‘A wonderful book with a great story and a sparky, unusual voice. I loved it!’ KATIE FFORDE
Escape to the frost-sparkling Yorkshire Dales for some festive fun under the mistletoe! A saucy comedy-romance with more than a sprinkle of Christmas spice – this will lift your spirits and your excitement level!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for costume shop owner Becky Finn. Leaving London to move back home to the twinkly rural village of Egglethwaite, she plans to build a new life for herself with fiancé, Cole.
Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky finds herself at the head of a colourful group aiming to revive the Egglethwaite Christmas pantomime. But when that festive feeling sets in, she discovers there’s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.
Falling in love was not in the script! But as opening night grows closer, she starts to wonder if the panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she has chosen her right leading man…
The perfect stocking-filler gift!
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them. More information can be found about Mary Jayne on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk
Social Media Links
Giveaway to Win signed copies of both books in the Love in the Dales series (Open to UK Only)
- A Bicycle Made for Two and The Perfect Fit
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Why is a panto called a panto?
Because they arrrrrr!
(Readers of the story will get this, otherwise … read on. I’m not as crazy (or grammatically inept) as it might appear 😉 I’m channelling my inner six-year-old!)
From page one, the panto theme is alive and kicking, and when 6 year old Pip and her Aunty Becky attend the Christmas panto, Pip takes a particular liking to the joke:
Why are pirates called pirates? – Because they arrrrr!
So much does she love this, that she tells everyone, but not without changing it to suit her own purposes. (See now? 😉 as I said, my inner Pip!) The groan effect is huge, and Becky has a lot of explaining to do to the befuddled adults on the receiving end of Pip’s hilarity.
Having returned to her childhood home, Egglethwaite, after a stint in London, Becky Finn immerses herself into village life while waiting for her fiancé, Cole, to join her ‘up North’. As an artist, his life has been in London, but he so wants Becky to be happy that he is prepared to make the move. Unfortunately, it’s taking some time to get the job he wants, and so Becky is encouraged by her family and old friends to get involved in the community.
When it seems that the old hall – The Temperance Hall – is threatened by closure due to a lack of funding, Becky is determined to help raise money to keep it open. She has fond memories of the Hall, and especially of the pantomimes.
Why not rekindle the panto? she asks everyone at a local meeting. They don’t exactly rush to agree with her, but eventually she wins them over and plans are made to recruit others to help out behind the scenes and in the panto itself.
Of course, it doesn’t go swimmingly, but Becky gets stuck in, writing the script with Marcus and organising the costumes. It keeps her mind off missing Cole, and she’s enjoying being back with family and friends. She looks on longingly as her brother and his husband now have young Pip to raise, her best friend Lana and hubby, Stew, are also hoping to expand their family by adopting. Everyone seems to be moving on, and Becky cannot wait to be in their position.
Cole does eventually get the job and makes the move. Everything is falling into place for Becky. Or is it? The panto is taking over her life, and Cole is not at all interested. But, once it’s over, everything will be fine. Won’t it?
The characters, in true panto style, are larger than life yet still seem very realistic. They each get a chance to shine, telling their own stories. It feels like a proper community. Everyone looking out for each other, and at the same time coping with their own issues. There are plenty of laughs, lots of groans (bad panto jokes and innuendo galore) and even some tears.
This is the second book of the “A Love in the Dales’ Story” series but can be read as a standalone. Personally, I haven’t read the first book and didn’t feel there was anything missing or unexplained. It’s a fun read, totally reminiscent of the pantomimes of my own childhood. Behind the scenes, there’s drama, upsets, tantrums, and even costume envy. The author balances the enthusiasm and over-the-top quality of pantomime with believable relationships and interactions. It’s very British in its colloquialisms and pantomime traditions, all of which makes it a great fun read at this time of year.
I received a copy via Rachel’s Random Resources and have given this review voluntarily.
For more news and reviews, take a look at these blogs: