This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…

 Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve. 

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again. 

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix? 

Titles that flow together:  House of Secrets – House of Christmas Secrets

Title:  House of Christmas Secrets
Series:  sequel to House of Secrets
Author:  Lynda Stacey
Genre:  Romance, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Published:  December 5, 2017
Publisher:  Choc Lit
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Somehow the first story, House of Secrets, slipped under my radar, but that is easily fixed in the new year.  So even though I was unable to follow my own suggestion by reading in order due to time constraints, I had absolutely no problem following this story.  And bits of information I needed to clarify a point or a person was smoothly included in dialogue or narrative.

Also, it should be mentioned that this is not a lighthearted, gather around the Christmas tree type of story.  House of Christmas Secrets has bite, and mystery, danger and things hidden from family for a long time.  Oh, you’ll definitely find Christmas here, but you’ll also find sadness, the cost of human frailties, the paths that lives often take that are completely unexpected and harsh.  You’ll also find good friendships, people who are willing to step out and help others – even when loving relationships are at risk, people generally do the right thing.

I don’t want to risk giving away bits that are better left to each reader to discover for themselves – yet, it is so very easy to get lost in the lives of these characters, to laugh, cry, and get mad with them.  The puzzles that surround all of the characters in one fashion or another only add to the feeling of a group of people who, no matter how different, have bonded into a solid unit.  The story threads were woven so that while I was caught up in individual situations, I could also feel how those things touched other character’s lives as well.  By the ending of House of Christmas Secrets I was even more annoyed with myself for missing the first book, and it will be one of the first books on my 2018 line-up for now I need to go back to the beginning firsthand.

If you love a story that is strong on family ties, even when unexpected, a touch of danger, a puzzle to solve and happy endings to discover then you’ll enjoy House of Christmas Secrets.  All the while discovering a quite satisfying Christmas story as well.  I believe any reader who enjoys Romance, Mystery or Suspense would like this story, add in the Christmas theme and you’ve got a winner.  Indulge yourself this season and enjoy.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle