Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
One Last Dream for December
Sometimes, the dream we think we don’t deserve is the one that’s trying to come true…
Esme Blythe has led a nomadic existence for the last ten years, never thinking she fits anywhere, and never feeling she’s earned the right to. But when she moves in above Percival’s, the charming old toy shop in Market Square, Pebblestow, it seems the village is about to weave its signature fairy-tale magic.
Surrounded by wooden toy soldiers, rocking horses, and vintage doll’s houses, not to mention the locals who seem determined to be part of her life – from her endearing grumpy uncle, to warm-hearted co-worker Blodwyn, and smouldering single dad Seth – Esme has to face up to everything she’s been missing, or turn her back on an incredible opportunity.
New friends, formidable foes, and the thrill of a budding romance, conspire to make this the most bittersweet December ever. But when she finally learns the truth about the toy shop’s owner, her elusive benefactor, the mysterious Mr Percival, is it already too late for Esme to change her mind… and heal her heart?
Purchase Link – https://viewbook.at/LastDreamForDecember
Author Bio – Lottie Cardew writes uplifting, contemporary romcoms set around the picturesque village of Pebblestow, and is an advocate for diversity in fiction.
Regarded as the bossy one at Novelistas Ink, Lottie often subdues the other members if they misbehave (they don’t really) including the popular authors Trisha Ashley and Sophie Claire. She is a longstanding member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, scooping their New Writer’s Award in her twenties under a different pen-name. More recently, Lottie also joined the Society of Authors where as an active participant in the ADCI group (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) she interviewed bestselling author Holly Smale in 2021 for the first ever Disability Issue of The Bookseller.
Lottie is diagnosed autistic with suspected ADHD. Her home in North Wales is overrun by husband, not-very-small children, and a ball of fluff masquerading as a Pomeranian, so Lottie frequently takes refuge at her desk.
Social Media Links – Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsLottieCardew
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Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/LottieCardew.Books
This romance was interesting right from the start. The characters were introduced, but they were only revealed a little at a time as to their true selves. The story was in a quaint village that seemed to be like a place where fairy tales existed. Charming shops lined the streets, including the toy shop where Esmerelda, or Esme, was going to work. She was hired to work there and allowed to live in the flat above the store.
She hadn’t done this type of work before. She discovered an old-fashioned toy-makers shop in a separate place in the store. This is where Mr. Percival made the wooden toys. His talent was amazing, and now that he was recovering in a nursing home, there was great concern for the future of the business.
The first ‘customers’ Esme meets are Tamika and her dad, Seth. They come in out of the rainstorm. Tamika appears very shy, but loves the pink umbrella for sale. Since there is no price tag, the umbrella is free. After that Tamika calls Esme ‘Brella. Seth and Esme begin a relationship that they try to keep as “just a friendhip” although that doesn’t last too long.
Seth’s a widower and his mother-in-law and sister-in-law help take care of Tamika, but can be very controlling. They are very concerned about him dating Esme. Esme doubts herself and doesn’t think that she deserves Seth. This is due to some of her earlier life experiences and living on the autistic spectrum.
Between Seth’s family and Esme’s self-doubts, the romance is not a sure thing. The book is beautifully written and I really like that they show how inclusion of autism is part of many lives. The bedroom scenes weren’t graphic, but obvious that they were having sex.
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