Author: Kiley Dunbar
Overview from Goodreads:
A gorgeously uplifting, romantic read that will warm your heart – take a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where magic happens…
It’s autumn in beautiful Stratford-Upon-Avon and Kelsey Anderson is enjoying her new life in her adopted town. Her Shakespearean tour guide days behind her, she’s now opened her own photography studio and loved up with boyfriend Jonathan – even if a long-distance relationship is sometimes lonely.
When best friend Mirren Imrie moves down from Scotland, Kelsey is delighted to have her friend at her side – and as the nights turn colder, Mirren throws herself into dating, until she finds herself growing closer to sexy journalist, Adrian Armadale. But when Mirren uncovers a long-buried scandal while working at the local newspaper, her big scoop might throw Kelsey’s – and Jonathan’s – life upside down. Will she choose her career over her friends’ happiness?
And when Jonathan returns from America and discovers the secrets Mirren has uncovered about his family, it throws his relationship with Kelsey onto shaky ground. Can they find their way back to love, before it becomes the winter of their discontent?
A romantic, funny and feelgood read that will make you smile from ear to ear. Fans of Milly Johnson, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin will fall in love with this cozy winter read!
Before even reading the first official sentence in Chapter One, I was fond of the author’s use of Shakespeare quotes at the top of the page. I love how the author used quotes that not only reminisced about the excellent works of the playwright and fitting with the location of the novel, but it also correlated to each piece of the story.
As a side-note, you do not need to read One Summer’s Night (#1) in the series in order to understand the events in this novel. The author inserts tidbits into her story to catch the reader up, which helps those of us who haven’t read the first one (Unfortunately, I am one of them, but will soon remedy that). Another positive point is that it doesn’t go too much into detail for the recaps which is beneficial to those that did read the first novel.
This novel makes me want to pack my bags and move straight to Stratford-upon-Avon. Kelsey and her new love Jonathan must navigate long distance as he is off acting overseas. Her best friend Mirren has sworn off of men and has come to stay with Kelsey. The magic of winter provides the backdrop to this double feature Hallmark movie where we get to simultaneously observe the obstacles Kelsey and Mirren each face.
Despite the title of One Winter’s Night, the story takes place after the last novel left off so we move through the fall, winter, and some of the spring/summer season. Kelsey is trying to set up her photography business, have her long distance relationship, and be there for her friends. Mirren is trying to put her life back together while also trying to establish herself as a more serious journalist. Jonathan is acting and teaching overseas while counting the days to see Kelsey again. Adrian is a journalist who befriends Mirren and, like her, has sworn off dating for his own reasons. As we navigate between the foursome, we get a well-rounded story that wraps up everything nicely in the end while leaving it just open enough for another sequel.
One smaller issue I had sometimes while reading were the phrasings Jonathan uses as they weren’t American sayings/word choices (no state/place I have ever been to has been that way, but I did hear them a lot around the UK and Ireland). It wasn’t a huge issue though, it was just something I would notice while reading. If you read this novel for what it is, then it is the perfect feel-good book. However, if you go into it expecting more, then you might come away disappointed. I’ll reiterate that the novel is similar to a holiday Hallmark movie where coincidences happen that don’t seem as probable and there will be conflicts that might be wrapped up differently than you, as a reader prefer. This is what I loved about this book though as I read it for what it was and left with that warm and fuzzy feeling. I shall definitely be reading more from this author!
**Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**