Tuesday 13 October 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Winter Garden - Heidi Swain

***The sparkling new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Heidi Swain!***

Will love bloom this winter?
Freya Fuller is living her dream, working as a live-in gardener on a beautiful Suffolk estate. But when the owner dies, Freya finds herself forced out of her job and her home with nowhere to go. However, with luck on her side, she’s soon moving to Nightingale Square and helping to create a beautiful winter garden that will be open to the public in time for Christmas.
There’s a warm welcome from all in Nightingale Square, except from local artist Finn. No matter how hard the pair try, they just can’t get along, and working together to bring the winter garden to life quickly becomes a struggle for them both.
Will Freya and Finn be able to put their differences aside in time for Christmas? Or will the arrival of a face from Freya’s past send them all spiralling?

The Winter Garden is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.

What did I think?

The Winter Garden may be book 3 in the Nightingale Square series, but you definitely don't need to have read the earlier books to enjoy it.  I haven't read the first two books and I had absolutely no idea that it was part of a series until I was reading the final few chapters; Heidi Swain focuses on a particular character to make each book read so well as a standalone that you can't tell they are part of a series.  

Freya is such a wonderful character that I wish I had some of her amazing qualities; she is a strong independent woman with a heart of gold.  Freya's manages the grounds of a country estate and her story starts at a very sad time when the owner of the estate dies.  Eloise was as much of a friend as a boss so her death hits Freya very hard and it's made even worse when Eloise's nephew inherits the estate and decides to sell, leaving Freya out of work.  On a chance trip to Norfolk, Freya gets offered a new job complete with a new home in Nightingale Square and the next chapter of her life is about to begin.

There are some amazing characters to get to know in The Winter Garden, or to revisit if you have read the earlier books.  I loved Harold, whose house Freya takes over after Harold moves into assisted accommodation and the way that Freya handles the move so sensitively and respectfully gave me a warm glow.  I also have to mention Freya's dog Nell, who is quite a character, and seeing how she evolved from being jittery and scared to relaxed and happy really did warm my heart.

Of course, to really get the reader's pulse racing and temperature rising we need a love interest and Heidi Swain has created a Norse god in dark, brooding Finn.  After a rocky start and several misunderstandings, I had high hopes that Freya would manage to thaw Finn's heart.

I could write so much more about this book: the sparkly Christmas market, the cosy local pub, the wonderful winter garden that Freya is tasked to create and the fabulously festive Winterfest but these magical things should be left for every reader to experience for themselves.

The Winter Garden is a snuggly warm hug of a book.  As the temperature drops outside, let the fabulous community of Nightingale Square warm your heart so grab a hot chocolate and snuggle up on your favourite chair with The Winter Garden.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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