Tag Archives: contemporary fiction

Review: Winter at the Dog & Duck by Jill Steeples

winterdog&duckAbout Winter at the Dog & Duck

• Series: Dog & Duck (#1)
 Kindle Edition: 260 pages
• Published: September 2016 by Aria
• Source:

Goodreads DescriptionA perfect, feel-good romantic novel to curl up with this Christmas. A story of new beginnings, love and friendship. Perfect for the fans of Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.

Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie’s looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.

But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie’s ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie’s heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated…

Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?

My Thoughts

I adore the cover of this one. Isn’t it fun?

I picked up Winter at the Dog & Duck because I managed to snag the sequel, Summer at the Dog & Duck, through Netgalley, and I hate reading books out of order. Yes, I’m one of those people.

In Winter at the Dog & Duck, we meet Ellie, our quirky heroine. She’s newly jobless, and back in her hometown trying her hand at dog-walking and beer-pouring. Ellie is taking some time to figure out what her future holds, and what better place than Little Leyton? But then, she finds out her beloved pub (the Dog & Duck) is going to be sold, and nobody knows to whom. And there’s that pesky, oh-so-good-looking Max Golding running around like he owns the place…..

Winter at the Dog & Duck is a fun little read. Ellie isn’t my favorite character – at times, she’s pretty annoying – but the plot is simple enough and the dialogue well-written enough that her flaws didn’t bother me too much. It was really interesting to me how she was portrayed. On one hand, she’s a successful corporate accountant. On the other, she comes off as an overly-dramatic twenty-something who hasn’t quite figured out how to adult. I really got the sense that she was in a period of transition, so I applaud the way Steeples wrote her.

I wanted to visit Little Leyton, and I’m really looking forward to reading the second book so I can see more of it. Steeples does a great job creating a little oasis in the town, and it felt perfectly cozy and welcoming. In fact, the whole book reminded me of a cozy mystery, except there’s really no mystery. I kept wondering what in the world the book was about, and what a second book would be about. I finally realized it’s just a cute little chick lit book – some romance, some friendships, some stress, but nothing terribly earth-shattering or serious. Escape reading at its finest!

3 stars