Friday, September 30, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Snowflakes and Secrets in the Scottish Highlands


Step into the cosy Scottish village of Christmas where you’ll find plenty of secrets, romance and mulled wine! And join Merry McKenzie as she stays at her Aunt Ava’s cottage for the winter festivities to try and mend her broken heart…

Thirty-one-year-old Merry is escaping to the Scottish Highlands for Christmas. Heartbroken by the death of her father, the man who raised her single-handedly, she needs some time to heal. Hiding away at Chestnut Cottage with only her Aunt Ava’s menagerie of pets for company seems like the perfect way to spend a peaceful December. But when she arrives, Merry discovers some curious instructions from her aunt asking her to organise Secret Santa gifts for the residents of Christmas village.

Merry’s determined to try and carry out her aunt’s festive task. But on her first night in the little cottage everything goes wrong – including upsetting the handsome local vet Theo Ellis-Lee when he arrives to assist with a crazed turkey and the mischievous rabbit who’s torn apart her aunt’s gift list. Merry is completely out of her comfort zone and it doesn’t help that Theo is both infuriatingly cheerful and insanely attractive.

Merry’s plans for a quiet break are quickly thwarted as Theo starts coming by every day to check on the unruly animals, and she can’t deny he sets her pulse racing. And, one by one, the friendly locals draw her out of her shell with cosy cups of tea, warm words and laughter-filled evenings in the pub. She finds herself embracing the challenge of finding the perfect gift for each of the kind-hearted people on her list. When Theo offers to help, sparks fly between them. But when the Secret Santa project forces Merry to face her heartache, she’s not sure she’s ready for a fresh start.

At a crossroads in her life, will Merry decide to go home and hide from her problems or will she open her heart and stay in Christmas village?

A gorgeous, winter romance to lose yourself in this Christmas. Perfect for fans of Nicola May, Trisha Ashley and Debbie Macomber – and best accompanied by a hot chocolate!


Title:   Snowflakes and Secrets in the Scottish Highlands
Author:  Donna Ashcroft
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Women's Fiction; Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   291
Date of Publication:   September 27, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars

Merry McKenzie finds herself busier than she expected to be while vacationing in the Scottish Highlands. She is at her Aunt Ava's cottage and working through the grief of losing her father, Healing comes along with a bit of a different agenda than she imagined. She discovers instructions written in her aunt's hand that require Merry to become the organizer of the annual Secret Santa drive. A previous accident, one that left her in a coma, had left her life in turmoil.

With a bevy of animals, incoming gifts to be distributed, and a long list of instructions, Merry is about to be very busy. However, most of the destructions were destroyed by Chewy the rabbit, Merry knew that starting over would be full of challenges, and things just got much more difficult. Fortunately, she finds that she just might accept local vet Theo's help. It doesn't hurt that he is easy on the eyes and that the two seem to have a connection from the very stat. 

As if she doesn't have enough to do during the season she accepts the challenge of teaching a writing class to children as they write their Christmas stories. Especially due to her previous accident, Merry always felt she had been in a position to be saved. Now that she is in Christmas Village, she intends on taking control of her life, no matter how tempting it is to want to trust Theo to help her out with the presents. 

What a lovely story by Donna Ashcroft. Merry is a delightful character, the Secret Santa drive is so touching, and the relationship she forms with Theo is so very sweet. Oh, all of the animals were a treat as well! 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review as well -


Donna Ashcroft was born in London, England and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.

Donna was shortlisted for the RNA Debut Romantic Novel of the Year in 2019, has had nine books published with Bookouture and her tenth is due out in September 2022.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she's escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she's not reading or writing she'll probably be found hoovering ... or negotiating with her two teenagers about who is doing the washing up.

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