Author: Jill Steeples
Release date: 1st October
Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie's looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.
But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie's ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie's heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated...
Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?
I kindly received Winter at The Dog & Duck in exchange of an honest review by the publisher.
When Ellie Brown was made redundant, the landlord of her little falt in London thought it was the perfect time to hike up the rent by an exorbitant amount, she decided, that it was an ideal opportunity for her to return home to Little Leyton, a cosy little village with heart and soul. Her sizeable payout from the company had bought her some thinking time. Three months at home would give her the time to reassess her life and work out what it was she wanted to do next.
Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, she was looking forward to living a simpler, less stressful life. Changes had occurred in Little Leyton when the rumors came up, that her beloved pub might be sold. With each passing day spent in Little Leyton it looked as though life was getting more complicated by the moment. Perhaps all this was a sign from a higher celestial power telling her that she should go back to London after all. Do the job that she'd trained so long and hard for. Wasn't that the sensible solution? Or can Ellie save the pub and prevent the worst?
I have read a few of Jill Steeples books and I was looking forward to a new story. The last time I had read one of her books I had been struggeling a lot but with Winter at The Dog & Duck Jill is back as I know her. There's something about Jill Steeples books that I find so easy to read. I've tried to read so many different books recently and not got past the first page but then picked this up and flew through it. I love her books and how easy it is to sink into them.
Although I have to say, when I started reading Winter at The Dog & Duck I was expecting a christmassy and cosy story centered around Christmas time. It is not that christmassy actually. The majority of the book is set earlier in the year, only the end of the story is leading up to Christmas time. That makes it easy to read this book at every time of the year.
I’ve always been drawn to novels which feature a cosy small town story and a great sense of community. I loved the descriptions about the pub, it sounded lovely. The pub is the heart of the village. It has so much history and character. Welcoming not only real ale fans, young couples and families who frequented the place, but also local groups, as such as the book club.
Anyway, Ellie is a lovely leading character, as well as the rest of the cast. Ellie keeps running into Max Golding. Macho, sophisticated and charming, he was all those things and many more. I could understand why Ellie was head over heels for him but I couldn't warm up with him. He kept too many secrets and was dishonest in too many occasions.
As Ellie tries to find out what to do next, she is faced with even more surprises. With more twists and turns coming for the village, this book keeps you on your toes and just makes you want to keep turning the page for more. I adore books where you can just picture and transport yourself into the setting and Winter at The Dog & Duck would be the ideal place to be.