Monday, 10 November 2014

Christmas at the Cove - Rachel Brimble

About the book... 
More family for Christmas?  Scott Walker doesn't have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news. Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he's not one to shirk responsibility. Scott's issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.  

About the author...
Rachel BrimbleI live with my fantastic husband, our two young daughters and my beloved black Labrador, Max in a small market town near the famous Georgian City of Bath.  Having always ‘played’ with writing, I didn’t seriously sit down and write toward publication until I became pregnant with my second daughter – then I told myself to get my butt in the chair and get on with it before she grows up and I’m forced to get a real job! Lots of short stories followed as did lots of rejections!  I took a few distance learning courses, joined some online writers groups and basically, learned my craft.  Finally deciding short stories weren’t working for me (they are an art form in themselves!), in 2006 I decided to embark on my first novel and voila Searching For Sophie was born!  Since then, my other books have followed each year. And when I’m not writing? You’ll find me with my head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family.  And in the evening?  Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused.

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My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.  This is the second book I've read by Rachel Brimble and it won't be the last.

The story begins with Carrie boarding a train to Templeton Cove to look up Scott Walker a person she hasn't seen for three years.  She has something important she needs to tell him.  It's clear from the beginning this won't be an easy meeting and it's fair to say her visit is totally unexpected and provokes interest amongst the locals.

Scott has had a reputation as a bit of a womaniser for many years, despite this he is well liked and has managed to remain on good terms when the relationships have ended.  To say he is shocked to see Carrie, a blast from the past is an understatement and when his friends realise who Carrie is give her marching orders in no uncertain terms.  But, she's in Templeton to see Scott and doesn't intend to leave until she has had her conversation with him.

This is a story that has its roots in the past.  Rachel takes us on a journey with Carrie and Scott, re-visiting the summer they met and discovering how what went before has impacted upon their lives and made them the people they are. It was obvious that family was important to both of them and their life choices had been made as a result of the people around them.  

I loved Templeton Cove, a close knit community that looks after its own and to an outsider such as Carrie can appear quite hostile at times.  Everyone knows everyone and all their business and the community is quite forthright in their questioning of Carrie the stranger in their midsts.  This could put you off, but to me it made the town and community more likeable, protecting their own like caring parents. Sometimes just keeping a watchful eye from the sidelines and sometimes wading in.  Christmas at the Cove was an emotional roller coaster, one that Rachel pitched well.  Every hurdle that Carrie and Scott met was heightened by the electricity that was felt between the two, the energy was quite palpable as the attraction between the pair fizzed.  Both of them holding themselves back though, trust  yet to be earned on both sides.

As the story unfolded it was clear that events in both their lives held them slightly aloof from the real world. Behaviours and decisions made with the best of intentions yet perhaps without in depth thought. Scott in particular had put his life on hold to be the financial and emotional support for his mum and sisters and as much as he wanted to move forward his past was holding him back.  Quite rightly, in my opinion Carrie wasn't prepared to bring him into her life and that of her family until she was sure of 100% commitment and clarification that he understood the implications of having him in her life.

I loved the sub stories in this book, life didn't stand still for the family and friends whilst Carrie and Scott tried to sort their own lives out and decisions made by both Carrie's and Scott's mother ultimately force the issue between them.  Honesty, trust and straight talking are what is needed in any relationship and there are plenty who are ready to and in fact do offer their advice and opinions.

This book emphasises the importance of family and friends of relationships built on trust and communication.  These relationships should exist alongside, allowing for growth, not holding a person back.  Loyalty, love and support should be the backbone allowing a person to live and grow in the safe knowledge that in the event it is needed, support is close by.  

This is not just a romance but a book that demonstrates only too clearly what we say and what we mean are not always the same thing and if something is worth it, time, honesty, love and communication will reap results. Both Carrie and Scott repeatedly gave off mixed signals, never being completely honest about their motivations with each other yet both seemingly wanting the same end result.   The book does have a beautiful ending, one that impacts upon more than just Scott and Carrie, demonstrating only too clearly it is sometimes worth jumping blindly in the safe knowledge your back is covered - only when you let go of the past can you really live your life in the future.

This was beautiful, a passionate book that revolves around two strong minded people and their families.  A book full of characters that provoke emotions and a story that will drag you in and make you care.  I look forward to my next Rachel Brimble read - thank you Charlotte for allowing me to be part of the Candlelit blog tour.


1 comment:

  1. In my excitement I forgot to leave a thank you for such a fab review! SO happy you enjoyed Scott & Carrie's story :D