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Christmas at Red Robin Cottage by Sue Roberts

With Christmas around the corner, Sarah Dunne should have snowflakes and fairy lights on her mind, but this year things are feeling off. After divorcing her ex-husband, she’s helping her teen daughter, Ellie, navigate his absence during the festivities. And as a manager of a struggling local movie theater, she’s straining to bring in new clientele. Yet all of her problems seem to fade away in the moment she spots Luke, her high school crush who left for America nineteen years ago, while waiting in a train station.

Some romances come out blazing, with passion and drama so immediately evident they practically burn up the page. Author Sue Roberts takes a different approach while still building her own cozy fire.

Christmas at Red Robin Cottage is the very essence of a slow-burn. Roberts takes her time introducing Sarah and the world she inhabits. She shows her at work, contemplating the issues that come from an institution in need of new relevancy. There’s her home life, which is mostly positive, but comes with the challenge of raising a teenager while divorced. Then there are scenes of chatting with friends, basking in the oncoming holiday, and even simply enjoying the view of a red robin in her garden—an occasion that gives her home its nickname.

All of these scenes are deceptively simple. Roberts presents these slice-of-life vignettes in such a way that they almost appear random—Sarah’s seemingly only bouncing around, showing off both the wild and mild parts of her life. However, this results in a full portrait of a woman you then can’t help but want to see end up with a happy ending long before the romance starts heating up.

However, this is a romance, and when Luke finally does make an appearance on the train, Roberts has already provided the kindling that just needs a spark. Yet still, she takes her time. The logs are laid, so what’s the rush? They both bring their reservations and a hint of drama—moments that feel genuine and unforced. Ultimately it’s a testament to Roberts’s writing skills that she’s able to maintain a compelling story without the usual theatrical fireworks.

No, Christmas at Red Robin Cottage isn’t a red alarm fire, and that’s okay. It’s a carefully maintained one in a grand fireplace—a cozy one perfect for the Christmas season.

Title: Christmas at Red Robin Cottage
Author: Sue Roberts
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: September 30, 2022
Classification: Romance

Roberts’s Twitter | Publisher’s Page

Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

8 responses to “Christmas at Red Robin Cottage by Sue Roberts”

  1. Love that cover, it’s so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I have this one waiting for me to read too. Hopefully I can get to it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you end up enjoying it! I thought it was a lot of fun.


  3. What a well-crafted review, Christopher! You set the atmosphere so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This one was a real joy to read.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have this to read with my Christmas selections, but am worried it might be a bit slower than I like. Wonderful review, Christopher, you set it up well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my reservation when I saw a review before getting around to read the actual book, but I still found it charming. There’s something so sweet and festive about it. Hope you enjoy it, Carla!

      Liked by 1 person

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