La Petite Maison à Noël: The Christmas Cottage


4.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Oct 28th, 2014 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
The third novel by Patricia Dixon, sees a festive return to the tiny, French village of Pierre de Fontaine. Nestled in the sleepy hills and misty valleys of the Loire, it is time to re-visit old friends, and spend Christmas with Rosie and Michel, Anna and Daniel and many other characters from the past. Be transported to crisp, winter mornings and star filled, moonlit nights. Relax around a glowing, log fire and enjoy a taste of Noël in France, as you are transported across the channel, to the story of The Christmas Cottage.
Connie loves Christmas and despite being rushed off her feet, relishes having her family there on the big day. However, this year things will be different. One by one, each of her three children announce that they will be away for the holidays, and Connie is left with a dilemma. Should she put on a brave face and stay at home, alone? Could she grin and bear playing hostess to the remainder of her annoying, extended family? Or, perhaps she should just run for the hills.
Connie is also coming to terms with life as a singleton, so when her ex-husband-to-be makes a surprise announcement, along with the mass exodus of her brood, Connie decides it’s time for a change, in all aspects of her life. With the help of Layla, her confidence-boosting friend, she plucks up the courage to make a leap of faith, and books a cottage in the French countryside, for Christmas. The master plan involves, rest, relaxation and a bit of self indulgence and accompanied by her faithful hound Coco, she sets off on a voyage of discovery to the sleepy Loire Valley.
Here, Connie intends to reflect on the past and prepare for the New Year, which she is determined to meet head on, and face whatever new challenges or opportunities it may bring. She is utterly sick of lonely nights in front of the telly and feeling like the odd one out, so if 2015 brings with it, a hint of romance, then so be it.
Max is at a crossroads in his life. After coming to terms with the surprise ending of his marriage, and his wife’s meticulously executed exit strategy, he has burnt himself out in an attempt to heal his broken heart. Too many one night stands and a near miss, fatal attraction episode, has prompted Max to take stock and re-evaluate where he goes from here. He is also incredibly lonely and no amount of kind invitations from friends and family can compensate for having someone special in his life. A spur of the moment decision, leads to a break in the Loire for Christmas where, he plans to forget the past, recharge his batteries and make a fresh start in the New Year.
In the meantime, Connie’s grown-up children embark on their own Yuletide journeys. Heidi is about to face the dreaded in-laws, Amber is flying to New York to bag herself a fiancé and Seth can’t wait to go skiing in the Alps. All have guilty, mixed emotions about leaving their mother behind, not to mention, slight trepidation at the different challenges they are about to face along the way. But one by one, their plans begin to fall apart and all are left wishing the same thing, that they had stayed at home with Mum, for Christmas.

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