Excited to share with you today my review for this darling gem of a story! Thank you so much to Rachel for my invitation to the tour and two Henriette Gyland for her wonderful words!🦁🎄
Is there life after the circus has left town?
Circus performer Justine Belmont works with big cats, but when the circus is disbanded and the old lion is sold to a private menagerie at a stately home in Norfolk, she is asked to spend a few weeks settling him into his new environment. When she arrives at the estate, however, she receives a mixed welcome.
The groundsman Tom Yates resents her presence as he doesn’t feel he needs her help with the lion. He revises his opinion when he sees the bond between her and the big cat, and she and Tom grow closer, although Justine remains torn about her feelings for him. The lady of the house, Priscilla – who is married to the reclusive owner, Lord Brooks’s, grandson – is not so easily convinced. She perceives Justine as a threat for the male attention and her plans for the manor. And her two young daughters are a little too curious about the lion for their own good.
When unsettling events occur, Justine begins to wonder if there is more to Priscilla’s animosity than meets the eye. Can Justine keep herself and everyone else safe until it’s time for her to leave again and start a new life elsewhere?
This was a delightful story full of whimsy, romance, and a peppering of mystery…
How could I resist a book with both the word Christmas and lion in the title? I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but this book was so much fun, I haven’t read a book about the circus in a very long time… although the majority of the story did not take place at the circus we still learn A lot about the circuits from Justine….
Justine was a wonderful character I loved how down to earth she was and how lovely her bond was with the lion, Rexus… Justine’s life is the circus, she works helping her father with the big cat show… that is until things change and the circus closes… The lion is sold to a menagerie and Justine goes along to make sure he gets settled in OK…. And so the real story begins… with Justine at this stately homes with Tom, Henry, Priscilla, grandfather, and the kids! Oh and I can’t forget the hyenas!
I loved the interactions with the lion, he was quite clever… I also loved the emerging romance… there was a fun little twist at the end and a sprinkling of mystery that I savored….
This was a fun cozy quick read that I recommend to anyone who is young at heart! A book full of lions, and romance, and Christmas, oh my!
*** many thanks to the author and Rachelle for my copy of this book ***
Author Bio –
Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.
Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.
Henriette lives in London.
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