I’m so pleased to be welcoming Helen Rolfe back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her latest novel, Christmas Nights at the Star and Lantern, which is book six in the Heritage Cove series.
A wonderful story of love, friendship and opening your mind and your heart to new possibilities that will enchant fans of Holly Martin and Heidi Swain.
The Copper Plough is at the heart of village life for the residents of Heritage Cove, and never more so than at Christmas, when the tree glows in the alcove and the smell of mulled wine carries out onto the street. So when new owners for the beloved pub arrive and decide to shake things up, not everyone welcomes the changes with open arms.
Local bakery owner Celeste is ready to keep an open mind. But she’s shocked to discover that one of the new landlords is Quinn, a former Navy sailor with whom she had a short but powerful romance years earlier.
Fate may have brought Quinn and Celeste back together, but life seems determined to keep them apart. Can the villagers learn to embrace the newcomers this Christmas? And will Quinn and Celeste find a way back to each other before snow falls over Heritage Cove?
Celeste, along with her sister Jade, own and run the bakery in Heritage Cove. There is nothing they like more than the Cove at Christmas, especially when it means a drink in the local pub. It’s where the village can embrace the festive atmosphere by celebrating by the real Christmas tree and the roaring fire. So, when the pub changes hands and name, the whole village is worried about how much their local will change. For Celeste, the new owners bring another problem.
I was so excited to be invited onto the tour for Christmas Nights at the Star and Lantern. Not only because it’s a festive themed novel but also the cover is beautiful. The Star and Lantern Pub also has a lovely ring to it.
Although this is book six in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I had not read any previous novels in the series (aside from the extract from A Winter Wedding at Mistletoe Gate Farm Helen shared the last time she was here.) However, I felt I could keep up with the story and characters very well. That doesn’t mean i’m not adding this series to my TBR pile (which is getting very long now. Hahaha.)
This instalment focuses around Celeste and Quinn and from the beginning, I was rooting for them.
I liked Celeste and Jade – two sisters who adore each other and love being together. They have worked hard to get the bakery going and I liked them as a team.
Celeste’s character development is also interesting and I think the conviction she has in some of her decisions were important and it was these that made her different to some of the other characters I have come across in novels.
Quinn is mysterious and, at least to begin with, a little brooding but as you go through the novel and find out more about him, he becomes this well developed character who brings a lot about mental health to the forefront which, especially now, needs to happen. I felt this was dealt with well.
The other supporting characters are brilliant, especially Barney.
The plot moved along at a lovely pace. The twist and turns in the story get uncovered in a very realistic way. This book, above all, is about the people. This is the kind of book that shows you a glimpse of what life is like in a village like Heritage Cove and how everyone looks out for one another. Add the festive elements and quite frankly, I am packing to move there.
I am not sure what else I can say without giving too much away. Now the weather is turning and the darker nights are closing in, novels like this are perfect to snuggle up with or, if you’re like me and just adore the Christmas themed novels regardless of the time of year.
This novel sews the magic of Christmas all the way through. It’s about love and friendship and about embracing community spirit and looking out for each other like family. It’s also about how communication, patience and a willingness to take a chance can change your life; you just need to be courageous enough to take that step. I loved this book and I hope it’s not the last we see if this wonderful community.
About Helen Rolfe –
She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and children.
Christmas Nights at the Star and Lantern is book six in the Heritage Cove series and was released by Boldwood Books on 19th September 2023. Click here to buy.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.