Saturday, March 28, 2015

Warm Hearts in Winter by Helen Pollard & Giveaway

Title:  Warm Hearts in Winter
Author:  Helen Pollard
Published:  September 30/14
Length:  175pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Can two hearts thaw on the midwinter moors?

Forced by circumstance into the world of temping, when Abby Davis accepts an assignment in the wilds of Yorkshire as personal assistant to a widowed novelist, she assumes he is an ageing recluse.

Thirty-something Jack Blane is anything but. Still struggling to get his life and writing career back on track three years after his wife’s death, Jack isn’t ready for a breath of fresh air like Abby.

Snowed in at his winter retreat on the moors, as the weeks go by and their working relationship becomes friendship and maybe more, Abby must rethink her policy of never getting involved with someone at work … and Jack must decide whether he is willing to risk the pain of love a second time.

Excerpt:

Footsteps sounded from inside, a jiggling of keys, and finally the door was wrenched open. A shaft of light lit the doorway, silhouetting a tall frame there.

Blinking against the sudden light, Abby held out her gloved hand.

“Mr Blane, I presume?” She tried for the most professional manner she could manage, but it wasn’t as successful as she would have liked due to the snowflakes catching in her mouth and her teeth chattering.

When she gave an involuntary shiver, a hand shot out to quickly shake hers in response.

“Yes. You must be Miss Davis. For goodness’ sake, come on in out of the cold. This is no time to be standing on ceremony.” He stood aside for her to clump over the doorstep, showering snow as she came. “I’ve been caught up in my work. I had no idea the weather had got so bad,” he said apologetically as he closed the door on the icy wind. “Let’s get you out of those wet things and into the warmth.”

As her eyes adjusted to the bright hallway light, Abby froze - but not from the cold. Oh, no. This was not what she had expected, not at all. She’d spent the car journey creating an image in her mind’s eye of what her new boss would be like, in a desperate attempt to reassure herself that she would be perfectly safe working alone with a strange man out here in the wilds. That image was of someone much older, much stuffier. Casey had led her to believe he was a loner, some sort of unsociable hermit hunched over his writing all day. A widower, she’d said, implying someone middle-aged or even elderly. Someone harmless.

Jack Blane was anything but.

My Review:

This was a bittersweet, romantic tale. Pollard has crafted a fun yet emotional story about a second chance at love. She brings emotions forward, allowing you to feel for and with her characters. At the same time, Pollard sets the scene well. Readers are able to visualize the secluded setting as if they were there. I appreciated the fact that the suspense in the novel didn’t go over the top. Yes something happened, but the main character is a thriller writer. But it happened and then it was over. Pollard’s writing focuses on the characters and their choices and decisions, not on external forces beyond their control.

Pollard had created some cute and quirky characters to carry this story forward, and they definitely carry it well. It was really neat to see the writing process as part of who a character is. This imaginative, goal oriented task is what defined the male lead of this story. Combined with the raw emotions that he portrays, this is one character that you won’t soon forget. The female lead had me perplexed for a while. Her secret overshadows a great many things, but her genuinely warm heart shines through and I couldn’t help but feel for her as well. The fact that these two carried this story forward almost singlehandedly worked perfectly with Pollard’s plot and readers aren’t left feeling like something’s missing.

Overall this was a cute, sweet story. Pollard drew me into her world and I found myself caught up in the plot of the story, and falling in love with the characters.


And be sure to enter below to win 1 of 5 pdf copies of Warm Hearts in Winter by Helen Pollard.

Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Entries close at 11:59pm April 3/15.
Winners will be drawn April 4/15.
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

30 comments:

  1. Awesome giveaway! Sounds good and I can't wait to read it ♥

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    1. Thanks, Mary - glad you like the sound of it!

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  2. this is one of those books that warms the heart

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    1. We had a snow flurry here the other day, so it's certainly still timely!

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  3. Sons like a really great book. Thanks for the opportunity

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    1. Thanks, Connie. Good luck with the giveaway ...

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  4. Sounds like an interesting read and thanks for your succinct feedback.

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    1. Jonel's review encapsulates the feel of the book so well :)

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  5. Helen, congratulations on your novel, and for the giveaway! Best wishes, Michael

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    1. Thank you so much, Michael!

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  6. I love the excerpt and review!! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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    1. Hi Hazel, glad you enjoyed the snippet :)

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  7. I like the sound of Warm Hearts in Winter. The blurb has me wanting to know about Abby and Jack's relationship.

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    1. Thanks, Jo-Anne. The characters really did take over and develop the relationship themselves to some extent!

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds great.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Kim, and good luck!

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  9. What a wonderful sounding novel! Thank you for sharing it!

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  10. Hello Helen, Warm Hearts in Winter sounds like a lovely story, i would enjoy reading this book. Thank you

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    1. Hello, Linda - glad that you like the sound of it. I certainly enjoyed writing it!

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  11. I had the pleasure of reading this book and highly recommend it!

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    1. Hi Cathy, it's lovely to know you enjoyed it ... and would recommend it!

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  12. This blog makes me want to read more =)
    Sorry if this is a repeat but I can never seem to see my post.

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    1. Cindy, those are the words every writer wants to hear! :)

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  13. I love the cover and can't wait to read this book. I know we are moving in to Spring now, but these kind of stories you can still snuggle with.

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    1. Hi Kelly, I must admit, I fell in love with the cover, too! As for spring, not enough sign of that yet here in Yorkshire. It's all rain and gale-force winds at the moment :)

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  14. Look forward to reading this, sounds very interesting.

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    1. Glad you like the sound of it ... and I love your hedgehog pic!

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  15. Replies
    1. Thank you, Yolanda :)

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