause that is inevitable. Maybe some people do want the change. Really she should have just stopped and asked did people want the change and why? An incident may just help her see the light. Of course every Christmas story needs a dash of romance to run along the main storyline and here we have Tom Cleary who seemed nice enough but we needed to read more of him to be honest. 

With the story running to just 29 pages there wasn't time to get to know the characters but Talli Roland did fit in as much as she could.  That said there is an important lesson to be learned - maybe put family, happiness and personal relationships first and foremost rather than material things. Overall this was a very very quick read with a lovely important lesson. I would have preferred it to be longer as there is a lot of scope to run with further story lines for both Tess and Tom. It is an enjoyable easy read perfect for when you have a spare few minutes between dashing about getting organised for Christmas.

I'd like to thank Talli Rolland for sending us a copy of Christmas at Cranberry Cottage for Emma to review.

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