Rosa here. Now Halloween is over, I love indulging in festive books so I was excited to find a copy of Kiley Dunbar’s Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop in my Box of Romance. I adored the prequel to this, The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday so was happy to revisit Clove Lore.
Book Review: Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar
Title: Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop
Author: Kiley Dunbar
Genre: festive romance
Release Date: 1st September 2022
‘Tis the season for finding love… and the perfect book
With just two weeks until Christmas, everything in Clove Lore should be perfect. But the latest holidaymaker to the Borrow a Bookshop is feeling far from festive…
Icelandic ex-bookseller Magnús Sturluson might be surrounded by love stories in the Bookshop, but he’s nursing a sadness that not even fiction can fix.
When Alexandra Robinson finds herself stranded in Clove Lore, she finds a safe place to hide from heartbreak. After all, all that’s waiting for her at home is a cheater boyfriend and the memories of her parents. As Alex finds herself embraced by the quirky village community, she finds her tough exterior thawing – and as she grows closer to Magnús, she finds an equally soft heart under his gruff shell.
It seems that Clove Lore is working its magic once again – until a great flood on Christmas Eve brings devastation in its wake. It’s up to Magnús and Alex to batten down the hatches and help bring the village back together again, while also introducing the locals to the Icelandic tradition of the jólabókaflóð – Yule book flood – where families and friends gather on Christmas Eve to exchange books and read together.
But can Magnús and Alex truly rescue the ruins of the village, and salvage their Christmas spirit? Or is there another complication lurking even closer than they thought?
Rosa’s Thoughts from the Emporium
Kiley Dunbar is an author I know I can turn to for a comfort read with quirky characters to love and a location I can immerse myself in. This book was no exception. Clove Lore and the bookshop welcomed me back like a hug and it was a joy to catch up with old favourite characters like Minty, Jude and Eliot, and of course, Aldous the dog.
The bookshop and its café is a perfect location for a Christmas story as it oozes cosiness and warmth especially when the characters sink into chairs in front of the fire surrounded by books. With the village decorated with Christmas decorations it made me feel festive even in September.
Magnus and Alex provided a fresh story and when their pasts were revealed, I was cheering them both on hoping they would both get the happy ending they deserved. Unlike many romances, Magnus and Alex get on so it was lovely to see the friendship flourish but then it meant the heartache cuts deeper when trials come their way.
The flood highlighted the devasting wide ranging effects disasters like this have but also showed the strength communities and people have when pushed to the brink.
With bookshops, the Christmas tradition of jólabókaflóð, a strong community and romance in the air, this novel is perfect for a heart-warming festive read on a cold evening with a hot chocolate or favourite drink.
It can be read as a standalone, but like all novels set in a village location, reading the first novel will give added depth to the reading experience as you have a connection with the secondary characters too.
Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.
Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).
Social Media Links
Website and newsletter: http://www.kileydunbar.co.uk/