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New Release Review! THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE by Jane Porter (Love at Langley Park #2)

She’s ready for a charming Christmas in the English countryside…

It’s almost Christmas and Ella Roberts is ecstatic to be heading to Bakewell to spend the holidays with her sister and brother-in-law, the new Earl and Countess Sherbourne, and represent her family at the English wedding reception. Ella is looking forward to visiting the Sherbourne estate, exploring Bakewell, and experiencing a proper English Christmas. She just has two requests—that she stays in one of the historic cottages at Langley Park, and that the annoying best man not be invited to the reception.

Baird MacLauren was happy to serve as the best man to his closest friend from Trinity College’s wedding. The long weekend spent in the San Juan Islands celebrating his best friend was easy, but getting along with the bride’s mischievous sister who takes nothing seriously was an unexpected challenge. Baird thought he’d never have to see her again…until he spots Ella in Bakewell preparing for the reception.

To Ella’s dismay, her second request isn’t honored and now she’ll be spending Christmas with the most arrogant—and handsome—of Scottish men. Can they both keep their distance or will the magic of the season bring these two together?

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I absolutely loved the first book in this series ( Once Upon a Christmas ) and couldn’t wait to read Ella’s (Cara’s sister) story. Though you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one, I think you’ll appreciate the secondary characters here (and how their lives are/aren’t different now) a lot more if you do.

Ultimately I did really enjoy the story, though I didn’t think it was *quite* as solid as the first book in the series. So much of this book takes place in the minds and hearts of our hero and heroine, Baird and Ella, so we know what they’re thinking and feeling as they are thrown together/drawn together as the story progresses. Since we know in great detail all the reasons why Baird doesn’t ever want to get married or have kids, it felt like he needed more convincing to give his relationship with Ella a chance than he actually managed to come up with on his own. Though of course I *wanted* them together, I also wanted him to be more convincing in his change of heart.

Still, this was a lovely holiday read that once again didn’t manage to convince me that chucking it all and moving to the English countryside is the worst idea ever. It is overrun with grumpy guys who will find HEAs as soon as the right “sunshine” moves into the area, right? 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+

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