Christmas Secrets by the Sea (Seasons by the Sea, #1)
Sometimes you don’t get the Christmas presents you imagined…Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her as his owner.When Tansy’s new-found friends at the cafe in the bay help her find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, she soon discovers that the show’s glamorous star, Davin O’Riordan, is as grouchy as he is handsome – and just as Brian starts forging a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet Seelie, Tansy begins to wonder exactly what Davin’s fans see in him.As Christmas approaches, Tansy and Davin discover each other’s secrets, and a new bond begins to grow between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the cafe from closing?

Christmas Secrets by the Sea (Seasons by the Sea, #1) Details

TitleChristmas Secrets by the Sea (Seasons by the Sea, #1)
Author
ReleaseDec 13th, 2018
PublisherFarrago
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction, Womens Fiction, Holiday, Christmas

Christmas Secrets by the Sea (Seasons by the Sea, #1) Review

  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    A heartwarming and heartwrenching read full of emotion and hope!This is not a light fluffy Christmas story, this is a book full of emotion and struggle that will take you on a wonderful journey... as you all know I adore a fun festive story, but this book took hold of my heart and did not let go until the bitter end... an emotional ride that will make you smile, make you laugh, make you angry, make you cry, but at the end of the day it will leave you with a warm toasty feeling in your heart.... A heartwarming and heartwrenching read full of emotion and hope!This is not a light fluffy Christmas story, this is a book full of emotion and struggle that will take you on a wonderful journey... as you all know I adore a fun festive story, but this book took hold of my heart and did not let go until the bitter end... an emotional ride that will make you smile, make you laugh, make you angry, make you cry, but at the end of the day it will leave you with a warm toasty feeling in your heart.... I truly loved this story from first page to last, I was completely captivated by these characters!Tansy has lost everything her company, her boyfriend, her beautiful flat... The only thing she has left from her old life is a camper van, so she sets off in her van to temporarily live on the beach...Tansy finds herself in a small village where she befriends the owner of a café and her son, and takes a job as a TV location scout... turns out part of the job is taking care of the grumpy, grouchy, brooding, star Devin... i’m sure you can figure out where this is going? But let me tell you it was so much more than your typical romance, these two characters had some major depth and some major baggage... not to mention two adorable dogs who had a love story of their very own!This was a very slow burning realistic romance full of angst and misunderstanding... both Tansy and Davin were likable sympathetic characters... both of their backstories were quite heartbreaking, but I loved reading about what made them the people they are today.... The secondary characters added so much charm to the story even the obnoxious vegan actress... this is the first book in the series, and I am really hoping that we will revisit these characters in future books...Strongly encourage you to pick this up if you are a fan of a well done romance with some depth and emotion💕 don’t let the title fool you, this book can be read any time of the year!*** many thanks to the author and the publisher for my copy of this book ***
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    Tansy Merriwether has pretty much hit rock bottom, in the last year she has lost her successful cupcake business, her business partner/ lover, her home and her money. Now she's living in a decrepit caravan on a Dorset beach. When she befriends the single mother who runs an isolated cafe nearby she hears about a TV crew which is filing a series in a nearby cove who might need someone to run odd jobs. When Tansy approaches the crew she finds out that she knows the director from when she lived in L Tansy Merriwether has pretty much hit rock bottom, in the last year she has lost her successful cupcake business, her business partner/ lover, her home and her money. Now she's living in a decrepit caravan on a Dorset beach. When she befriends the single mother who runs an isolated cafe nearby she hears about a TV crew which is filing a series in a nearby cove who might need someone to run odd jobs. When Tansy approaches the crew she finds out that she knows the director from when she lived in London. He suggests she could help the crew enormously by scouting for locations for a new series and taking the obnoxious male star with her, he and his female co-star are impossible when working together.Davin O'Riordan isn't the man the PR people make him out to be, he isn't the man he pretends to be, he has lots of secrets but for some reason he likes Tansy, she's the only woman who doesn't swoon at his feet and who sees more than just a former model turned actor. But can two people learn to trust each other?If I say that this book contains a sexy Irish actor, a teenage boy with a bottomless stomach, a single mother, Christmas, a vegan actress, a beautiful whippet and a smelly stray dog, and quaint English villages would you be interested? Yes, me too. This was charming, funny and a saccharine-free holiday romance. Maybe if I was being really picky I would have preferred fewer flashbacks to Davin's past (which didn't generally seem to add much) and maybe more to Tansy's past which (to me) still remains somewhat shrouded in mystery.Overall, if Poldark revs your engine then I think you'll like Davin, he's been described as looking like Chris Hemsworth and Aidan Turner had a baby!Recommended for fans of Sue Moorcroft.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.Bumped for release.
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  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Tansy's not having the best days of her life – she's running from a lost business and a broken heart, and a whole lot of guilt, shame and disappointment, when she is 'found' by a scruffy dog and a couple of situations that lead one into the other. Tansy ends up working an odd job for a TV show filming crew she runs into, which essentially means babysitting a really cocky actor and a super patronizing co-star of his. Angry at her life, or rather, the lack of logic in the fact that this is now som Tansy's not having the best days of her life – she's running from a lost business and a broken heart, and a whole lot of guilt, shame and disappointment, when she is 'found' by a scruffy dog and a couple of situations that lead one into the other. Tansy ends up working an odd job for a TV show filming crew she runs into, which essentially means babysitting a really cocky actor and a super patronizing co-star of his. Angry at her life, or rather, the lack of logic in the fact that this is now somehow her life, Tansy is not in the best place when the story starts out. Meanwhile, Davin is your traditional brooding hero: handsome, but utterly full of... 'stuff' on the outside. In the end, you'll probably find out he's not actually like that, but he'll do a great job of convincing you he's not worth the air he's breathing at first. It's not long before he opens up to Tansy, and through her – to us, and shows just exactly what he is protecting so much with such a harsh picture on the outside.If you're expecting open romance, well, that's not how this book is. I would say, this is more of a slice of life story, where the characters are struggling with disappointment and their respective pasts, trying to make something of their lives, and as a result, something comes from it. It's a very unobtrusive, silent kind of story. At first I was going to give it 3 stars because I couldn't connect to the characters and what was going on, but then the real reasons behind their actions came out, and they were deep and troubled – I was mesmerized. If at first the book seems like just another story, by the end it will have you exploring the deep pains of the human condition, betrayal by the closest people you have and coming to terms with it all. It's done beautifully through dialogue between the two main characters and it had me glued to the pages past the halfway point. I really do recommend this book, but I have to warn about triggers as well. But the trigger is a spoiler, so if you want to risk it, please don't keep reading. Triggers include: (view spoiler)[miscarriage, guilt – especially over the miscarriage, losing a business and all your belongings, a cheating and manipulative spouse, growing up in a poor family with an alcoholic dad, being looked down on because of being dyslexic. (hide spoiler)]I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinion.Book Blog | Themed Bookstagram | Quick Update Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
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  • Barb (Boxermommyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    "Christmas Secrets by the Sea" is just the kind of book I like to read during the holiday season. Christmas is present but it isn't thrown in your face and there is a lot going on besides just cute romance. In the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to Tansy and a scraggly stray she eventually names Brian. We know that Tansy is down on her luck, just recently losing her business, her home and her boyfriend. She has chosen to park her caravan on Dorset Beach and wait out the holidays. "Christmas Secrets by the Sea" is just the kind of book I like to read during the holiday season. Christmas is present but it isn't thrown in your face and there is a lot going on besides just cute romance. In the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to Tansy and a scraggly stray she eventually names Brian. We know that Tansy is down on her luck, just recently losing her business, her home and her boyfriend. She has chosen to park her caravan on Dorset Beach and wait out the holidays. What she doesn't plan on is meeting new people and learning that sometimes you really can chose your own family.There's lots to love about this book. There is a wonderful small town feel and as Tansy discovers a new job scouting filming locations for a local production company, she meets many new, wonderful and nerve-racking individuals. There is also a great puppy love story between Brian and a whippet named Seelie - talk about odd couples. There is some romance thrown into this book so if that turns you off, then you won't want to give it a go. But it's not over-the-top and it's actually a love-to-hate trope which I am finding I enjoy quite a bit. And there are some pretty dark secrets which are exposed by the end and it only made me love Tansy and Davin even more.I probably wouldn't pick a book like this up to read most of the year but it was a perfect fit for the holiday season. And come on, with Brian and Seelie, you pretty much know it's going to be something I enjoy. I'm curious about the rest of the series when it releases because if it focuses on some of the characters we've already met, I'm anxious to see where it's headed.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Not much Christmas in this book. Maybe this should just be called Secrets By the Sea and not be pushed into the snowmance category.I'm not entirely sure how I felt about this book. Tansy was a very annoying character and Davin wasn't much better. The book may have been a better read if it focused on Karen and Neil or Kee or Larch. Basically anyone who isn't Tansy or Davin.Overall it wasn't a bad read but it wasn't a good read either. I'm not sure why throughout the whole book no one thought to g Not much Christmas in this book. Maybe this should just be called Secrets By the Sea and not be pushed into the snowmance category.I'm not entirely sure how I felt about this book. Tansy was a very annoying character and Davin wasn't much better. The book may have been a better read if it focused on Karen and Neil or Kee or Larch. Basically anyone who isn't Tansy or Davin.Overall it wasn't a bad read but it wasn't a good read either. I'm not sure why throughout the whole book no one thought to give poor Brian the dog a good bath. Instead they all just complained about how smelly and dirty he was.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve often said that my Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a book from Jane Lovering – and with this lovely read, it most certainly is. It’s one of those books you could happily read at any time of the year, set at Christmas but not overflowing with tinsel and lights, full of lovely characters whose life stories tug at your heartstrings and instantly make them your new best friends as you watch them stumble their way to a hoped for happy ending. Davin did take a while to win my heart – turni I’ve often said that my Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a book from Jane Lovering – and with this lovely read, it most certainly is. It’s one of those books you could happily read at any time of the year, set at Christmas but not overflowing with tinsel and lights, full of lovely characters whose life stories tug at your heartstrings and instantly make them your new best friends as you watch them stumble their way to a hoped for happy ending. Davin did take a while to win my heart – turning on his film star smile for all his adoring fans, being a thoroughly miserable sod when in lovely Tansy’s company, until things start to simmer a little.Goodness, what dreadful lives these characters have had – I liked the way Davin’s back story was slowly revealed, punctuating the present day story, and poor Tansy’s rather been through the mill too. I so enjoyed the whole story, full of the most wonderfully drawn characters – including some lovely cameos of friends some readers will remember from Christmas Steepleton. The TV show encampment makes a great backdrop and location for developing some of the more minor characters, combining the world of the cafe and its problems with the catering van and its customers.And if I’m discussing characters, I can’t possibly leave out Brian. I’m really not a very doggy person, but he’s SO wonderful. Ok, he smells a bit, and you might not want to run your hands through his fur (even if that were possible), but with apologies to the two-legged variety he was my favourite character in the whole book. He doesn’t talk – that would be just silly – but he expresses so much emotion with a twist of his eyebrows or a joyful gallop along a windswept beach. I just loved his romance with pedigree Seelie, described as “Dennis the Menace in hot pursuit of… Claudia Schiffer” – not the only romance in the book by any means, but the one that perhaps most filled me with joy.And I’m not usually particularly keen on teenagers either, but I really liked Rory. I’m no expert, but he was tremendously “real” to me – I loved his excitement and enthusiasm about little things, the caring and warm heart under the gruff exterior, the archetypal difficult teenager sometimes letting out the little boy within.The other thing that’ll really stick in your mind from this book is the atrocious weather – not the crisp snow you might have expected, but the sort of biblical rain and ferocious wind I always thought was more of a Yorkshire speciality. The descriptions are wonderful – but I might just avoid Dorset in future at this time of the year, particularly if I’m in a camper van.The writing, as always, is superb – Jane Lovering has that ability to choose exactly the right words and images to make you laugh, with a wonderful touch of the ridiculous, then moving seamlessly to a scene of such poignancy that it catches your breath. If you’ve never read one of her books before, do give this one a try – I really think it might be my new favourite. But if you have already discovered her writing, I expect you’ll already be looking forward to reading this one over Christmas – and I promise you’ll enjoy every moment.
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  • Nessa
    January 1, 1970
    One of the reasons I chose to read this book is because I thoroughly enjoyed the author's previous book 'Little Teashop of Horrors' and the other reason is I thought it'd be Christmas themed, but to be honest there wasn't much of a Christmas feel to it at all nor much festivities. However despite that it was still a good read, a very well thought out story that is quite emotional at times and heartfelt in places throughout the story.I loved getting to know the characters some of whom were a hoot One of the reasons I chose to read this book is because I thoroughly enjoyed the author's previous book 'Little Teashop of Horrors' and the other reason is I thought it'd be Christmas themed, but to be honest there wasn't much of a Christmas feel to it at all nor much festivities. However despite that it was still a good read, a very well thought out story that is quite emotional at times and heartfelt in places throughout the story.I loved getting to know the characters some of whom were a hoot as they came out with some very weird words and phases.  The two dogs Brian and Seelie were certainly unique and I loved how they had their own little storylines going on.Looking forward to reading the second book to the series.
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  • Rhoda Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of Jane's books, so when I saw an ARC was available, I snapped it up and read it straight away.Tansy is living in a camper van (in winter!) and is currently parked up somewhere near the Dorset coast. Something has happened to her in the past and she's mostly trying not to think about it. She's been adopted by a smelly dog called Brian. I love the idea of Brian, but I don't think I'd like to meet him in real life. Not unless he's been thoroughly washed first.Davin is an up and coming Ir I'm a fan of Jane's books, so when I saw an ARC was available, I snapped it up and read it straight away.Tansy is living in a camper van (in winter!) and is currently parked up somewhere near the Dorset coast. Something has happened to her in the past and she's mostly trying not to think about it. She's been adopted by a smelly dog called Brian. I love the idea of Brian, but I don't think I'd like to meet him in real life. Not unless he's been thoroughly washed first.Davin is an up and coming Irish actor who is in Dorset filming a thing about life guards. He's quite grumpy. Tansy ends up having to 'babysit' Davin - as in get him away from set for a day so that he and his co-star don't end up killing each other. Davin has secrets of his own. He also has a bitch called Seelie ... whom Brian seems to be in love with.Davin is lovely and unusually emotionally intelligent. Tansy is just the right amount of prickly. There's a lot of weather in this book - wet, mainly. There's also a nice little foray into Christmas Steepleton (as featured in The Boys of Christmas, which I love dearly).All in all, another great read from Jane Lovering.Usual disclaimer - I know Jane in real life, but I was a fan of her books well before I met her. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher (thank you!).
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"What an entertaining, wonderful story. I was immediately absorbed by these two broken people – Davin and Tansy – and their initial mutual hostility was really well written.Our aloof hero, Davin, is a great addition to the gallery of wounded heroes, hiding beneath layers of broodiness, rudeness and the “sulk factor” a great deal of vulnerability and a really caring and nice person. I loved how the author, Jane Lovering, slowly reveale "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"What an entertaining, wonderful story. I was immediately absorbed by these two broken people – Davin and Tansy – and their initial mutual hostility was really well written.Our aloof hero, Davin, is a great addition to the gallery of wounded heroes, hiding beneath layers of broodiness, rudeness and the “sulk factor” a great deal of vulnerability and a really caring and nice person. I loved how the author, Jane Lovering, slowly revealed the solitary man and the “lost boy with his dog” of the past. I also liked the fact that he and his family managed to succeed despite all the problems. However, I would have liked his secret to be more elaborated.Tansy is a great heroine, too, her humor and sarcasm always tempered with intelligence and an innate kindness.I loved the vivid descriptions of the Dorset coast, the secondary characters; and, finally, the dogs, Brian and Seelie: they are characters in its own right, with their animal personalities and quirks. They are endearing and so fun to read.I'm grateful to the publisher, Farrago, and NetGalley for providing a free copy
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  • Karen Whittard
    January 1, 1970
    Not come across this author before. But I highly enjoyed this book. it's heartwarming, engaging, entertaining. And full of all the Christmas sparkle and spirit without being fluffy or over the top. All characters were great, both two legged and four legged I look forward to reading other books by this writer.Highly recommended!
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  • Rachel Simson
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t get far with this book. The sentences are really long and over-descriptive, and because of this I struggled to concentrate on the story and get involved in it.
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun to read holiday romance. A fast read, but by no means without substance or depth. I found the main characters to be realistic and believable, likeable but with flaws. There are also a couple dogs in the story, which help round out the plot and move it along in spots. I enjoyed getting to know the back stories of some of the main characters, and look forward to reading more in future books in this series. There are some funny moments, some sad moments, some nail-biting moments, and This was a fun to read holiday romance. A fast read, but by no means without substance or depth. I found the main characters to be realistic and believable, likeable but with flaws. There are also a couple dogs in the story, which help round out the plot and move it along in spots. I enjoyed getting to know the back stories of some of the main characters, and look forward to reading more in future books in this series. There are some funny moments, some sad moments, some nail-biting moments, and some moments that may make you say, "Awww!" I enjoyed my first Jane Lovering book and can't wait to read my next!I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book. I've read a couple of Jane Lovering's other books and they are always a bit of a different type of romance. In general, I find British romance to be "slower" than American romance. This isn't a bad thing. What I'm trying to say is that the British romance authors that I've read seem to develop their MCs and the connection between them much more than the typical American romance. There's rarely a case of insta-lust and there is usually a firm friendship developing before I really liked this book. I've read a couple of Jane Lovering's other books and they are always a bit of a different type of romance. In general, I find British romance to be "slower" than American romance. This isn't a bad thing. What I'm trying to say is that the British romance authors that I've read seem to develop their MCs and the connection between them much more than the typical American romance. There's rarely a case of insta-lust and there is usually a firm friendship developing before the hero and heroine become intimate. I love the pacing of such romances, but compared to American romances, where I swear it's almost required that the MCs become intimate by (if not before) the 50% mark, British romances often seem slower paced. Such is the case for Christmas Secrets by the Sea. There is so much going on with both Tansy and Davin and the author takes the time to develop their personalities and form a strong connection between them. They both have hard outer shells, and what is initially visible on the surface is not at all what is going on beneath those shells but those inner layers are revealed slowly and only after they've built up some trust. I also find it interesting that the book is being marketed as a Christmas story. Although it's set at that time of year, and there is talk and scenes of the holidays, it doesn't have much of a typically "christmasy", celebratory, or holiday feel, it's much more serious than that. However, the underlying theme of the book is forgiveness and redemption, so the title is appropriate in that sense. Jane Lovering also did a fantastic job in evoking the feeling of winter, paralleling how barren Tansy feels inside after losing everything that was important to her. I felt cold most of the time as I was reading the descriptions of the Dorset cost and the wild winter winds and storms. Overall, a great job in evoking the time and place and drawing the reader into the story. I also have to mention Brian and Seelie, the two dogs owned by Tansy and Davin. They were both smart and adorable and I loved the little romance that developed between them also. If you are a pet lover, there are plenty of scenes with both of them, they aren't just window dressing. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jeannie Zelos
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas Secrets by the Sea, Jane LoveringReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre: Humour, romanceI've read several of Jane's stories now, and she has a style of writing I really like. I'm cautious when a book is styled as “humour” as so many are just that forced, OTT that I simply just don't like them. Jane's humour though is typical British subtle humour. The romance is muted, a side part of the overall story but was very satisfying and the perfect ending. I loved the characters, Tansy, c Christmas Secrets by the Sea, Jane LoveringReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre: Humour, romanceI've read several of Jane's stories now, and she has a style of writing I really like. I'm cautious when a book is styled as “humour” as so many are just that forced, OTT that I simply just don't like them. Jane's humour though is typical British subtle humour. The romance is muted, a side part of the overall story but was very satisfying and the perfect ending. I loved the characters, Tansy, clearly escaping from something – but what? It takes the full length of the book for everything to come out, little bits are released along the story but you always know she's holding back something more. Likewise Davin, he's so obnoxious to begin then as we get to know the real man, the secrets of his past I really liked him. He's got a real sensitivity about him, something that isn't apparent until we get to know him. The rest of the cast are great too, Karen from the cafe, Rory, a typical teen, written so well. Everything's a drama at that age, its all highs or all down dramas....I loved his openness and how close he was to his mum, how protective of her he was. Even Larch had me warming to her by the end. People really aren't as they first seem all the while, some just need you to get to know them, in real life and in books. Then there's the real stars of the story Brian and Seelie, they were so perfect. They brought a lightness into more serious moments, brought people together, brought in some gentle humour ( Brian and the ever present sardines and seaweed) and provided real emotional support to Davin and Tansy, something they both really needed. Its a wonderful story, fully of whimsy and gentle humour, a terrific story and wonderful characters, all wrapped up in a very satisfying ending. Stars: Five, a fantastic read, one that kept me gripped, sniggering one moment and emotional the next. Arc via Netgalley and publishers
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  • Claire Mc Partlin
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very enjoyable story set right on the beach in Dorset. I loved Brian, the scruffy abandoned dog that Tansy took in and looked after and the beautiful whippet, Seelie, that he was in love with!Tansy is living in a camper van on the dunes in Dorset after having lost her thriving business to her nasty ex. So she's licking her wounds and contemplating her next move whilst living in a freezing camper van in the middle of nowhere. But then she find out they are filming a very popular coasta This was a very enjoyable story set right on the beach in Dorset. I loved Brian, the scruffy abandoned dog that Tansy took in and looked after and the beautiful whippet, Seelie, that he was in love with!Tansy is living in a camper van on the dunes in Dorset after having lost her thriving business to her nasty ex. So she's licking her wounds and contemplating her next move whilst living in a freezing camper van in the middle of nowhere. But then she find out they are filming a very popular coastal series in the next bay over and the director turns out to be an old London friend of Tansy who offers her work scouting out locations for a new series, and 'adult-sitting' his star, Davin.Davin was a right grumpy sod for about half the book, it did take me quite a while to warm to him, which is unusual for an Irish character for me, they're usually so charming. He did have his reasons for being grouchy, secrets which are slowly revealed as he and Tansy get closer. The beach cafe near Tansy's camper van is in danger of closing as the elderly owner/benefactor has just died and his relatives want to sell. So Tansy and Davin work together to help save the cafe and help the lady running it, Karen, and her 14 year old son Toby, from losing their home and Karen's job.I really liked Tansy's character, and did feel really sorry for her when the full story of how she ended up broke and living in a camper van after owning a thriving and expanding business in London was revealed. But it worked out for her anyway as she ended up just where she should be, in Devon with a (not so grouchy by the end of the book!) Irishman, instead of in London with a cheating, lying ex - every cloud has a silver lining.Very enjoyable book with a fair bit of drama towards the end (the dogs are OK!). I see that it's book number one of the Seasons By The Sea series and I really look forward to reading the rest of this series.
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  • Nicki K.
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.After losing her business and home to her scheming ex, Tansy Merriweather finds herself living out of a van on a beach in Dorset. While she has no intention of staying long, she knows she doesn't have the money to keep traveling, and is forced to look into employment. Unfortunately for her, the only job she seems to find is working as a location scout for a TV show. It's here she meets the prickly actor, Dav I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.After losing her business and home to her scheming ex, Tansy Merriweather finds herself living out of a van on a beach in Dorset. While she has no intention of staying long, she knows she doesn't have the money to keep traveling, and is forced to look into employment. Unfortunately for her, the only job she seems to find is working as a location scout for a TV show. It's here she meets the prickly actor, Davin "Not Gavin" O'Riordan. Davin is a bit of a newcomer to the acting scene, but already has a reputation as being grouchy and difficult to work with. However, after some initial verbal sparring, the two find in each other something of a kindred spirit, and soon the two work to save a local cafe, as well as help each other overcome past sorrows.While I was definitely expecting a much happier and lighter read, Christmas Secrets by the Sea was an engaging read with a delightful cast of unique characters. I loved the believable slow-burn relationship between Tansy and Davin, and enjoyed reading about both of their complicated, if a bit depressing, pasts. I do wish the explanations for Pansy's past were a bit less vague, and would have preferred the flashback scenes for Davin were slightly more substantial, but found them enlightening nonetheless. I also really loved the plotline involving Pansy and Davin's dogs, finding it adorable and hilarious. Overall, I found this book to be incredibly entertaining, as well as both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Tansy was a compelling and sympathetic character I feel would appeal to many readers. While Lovering was a new-to-me author, I can definitely see myself reading more from her in the future, and would definitely recommend this novel to romance and women's fiction fans. 4/5
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  • Rekha Rao
    January 1, 1970
    The story was charming, heart-warming and at times, heart-wrenching. Davin is a famous model-turned-actor and has a lot of secrets in life. Tansy's also been through a lot and has been carrying her grief, bundled tightly. And though they don't gel well initially, as time passes by, they find comfort and consolation in sharing secrets with each other.Christmas Secrets by the Sea is the story of love, hope, and life. It makes you laugh. It also makes you cry. Tansy's grief makes you cry. Davin's c The story was charming, heart-warming and at times, heart-wrenching. Davin is a famous model-turned-actor and has a lot of secrets in life. Tansy's also been through a lot and has been carrying her grief, bundled tightly. And though they don't gel well initially, as time passes by, they find comfort and consolation in sharing secrets with each other.Christmas Secrets by the Sea is the story of love, hope, and life. It makes you laugh. It also makes you cry. Tansy's grief makes you cry. Davin's childhood memories makes you sad. But past is now a memory. How two individuals, who have had difficult times in the past, meet and find hope is well portrayed in this story.The twist in the story was when Davin's very curious to know if Tansy's signed the non-disclosure agreement. And when he recruits her as his assistant, Tansy puts two and two together and finds out the truth behind Davin desperately wanting an assistant. The story is engaging and keeps you hooked on till the end. Lovering's writing style is superb. When you think that the story is going to end on a good note, there's a twist. And of course, all's well that ends well. The story does have a happy ending or two. There's a little bit of humor too but the story is inclined towards human emotions.The characters are unique, with each of them having a story of their own. The characters and their stories are beautifully amalgamated into one big story. Life gives you second chances, never lose hope and faith in yourself and you are not alone, not even during your tough times - these are the things you get to take away from this book.
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  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas Secrets by the Sea has all the right ingredients for a fabulously festive read, a kind hearted heroine, down on her luck, an aloof TV star with a hidden heart of gold, two daft dogs, a rusty old camper van and a dilapidated, but cosy, seaside cottage, which, when all are stirred together, help to add a beautiful warmth to the story. However, the hidden secrets which plague both lead characters, most certainly tug away at your heartstrings.Tansy Merriweather and her delightfully daft do Christmas Secrets by the Sea has all the right ingredients for a fabulously festive read, a kind hearted heroine, down on her luck, an aloof TV star with a hidden heart of gold, two daft dogs, a rusty old camper van and a dilapidated, but cosy, seaside cottage, which, when all are stirred together, help to add a beautiful warmth to the story. However, the hidden secrets which plague both lead characters, most certainly tug away at your heartstrings.Tansy Merriweather and her delightfully daft dog, Brian, really stole the show. Brian's antics and his predilection for sardines and seaweed and his amorous chasing of the beautifully named whippet, Seelie, made me laugh out loud. And yet, I also warmed to the rather delicious, TV star, Davin O'Riodan, who had his own long buried problems to work through.This isn't your usual festive read, true, it has references to Christmas, but it really is one of those beautifully written stories which can be read at any time of year. The author has created two really memorable characters in both Tansy and Davin, and throughout the whole of the story you just can't help wanting the best for both of them. The other characters who flit into and out of the story, especially Karen, from the cafe and her son, Rory, help to balance out the story and give some wonderful moments of light and shade.Christmas Secrets by the Sea is a really lovely story and perfect to read in the lull between Christmas and New Year. I'm sure you'll love all the characters, especially Brian, as much as I did.
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    I have read a few of Jane Lovering's books now and I always enjoy the way she uses one liners and non sequiturs to ground her characters and bring them into three dimensional life. This story, deals with Tansy and Davin, two people thrown together by circumstance on a film set on the stormy Dorset coast in winter.We discover early on these two have pasts which have defined them in different ways and deeply affects their attitude and behaviour. Then there are their two lovely dogs, mutt Brian and I have read a few of Jane Lovering's books now and I always enjoy the way she uses one liners and non sequiturs to ground her characters and bring them into three dimensional life. This story, deals with Tansy and Davin, two people thrown together by circumstance on a film set on the stormy Dorset coast in winter.We discover early on these two have pasts which have defined them in different ways and deeply affects their attitude and behaviour. Then there are their two lovely dogs, mutt Brian and the graceful Seelie, both of whom bring their unique personalities into the story.Tansy has hit a large bump in the road, though her more obvious problems conceal a deeper, more traumatic one, so she was easy to empathise with. Davin wasn’t so transparent and his initial behaviour is so atrocious I wonder why she didn’t just kick him to the curb and move on. We don’t discover Tansy’s pain until almost the end, where the light-hearted humour makes way for an emotional revelation which I defy any reader not to be affected by. Davin keeps his innate sensitivity well hidden but once his past is laid out, it becomes easier to see where he is coming from. The other characters are equally well written, like single-mum Karen at the café, he permanently hungry sensitive teenager, Rory and the prickly Larch all of whom convey that we shouldn’t take people at first impression. It wasn’t very festive, but I read it at Christmas so that helped, and a storm lashed Dorset coast is pretty characteristic for December.
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    Although Christmas arrives at the end of the book, the majority of this novel is set in the run up to the festive season so it is not an out and out Christmas read. You could read it at any time without feeling that you are reading it 'out of season'. I particularly enjoyed how the two main characters of Tansy and Davin's characters are gradually revealed. With both of them, what you see is not necessarily what you get and they both discover some deep-seated issues which they hold from the past. Although Christmas arrives at the end of the book, the majority of this novel is set in the run up to the festive season so it is not an out and out Christmas read. You could read it at any time without feeling that you are reading it 'out of season'. I particularly enjoyed how the two main characters of Tansy and Davin's characters are gradually revealed. With both of them, what you see is not necessarily what you get and they both discover some deep-seated issues which they hold from the past. Being given an insight into both of their state of minds really lets you get to know them both. There is plenty of humour within the story, principally coming from the two little canine buddies of Brian and Seelie but also from some of the over the top characters who are part of the filming. I enjoyed the passing references to the fans who follow the film dramas such as Poldark and the author takes a rather playful dig at their fanatical ways. Being on the coast, the sea and the weather have a fairly major part to play in the plot and the setting on the Dorset beach is set up nicely for the rest of the series. The romance when it emerges is a muted affair compared to the friendships which develop as characters learn to face up to their pasts.In short: An engrossing read which alternates between humorous and emotional moments. Thanks to the author for a copy of the book.
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  • Sascha
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re looking for a Christmas romance, this may not be the one for you as Christmas is pretty much an after-thought especially for the heroine, Tansy, who has had a very rough year.However, this book goes beyond fluff and shows two people who meet at the right point in their lives to help each other and perhaps fall in love.While Davin is initially shown to be mean-spirited and superficial, it’s a facade to hide his deeper secrets, which he shares with Tansy as their relationship progresses. If you’re looking for a Christmas romance, this may not be the one for you as Christmas is pretty much an after-thought especially for the heroine, Tansy, who has had a very rough year.However, this book goes beyond fluff and shows two people who meet at the right point in their lives to help each other and perhaps fall in love.While Davin is initially shown to be mean-spirited and superficial, it’s a facade to hide his deeper secrets, which he shares with Tansy as their relationship progresses. Likewise, Davin guesses that Tansy has a deeper secret than the one she initially shares, a secret that makes the novel rather poignant.The supporting characters add a great deal to the novel, especially Mom Karen and her son Rory. Karen has some great one-liners. Even Larch, the supposed self-absorbed actress, is shown to be far more than a pretty face.After a near-tragedy brings everyone together on Christmas, the novel is indeed heart-warming. There might not be a lot of Christmas, but Karen tinsels everything.Choose this one if you’re looking for a little more depth and just a shade less cheery in your Christmas story.And, please, could someone give the scruffy dog a bath?I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ankita
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARS!🤩I seriously didn't expect THIS. I thought it was going to be some fluffy romance type and not so much deep. But i was completely wrong and i am very happy for it now that i have read it. So moving on from me. This book is so much more than some sea romance despite what the cover indicates. It's about trust, betrayal, finding your footing again when your whole life turns upside down. It's about friends we find at very unusual moments of life, to trust again, love and to letting go. I rea 4 STARS!🤩I seriously didn't expect THIS. I thought it was going to be some fluffy romance type and not so much deep. But i was completely wrong and i am very happy for it now that i have read it. So moving on from me. This book is so much more than some sea romance despite what the cover indicates. It's about trust, betrayal, finding your footing again when your whole life turns upside down. It's about friends we find at very unusual moments of life, to trust again, love and to letting go. I really connected with the characters specifically Tansy. She's so strong! And Davin..my god i am really happy that the author made him this different from the other romance heros. He's so handsome, understanding, emotional and i couldn't just get enough of him. I just completely loved him. I loved the pace of the story ,the writing, the involvement of the other characters and Yes! The dogs.So basically i really liked this book cause it's a romance not just about lust. It's a lot more than that. So go for it!(Arc provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange of an honest review)
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  • Kaye
    January 1, 1970
    Tansy is living in a van, and licking her wounds after the loss of her company and fiance. Ashamed and tired, she just wants to get away from it all. While walking the beach she sees a pretty whippet being chased by a shaggy mutt, and closely followed by a gorgeous man in a weird coat. After he screams at her for the mutt attacking his prize dog he stomps off. It is not her dog, although he starts following her around and basically becomes her dog. When she goes to a local cafe for the wi-fi, sh Tansy is living in a van, and licking her wounds after the loss of her company and fiance. Ashamed and tired, she just wants to get away from it all. While walking the beach she sees a pretty whippet being chased by a shaggy mutt, and closely followed by a gorgeous man in a weird coat. After he screams at her for the mutt attacking his prize dog he stomps off. It is not her dog, although he starts following her around and basically becomes her dog. When she goes to a local cafe for the wi-fi, she meets up with the lady and her son who run the place. Her teenage son takes her to a place where a tv show is being filmed, in the hopes she can find a job. Surprisingly enough, she knows the director, who gives her a job finding a local spot for a spin-off show. With the help of the teenager, they start looking, and also get stuck babysitting grumpy Davin (the gorgeous man from the beach) who is the lead in the show. Enjoyed this one a lot, and the banter is fun. Highly recommend this book and author, and hope to read more by her.
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  • Faye
    January 1, 1970
    The cover to Christmas Secrets by the Sea promised rainy English seaside atmosphere, Christmas joy and two dogs- all the things I look for in a love story! Tansy having fled London, her failed relationship and cupcake empire is quite literally trying to get away from it all and is racking her brain for what to do with her life when she is thrust into dog ownership and work on the set of a moody, English version of Baywatch. The banter between her and the show's Irish lead actor Davin is fun and, The cover to Christmas Secrets by the Sea promised rainy English seaside atmosphere, Christmas joy and two dogs- all the things I look for in a love story! Tansy having fled London, her failed relationship and cupcake empire is quite literally trying to get away from it all and is racking her brain for what to do with her life when she is thrust into dog ownership and work on the set of a moody, English version of Baywatch. The banter between her and the show's Irish lead actor Davin is fun and, in comparison to many other similar romance novels, refreshingly self-aware. We meet a whole "cast" of likeable side-characters and the Dorset setting warmed my heart. Christmas Secrets by the Sea ended up being more serious than I had expected and less stereotypically christmassy. But I did root for every single character and now feel like planning my next holiday trip to South-England... and plan on taking my dog!
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Farrago and Netgalley for the eARC of this book! Tansy has left her life in London behind and set out to the rough coast of Dorset. She soon gets adopted by a very rough looking little dog. When looking for work, she gets a tip about a tv production (run by an acquaintance of hers) that ends up needing some help with the broody, grouchy leading man. This book was in some ways a typical sweet, slightly predictable (in a good way) romantic story- in the beginning that’s all I Thank you so much to Farrago and Netgalley for the eARC of this book! Tansy has left her life in London behind and set out to the rough coast of Dorset. She soon gets adopted by a very rough looking little dog. When looking for work, she gets a tip about a tv production (run by an acquaintance of hers) that ends up needing some help with the broody, grouchy leading man. This book was in some ways a typical sweet, slightly predictable (in a good way) romantic story- in the beginning that’s all I thought it was. But, about halfway through it becomes a much richer story. It’s a nice holiday romance, but definitely with some substance to it as well. 3 stars for the beginning, but maybe 4 for the end. 3.5 average
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    I love Christmas-themed novels and I’ve read (and enjoyed!) quite a few of Jane’s books, so I knew I was in for a treat.Tansy has lost everything this past year, and finds herself living in a clapped-out van on the coast. Her luck starts to improve when she lands a television location scout, and finds herself minding a gorgeous but miserable Irish male actor. As well as romance between humans, there is also a romance between two four-legged friends, which is fun.I really enjoyed this amusing and I love Christmas-themed novels and I’ve read (and enjoyed!) quite a few of Jane’s books, so I knew I was in for a treat.Tansy has lost everything this past year, and finds herself living in a clapped-out van on the coast. Her luck starts to improve when she lands a television location scout, and finds herself minding a gorgeous but miserable Irish male actor. As well as romance between humans, there is also a romance between two four-legged friends, which is fun.I really enjoyed this amusing and romantic festive read, and very pleased to discover that there will be further books in this series.Thank you to NetGalley and Farrago for an advance reader copy in return for an honest review.
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  • Dixie
    January 1, 1970
    While the secrets involved in this story weren't particularly Christmasy, they were at the core of motivation for the lead characters. Both Tansy and Davin turned out to be nothing like the façades they presented. Each one hid the secrets that they believed defined them and breaking down the defensive walls almost proved too hard for them to handle. Forces of nature took them on an emotional journey and I am glad to have been a witness to the transformations that came as a result of their physic While the secrets involved in this story weren't particularly Christmasy, they were at the core of motivation for the lead characters. Both Tansy and Davin turned out to be nothing like the façades they presented. Each one hid the secrets that they believed defined them and breaking down the defensive walls almost proved too hard for them to handle. Forces of nature took them on an emotional journey and I am glad to have been a witness to the transformations that came as a result of their physical and emotional struggles. I voluntarily read an advanced review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley and I offer my honest opinion in response.
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  • Christine Galletly
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book!It had a warm and endearing plot.The characterisation was great and I loved the attention to detail - the characters were ones I could easily relate too and I really enjoyed that.It was very well written and a really addictive page turner.Five stars from me, an excellent story - very highly recommended!!
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  • Annamae
    January 1, 1970
    This is my introduction to Jane Loverings writing, my first read of Christmas Secrets by the Sea. I immensely enjoyed this novel. The cover caught my eye, but her warm, humorist and endearing plot draws you in through her brilliant characterization. Phenomenal attention to detail in creating relatable and quirky characters and a stray dog to boot. A bit of an addictive page turner.
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  • Klynn
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering is one of the most entertaining reads I've had in a long time. This is a well thought out story featuring quirky characters, humor, romance and an stray dog that will win your heart.
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