Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The question is now, is it his pride that hurts, or is his heart still aching?”
Here I am again, singing the praises of another rom-com which I always claim is not my favourite genre. This one is more perfect than I could imagine and I already want to read it all over again! This book is perfect for anyone who loves a cosy Christmas read filled with brilliant characters, quaint little villages and a few shocks along the way. I’m thrilled to be joining this blog blitz along with all these other wonderful reviewers – make sure you give them all a follow and take a look at their reviews!
Rosie Anderson was hoping to whisk her young son Danny away for a lovely Christmas with family, far from the hustle and bustle of her life in London. But then her boss at the head office – aka Susan the Sacker – suddenly assigns her to go in incognito and save a tiny inn in Cornwall from being closed permanently. Rosie doesn’t know why The Old Bell Inn is performing so badly but it’s on her to sort it out!
Hours in the car later, Rosie arrives at the inn to find she’s been double booked – there are no rooms left. And she isn’t there for more than a minute before she’s butting heads with the manager, Irishman Mitchell Fitzpatrick. He seems to dislike her on sight, so it’s confusing that he seems to get on so well with Danny… But if he’s as terrible as his reputation, Rosie will have to be the one to fire him.
This really isn’t the Christmas Rosie was dreaming of. But maybe, just maybe, it could be a whole lot more…
As soon as I started reading this book I just knew it was going to be an absolute delight. It’s always a nice feeling when the personality of an author shines through in their writing, and it didn’t take me long to get that nice warm, cosy feeling you get when you read something a little festive. After reading a lot of crime/thriller lately, this book seemed to be exactly what I needed to relax, with characters I couldn’t help but love straight away! We’re introduced to the main character, Rosie, in the opening pages, and get a brief explanation of who she is which gives us a little backstory to work with. We’re also made aware of another character, who Rosie likes to call ‘Susan the Sacker’ which often gave me a giggle. She has an attractive job opportunity for Rosie, but it would mean scrapping her family Christmas plans to travel to the Old Bell Inn in Cornwall and find out exact why they’re getting those bad reviews. The opening set the story up well, and I couldn’t wait to see how things progressed.
Susan the Sacker seems to be one awful woman – I don’t normally give out so much hate to someone so early on in a book, but this woman would drive me insane if she was my boss! Even though she treats Rosie poorly at work, Rosie is desperate for a chance to prove herself and get that promotion. However, when she reaches the Inn where she plans to inspect everything from the staff to cleanliness, things are far from what she imagined. The owner is rude, her son, Danny, is getting restless and they’ve somehow double booked – I loved the ‘No Room At The Inn’ theme which was very apt for a Christmas book, and I was left wondering what on earth they’d do now they were miles from home. It’s the situation no one wants to be in at Christmas, and I felt so sorry for Rosie and her sheer bad luck. Would they ever be able to have a nice Christmas? Would Rosie even be able to carry out her secret inspection of the Inn if there was no room available?
It doesn’t take long for Rosie to offer her help to the little inn, and she begins to see a much different side to Mitchell, the owner, with him even offering his own room to herself and Danny! It’s here where she begins to realise just how much she finds him attractive underneath his rudeness, but it still doesn’t forgive him for treating guests with such disrespect. However, we learn of why he is this way, and it helps the reader to begin to feel a little sorry for him after everything he’s been through. The author has effortlessly made me want the best for each character, especially little Danny. All the characters we meet have such vivid personalities, and even though we’re so early on in the book, it felt like I’d known them all my life! Character creation seems to be one of the author’s many strong points, and the whole reading experience so far was just so much fun. I knew this would stay consistent from beginning to end!
“So why don’t I do anything about it? Because I have everything to lose and she holds the dagger by the handle.”
I personally loved hearing so much about Danny, Rosie’s son, and it was really heartwarming that Mitchell was taking such a keen interest in him, showing him the horses on site and generally ensuring his time at the Inn was as fun as possible. Did Mitchell really have a caring and considerate side that he didn’t want to show at all times? Rosie seems keen to learn more about him, as was I! Mitchell in particular seemed to be a brilliant character, and we always seem to be questioning him. I love how quickly we get so involved in the story too, and already, it was such an easy read to get into – just pure joy. I had a few ideas for where the story might go, especially as we can already sense some sort of connection between Rosie and Mitchell, whether they would ever admit it to themselves or not! I was really looking forward to hearing more about Rosie’s secret inspection, and just whether Mitchell would pick up on who she really was and what she was doing at the inn. I began to feel a little nervous for Rosie for if the truth came out!
The author made me want nothing more than to spend Christmas in Cornwall thanks to her beautiful description of the place! I like how the idyllic description was consistent throughout all we read, and I just loved the feeling it gave me. It was so easy to just close your eyes and transport yourself here, and it was really quite relaxing! Rosie manages to convince Mitchell to let her get creative and festive with the inn, and it’s soon looking as Christmassy as it’s ever been. The author has really captured Mitchell well here (again) and we can see he’s slowly coming around to Rosie’s way of thinking. She’s brought so much positivity to the place that I felt he really does owe her one! Whatever ‘one’ is, I’m sure that would come later… I could sense love in the air and it wasn’t going away any time soon! There are very subtle sparks flying, and I thought the pacing of this was great – not too rushed, but it didn’t make me bored either! It was just perfect.
Throughout Rosie’s stay, there is one thing that she couldn’t work out – the inn’s finances. Something doesn’t add up and when the hotel seems to be losing money, Mitchell’s expensive possessions set those alarm bells ringing in Rosie’s mind. Is he taking money from the business for his own personal gain? It’s a mystery she must solve in her inspection, but she isn’t convinced he’s in the wrong. It must be something else, right?! This part of the story was interesting as I couldn’t seem to work out what the problem was, and I was convinced that Mitchell was a good guy under that tough attitude. I felt like there was still a lot to learn, and with time running out fast, Rosie must plan her approach carefully. Even for a rom-com, there is a kind of unexpected suspense that kept me on my toes and made me desperate to keep reading. What exactly was happening at the inn that forced Rosie to ask so many questions?
As I became even more involved in each character, Rosie suffers a blow after another call with Susan the Sacker, accusing her of not doing her job properly and sleeping with the boss! Oh my god, this woman! There was one particular sentence in the book saying, “She snorts, and I want to pull her right through the telephone wire and strangle her with it”, which was exactly how I felt after reading her accusations. I loved how easily the author made me loathe this woman, and we hadn’t even met her personally in the book – it was all through phone calls to Rosie. So so clever in my opinion! Now we have a problem – Rosie would be forced to step aside while someone else carries out the inspection. I felt absolutely gutted for Rosie here, but would there be a way for her to sort everything out and keep Mitchell on her good side? I felt the tension building and Rosie’s stress increasing to the max! Would he ever forgive her for keeping such significant information from him? I felt like covering my eyes – I couldn’t bear to look!
“I cry out, louder than intended. And then, I can see clearly. I know what I’m going to do now.”
The book continues to be filled with description of stunningly beautiful scenery of such a picturesque place, as well as of the most heartwarming scenes and conversations between Rosie, her son and Mitchell. Rosie’s feelings for him are now off the scale, with Mitchell even going well out of his way to give her everything she needs and showering her with surprises showing just how much he cares for her. However, with no word as of yet from Susan, time is ticking for Rosie to tell Mitchell who she really is, but with a job offer much more appealing than the one she already has, she has a big decision to make for her and Danny’s future. Could she really make the big move from London to Cornwall and be happier than she’s ever been? Her ex-partner, Mark, seems to want Rosie back in his life, and moving away was yet another way of staying away from him, someone so uninterested in her son, or about making her happy. I couldn’t wait to see how the author ended things!
The whole of the ending of the story was every rom-com lover’s dream, filled with love, lust and intense happiness. Rosie makes some big changes to her life, and even though all this has happened in a very short space of time, she knows the decisions she’s made are the right ones. It was just perfect reading about how Rosie and Mitchell get ever closer, and their connection is completely unlike anything else. Reading how their relationship blossoms gave me such a warm feeling and the smile wouldn’t leave my face! However, at the back of my mind, the fact that Rosie has still not told Mitchell who she really is was making me more nervous, and what would happen if Susan the Sacker made an unexpected appearance? Things wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows then – Rosie could potentially lose EVERYTHING if she wasn’t careful… Would she ever pluck up the courage to tell him the real reason she ended up in Cornwall for Christmas, or is she already in too deep?
With the truth coming out, a heated argument and the arrival of a very unwelcome visitor, Christmas day at the inn was far from what Rosie ever imagined. After such a perfect few weeks, she feels she’s ruined it all, all in the space of a few moments, and I have to admit my heart sank and my eyes were getting a bit teary! So much begins to happen in such a short space of time – even Mitchell seems to disappear with an attractive redhead that breaks Rosie’s heart even more. Characters seems to be juggling so many feelings around and the spirit of Christmas seemed to have fallen flat on its face. Rosie’s ex tries to turn nine years of ignorance into a nice happy family, but Rosie is having none of it. She has one thing on her mind right now, and that’s making amends with Mitchell. I only hoped he hadn’t moved on from her so quickly. I wasn’t 100% sure whether what happened between Rosie and Mitchell could ever be rectified, but I was crossing my fingers tightly for a bit of good news!
The author’s conversational tone has been completely and utterly consistent all the way through the book, making it such a joy to experience. The clever way of writing also makes readers think we’ve got Rosie’s future all worked out – as things have gone lately, it’s a future that she didn’t want to have, but at least it would be a more stable life for Danny. A new character, Penny, is on the scene, and I instantly wanted to know more about her. Could she really be Mitchell’s new love interest, even when only a few days before, he was completely besotted with Rosie? With a few questions piling up in my mind, I was so desperate to know the outcome for all the characters we’d grown to love and just whether Rosie could find happiness again. Could Mitchell ever forgive her, and would he even talk to her again? Would Rosie be left with a forced life with her ex, just so she could give her son what he needed in life?
“Karma really does exist, in its own twisted way. Because now that I’ve finally found The One, I can’t have him.”
Oh my word! There was actually the biggest collection of twists at the end of the book which well and truly made me gasp! Keep an eye on Mark and loads of other characters you meet along the way if you plan on reading this – not even I saw this coming! An amazing turn of events from the author, and something I really did not expect from a rom-com. I’m still shocked about it now! Even looking back, it all made sense. The final pages of the story were an absolute dream, and rounded of the story perfectly – the whole experience has made me love this author so so much, and I am dying to read more of her work right now. This book is so deserving of five stars, and if I’m completely honest with myself, I’d love to hear more about Rosie and Mitchell in another book. Such brilliant characters who I’m going to remember for a long time to come. An absolutely perfect end to a phenomenal story – I’ll definitely be re-reading!
My heart is so full right now and I’m finding it difficult to sum up what a wonderful book this is! The story expresses such a heartwarming bond between mother and son, as well as of a woman who is seeking a kind of happiness she’s never had before, and never knew she needed. Rosie and Mitchell’s relationship has been such a pleasure to experience and I was so immersed in their incredible story. Community spirit is portrayed so well and I am now dying to travel down to Cornwall! Rom-com lovers may find themselves a new favourite book here. This one is just a wonderful festive read, another one that has got me so in the mood for Christmas. A five star book without a doubt!
Thank you so much to the author of the book, Nancy Barone, and Aria Fiction for my copy! You can purchase your own copy of No Room at the Little Cornish Inn on Amazon now, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter for more updates.