Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Book Review - Christmas at the Dog & Duck by Jill Steeples

Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at the Dog & Duck
Author: Jill Steeples
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 1st October 2016
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie's looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.

But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie's ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie's heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated...

Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?

I've read a few of Jill Steeples' books by now and this new one, is probably my favourite to date. It is the sort of book that could easily be read at any time of the year, and at points, I felt it was quite summery, which is weird thing to say about a book that has Christmas in the title. 

But yet the majority of the book is set earlier in the year, and there are a few things that the story centres around. Those are The Dog and Duck pub, where Ellie is currently working shifts, Ellie's dog business, offering walking and training services to locals of the village of Little Leyton, and also her communications with Max Golding. 

Max and Ellie just keep running into each other, and have varied opinions of each other, and seem to rub each other up the wrong way almost every time. Ellie does though keep flying off the deep end at him, which makes it a bit trickier to get a real feel for their fledgling friendship. 

If felt as though there were a couple of ideas that were introduced into the book, but that the stories didn't go as deep as perhaps they could. One is Ellie's friendships which although we know about, just felt lacking, especially when taking into account an ex too. The other was to do with a charity appeal they held, I was moved during a couple of scenes, and then it felt almost forgotten. 

I really enjoyed the story, and it certainly kept me entertained, even if the title did feel slightly misleading. I do love a cosy village story, and this was definitely a cosy story, and the pub sounded like a fantastic typical village pub, a bit olde-world, with its charms. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Aria for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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