Published by Avon
Ebook: 6 October 2016 | Paperback: 1 December 2016
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
I’ve always enjoyed Sue Moorcroft’s books and its a pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour for her latest, The Christmas Promise. Millinery is not a subject you often find in a novel but in this story, Sue Moorcroft has woven the art of making hats into an impressive and heartwarming story. Its not all fluff and lightness however and between the prettiest of covers, The Christmas Promise covers some not so nice issues, including serious illness and revenge porn. These subjects are dealt with sympathetically and helpfully, particularly with the revenge porn issue, where advice and suggestions are included within the story narrative.
From the outset Ava Blissham was an easy character to like. She is loyal to her friends, she hadn’t had the happiest of childhoods with distant and career focused parents, especially where Christmas was concerned and I really felt for her. Not only was she struggling to make enough money to live on from her Ava Bliss millinery business but she also has to cope with a *** of an ex-boyfriend. When she is introduced to Sam Jermyn, a media PR boss, there is obviously a spark between them however Ava has other priorities – and loyalties, and has no intention of taking things further.
Family is very important here and the relationships between parent and child – whether loving and close or distant and self sufficient are under the spotlight. Sam’s obvious devotion to his mother was so very touching and despite all that she was going through, Wendy was an extremely upbeat and resilient character. In fact all the characters are well drawn and realistic and you feel that you really get to know them – warts and all. I had my favourites – besides Ava (I share her fondness for Zinfandel Rose!) and Sam; Ava’s father Graeme was someone you want fighting your corner and WAG ‘Booby Ruby’ was a delight with more depth of character than was initially evident.
Readers of Sue’s earlier books may remember the setting of Middledip, which features in this story and although much of the tale takes place in London, we make a welcome return to this lovely village and to briefly meet up with one or two of its characters.
There is so much more to the art of hat making than I ever imagined and whilst the book is not in any way a tutorial it does give an interesting insight into how various styles are constructed, all interwoven into the story when Ava is asked to make a very special bespoke hat for a very special person.
This is a lovely book to curl up with and enjoy – not just at Christmas but at any time of the year. I loved this one and definitely recommend it.
My thanks to Avon for the paperback copy to review. With the proof copy of the book came an exciting box of hat making materials – this is my effort! The milliners of the world can be safe in the knowledge that they face no competition from me!
About the author:
Sue Moorcroft writes women’s contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her new book, The Christmas Promise, will be published by Avon Books UK (ebook 6 October 2016, paperback and audio 1 December 2016).
The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’.
Sue was born in Germany, the daughter of two soldiers, then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.