Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop
‘Tis the season for finding love… and the perfect book
With just two weeks until Christmas, everything in Clove Lore should be perfect. But the latest holidaymaker to the Borrow a Bookshop is feeling far from festive…
Icelandic ex-bookseller Magnús Sturluson might be surrounded by love stories in the Bookshop, but he’s nursing a sadness that not even fiction can fix.
When Alexandra Robinson finds herself stranded in Clove Lore, she finds a safe place to hide from heartbreak. After all, all that’s waiting for her at home is a cheater boyfriend and the memories of her parents. As Alex finds herself embraced by the quirky village community, she finds her tough exterior thawing – and as she grows closer to Magnús, she finds an equally soft heart under his gruff shell.
It seems that Clove Lore is working its magic once again – until a great flood on Christmas Eve brings devastation in its wake. It’s up to Magnús and Alex to batten down the hatches and help bring the village back together again, while also introducing the locals to the Icelandic tradition of the jólabókaflóð – Yule book flood – where families and friends gather on Christmas Eve to exchange books and read together.
But can Magnús and Alex truly rescue the ruins of the village, and salvage their Christmas spirit? Or is there another complication lurking even closer than they thought?
Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.
Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).
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The premise of this series is simply too wonderful for a booklover to ignore, and I have to admit to dreaming about running a bookshop, which makes this a must read. Book one introduced us to the village of Clove Lore in the summer, with its quirky villagers and the perfect ending for the “borrowers” of that story. Now, it’s winter, close to Christmas, and the “borrower” in question is not as excited as you might expect. Magnús once ran a bookshop in Iceland, but is disillusioned by the business that he was forced to close down. He hasn’t yet come to terms with what went wrong with his dream bookshop and figures he’s only going to fail again – so why bother hanging around?
When a river cruiser gets into trouble during a storm, the skipper Alex hunkers down in secrecy, refusing to give away even the barest details of her life. Fleeing a broken relationship, she’s convinced no one will be worrying about her anyway – so what’s the point of letting people in?
Two people struggling, holding in all their insecurities, fearful of failing at life and love. Well, doesn’t that just make Clove Lore the perfect place for them? Of course, it seems inevitable that they will find each other … but it’s not going to be easy. They will be tested, challenged and scrutinised by the villagers and the weather. Will the allure of Clove Lore and the bookshop work is magic at this most festive time of year?
With Magnús’s “baking”, the New Year’s eve tradition of Jolabokafloo, there’s a nod to Iceland that blends perfectly with a wintry bookshop, but it is the characters who power this story. Quirky villagers return to consolidate the village vibe of supporting each other and a “all hands to the deck” attitude during times of trouble. It’s sweet and idyllic, charming and heart-warming, yet also filled with poignant moments of how these secondary characters also develop and move on with their lives. The subplots strengthen the main plot and combine for a magical read that will make me a repeat visitor to Clove Lore for the duration of this series.
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