A Cornish Christmas wish sent across the ocean …
Christmas, Cornwall 1919.
A promise to a fellow soldier leads Nicholas to Cornwall for Christmas, and to the teashop managed by Rose; the youngest daughter of a family whose festive spirit has been blighted by their wartime experiences. But as Nicholas strives to give Rose the best Christmas she could wish for, he begins to question whether his efforts are to honour his friend, or whether there is another reason …
Cornish Tales Series. Other books in series: The Thief’s Daughter, The Captain’s Daughter & The Daughter of River Valley
Victoria Cornwall grew up on a dairy farm in Cornwall. She can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.
Victoria is married, has two grown up children and a black Labrador, called Alfie. She likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.
Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her the time to write. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Historical Novel Society.
Incredibly engaging. I could not put this down.
Rose runs a little tea shop in a little Cornish town – it was her brother’s but he went to war and sadly did not return. Her parents were in no fit state to help and so Rose took it on herself.
Nicholas takes a photo out of his pocket – even though he knows exactly who she is. “The crease of the fold had cracked and frayed and now threatened to tear her apart at the waist, reminding Nicholas of the battlefields he had left behind which had been littered with similar injuries.”
Nicholas does not introduce himself as knowing Sam, and does not reveal that he knows so much of Rose. From the tales Sam spoke of on the battlefield to the letters she wrote, along with the photo he still carried with him.
Sam was his close friend yet he could not save him on the battlefield – but he knew if he got out alive that he would make Christmas so special for Rose. A Christmas she wished for in one of her letters to Sam.
Nicholas comes to the tea shop each day and slowly gains Rose’s trust and she joins him for tea and cake. Rose starts to look forward to this intriguing gentleman’s visits too. He feels a fraud by not telling Rose the truth – yet he knows it would hurt her and it is easier to continue as he is.
They start spending more and more time togetherr and one dayand he arrives at the tea shop the biggest Christmas tree Rose has ever seen. He has thought of everything.
Time passes and Rose starts to become concerned about who Nicholas really is as his acts of kindness are exactly what she once wrote about to Sam.
Nicholas has to come clean about Sam and how he knew him. He knows he has hurt Rose in a way he never meant to and knows that he has lost her too. He knew it already, but he has fallen in love with this beauiful lady.
He tries to speak with Rose but she ignores him and he admits defeat and goes back to his parents home.
Nicholas falls very ill. It looks as though he may not make it. His Mother calls upon Rose, knowing very little about Rose, yet enough to know she is very important in her son’s life…..
Rose is torn about what to do. Yet her feelings have grown for Nicholas and is miserable without him. She agrees to go to see Nicholas. has
Upon seeing him, so pale and thin, she knows she can not leave this man. She loves him and will do anything to help him get better.
This romance, set just after the end of the first war, portrays the horror of war, the camaraderie between men and the women left at home in an easy but true manner for such tough subjects. Relationships between lover, friend, parent and child are brought out in the book. The romance between Nicky and Rose highlights the importance of honesty as lies nearly ended their story before it started. There are enough twists and turns to keep you interested and reading to the end. It is only at the end the sun fully shines on their love.
Having received an ARC copy of this novel, I read it during the run up to the Armistice Day. Rose has a hard, unhappy life. She has lost her brother and her future husband to the battlefields of France. Not only has she got to cope with her own loss, but she supports parents who since the death of her brother Arthur are shadows of their former selves – people who have given up on life. Her days are spent baking and serving tea and cake in the small tea shop owned by her brother Arthur, a man who had plans for his business when war had ended. Once her working day is over she returns home to a sad house; place where her parents are too wrapped in their own grief to notice her, other than to complain if things aren’t right.
Into her life walks a handsome soldier – Nicholas, who begins visiting the tea shop daily. He soon becomes the one bright spot in her life. But little does she realise he is there for a purpose.
I love Victoria’s novels and this one, coming at the time it did was a poignant reminder of the suffering people went through at that time. I really felt for Rose’s plight. There was no joy in her life, nothing to look forward to, only sadness and loss to accompany her days.
Nicholas was beautifully written. A good, kind gentle man honouring a dead friend’s last request.One by one he took each line of the poem she had written to boyfriend Sam – requests for her perfect Christmas – and made them real. I loved the way each of the things he did for her gradually changed Rose, making her believe she could enjoy life again. Nicholas finds himself falling in love with her, but how can he possibly compete when the ghost of Sam still lingers in Rose’s heart?
All in all a lovely romantic Christmas story with some unexpected twists – one of which I didn’t see coming.
After fighting in the Great War, Tom returns to England shortly before Christmas 1919 and visits Rose, his fallen comrade’s fiancé. Both Rose’s fiancé and her brother died in the fighting and she is too grief stricken to celebrate Christmas. As Tom attempts to help Rose regain her interest for the coming season they grow closer, a dramatic event is suddenly exposed that might be enough to drive them apart.
The author has managed to describe the growing love between two damaged people brought together after experiencing the horrors of the First World War. An absorbing and moving book.
Wonderful story set just after WW1. She is forced to work in the family cafe due to the war. He is fulfilling a promise to his army buddy. Can two such different people overcome their pasts and family issues to find a new life together? This is an engrossing and moving story. Highly recommend