Wednesday, September 28, 2022



Merry is in her early thirties and has survived heartbreak.  She has promised herself that she will never allow her heart to be broken again.  Merry’s Aunt Ava, asks her to house sit Chestnut Cottage and tend to a myriad of animals.  She jumps at the chance to get away and escape and possibly a new beginning.  Her expectations are high, and the first night at the cottage, nothing goes as planned.  The electricity isn’t working and the animals are in an uproar.  Merry has to call the local vet, Theo to help her calm down an over excited turkey.  Merry is well out of her comfort zone, with the cottage and the animals and the town vet.  Theo stops by every day to check on the animals, and as the Christmas season approaches, Merry finds herself letting her guarded heart begin to melt.  But will Theo break her heart or make her want to never leave Chestnut Cottage?

I was so happy to be returning to the beautiful Scottish Highlands and absolutely loved this story.  This warm and toasty read was so enjoyable that it made me want to curl up with a blanket and pour a hot cup of cocoa.  The vivid description of the Christmas Village was so heart-warming.  I found the animals to be such a lovely part of the storyline.  Merry and Theo were relatable characters and Theo’s sense of humor had me laughing out loud.  This warm and cozy read was exactly what I needed.  This book hits all the feels and I loved everything about this story.  I highly recommend it.

Thank you Donna Ashcroft for such a wonderful return to the Scottish Highlands.  This is an amazing conclusion to the Christmas Village Series.  Loved it!



Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Author:  Donna Ashcroft
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: September 27, 2022 
Pages: 291 
Buy on Amazon 

Step into Christmas Village in the Scottish Highlands where you’ll find plenty of mulled wine, romance and secrets! And join Merry McKenzie as she stays at her Aunt Ava’s cottage for the winter festivities to try and mend her broken heart…

Thirty-one-year-old Merry has vowed never to have her heart broken again. When her Aunt Ava asks her to house-sit Chestnut Cottage to look after her menagerie of animals, Merry jumps at the opportunity. Perhaps spending Christmas in the snowy Scottish Highlands will be just the escape she needs…

But on her first night in the little cottage 
everything goes wrong. The lights don’t work. It’s freezing cold. She has to call out the local vet, Theo Ellis-Lee, to help her calm down her aunt’s over-excited pet turkey. Merry realises she’s completely out of her comfort zone and it doesn’t help that Theo is both infuriatingly cheerful and insanely attractive.

It gets worse when Theo begins stopping by the cottage every day to check on the unruly animals. Merry wanted to prove that she doesn’t need a man holding her hand all the way. And Theo wasn’t part of her plans to be home alone for Christmas. Except Merry can’t deny the handsome vet sets her pulse racing…

Merry tries to keep up her Scrooge-like persona, but gradually Theo begins to melt her heart with his cheeky sense of humour and smouldering looks. As the two of them share cosy evenings drinking wine and eating cookies, Merry lets down her guard for the first time in a very long time.

But when Merry discovers Theo has been keeping a secret from her, it makes her wonder if she can really trust him. 
Can Theo convince Merry to give him a second chance? Or will Merry leave Christmas Village and return home heartbroken?


I spent years working in publishing and as a freelance copywriter before turning my hand to writing romance novels. It took a few more years until I got the story right, and I was helped along by the help of the fantastic Romantic Novelists Association and their New Writer’s Scheme. I was awarded the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017, along with my fellow author Erin Green. After this I met Natasha Harding from Bookouture who offered to mentor me through the WoMentoring Project – and this lead to my first publishing contract. I’m working on my sixth book now. When I’m not lost in my latest novel, I work for an online retailer where I buy natural beauty and cleaning products (and indulge my other great passion – moisturiser). Originally from Buckinghamshire, I lived in Lancashire and London before settling in Hertfordshire. Here I live with my own romantic hero Chris, two fantastic teenagers, along with a couple of very grumpy cats.

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