Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.
Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.
After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?
Oh how bittersweet this return to Swallowtail Bay was! Whilst I was extremely excited to be back, ready to learn more about Nell, I was also extremely sad that this was the final time I’d be here. It has been an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait to also see what Katie has in store for us next!
I fell in love with Nell pretty much from the get-go, with her obsession with fairy-tales and romance, living in a dream world that she could create by herself, filled with happy endings and the perfect person, I couldn’t be more of a Nell! Her dedication to the hotel, after taking it on from her parents was extremely admirable, I felt myself wanting to tell her how much I loved her ideas and quite frankly, if I could have jumped in the book to help, I sure would have! She is a best friend that everybody needs in their life; with her own problems piling on top of her, she still made the time and effort to support her best friend, Cat, every step of the way with her wedding. There was tiffs and tumbles amongst every page when it came to the wedding, so much so that I became desperate to reach the final pages, making sure Cat and Kieran got their happily every after. I really felt for Cat and her relationship with her mum – it was irritatingly controlled and I just wanted to scream at her Mum “she is a grown woman!!! stop manipulating her in to what you want because you’re paying!!! pay out of the goodness of your own heart, not as a way to claim power and control!!” Luckily, Nell stepped in and took the reins on convincing Cat to stand up for herself and to let Kieran have more of a contribution. It was really aching to see Nell and Cat fall out at times because of the stress that was lying heavily on both of their shoulders, however, it also warmed my heart, as they had that strong of a bond, they had no problems with openly communicating with honesty and despite all of the bad words they may have said and the anger they had once felt towards one another, they always pulled through and come together to make everything work. Their friendship was truly a beautiful one to witness.
Where do I even begin when it comes to Tom? This man had my entire heart in the palm of his hands! His friendship with Nell was the most sweetest thing ever. He is always there when Nell is in need of some assistance, no matter the time of day and when they’re both not surrounded in work, they spent time together at Christmas, amongst every other day of the year and was always there for one another at any given time. My heart really went out to Tom, as he was doing all of this, with a heart so full of feelings towards Nell, that he had locked away for an incredibly long time. Her perception of love and living in a dream land where everything was perfect had his guard up high, fearing that he would never be enough. Let me tell you now, no matter how dream like a woman’s mind is, this man is absolutely enough! His skills and handiwork as a florist came in hand a lot when it came to allowing Nell’s hotel to be it’s most beautiful – he is just the most generous, giving and caring man to grace us in a fictional character! His story in it’s entirety, however, did have my heart aching so so bad, I was turning every page, in hopes that he was going to be okay and there was a happy ending in it for him, because he deserved it so much.
Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is a perfect and cosy festive read to pick up during the holiday season. It will have you in your feels in every way possible and have you with a beaming smile on your face from beginning to end. I was so excited to catch glimpses off how the other characters were also doing as well, they all seemed to still be very successful and in love, which was the best bit of closure we could have asked for to end this gorgeous series.