#BlogTour #Review ~Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Carla Burgess @MsBear123 @HQDigitalUK #Extract

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the little flower shop…

Florist Rachel Jones might spend every day making beautiful bridal bouquets at her little flower shop, but her own love life is wilting as quickly as a bunch of dead roses.

Luckily, the arrival of handsome detective Anthony Bascombe, the new tenant upstairs is the perfect distraction! Although there’s a catch, Anthony isn’t looking for love – he’s looking for her ex-fiancé, Patrick…

But as the snow begins to fall and her little shop fills with mistletoe ready for Christmas, will Rachel manage to melt Anthony’s heart?

Fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Christie Barlow will love this heartwarming read from the bestselling author of Marry Me Tomorrow

Amazon UK

About the Author 

Carla Burgess was born in Solihull and now lives in Chester, UK, with her husband, three children, dog and bearded dragon. She has a degree in English Literature and Psychology and started her working life as an editor on a trade journal.


My Review

This is very much a boy meets girl, add in the Christmas theme, pop on a pretty festive cover and hope it stands out from the numerous books of the same ilk this year. 

Rachel adores everything about the season but unfortunately her love life is not adding that special someone to share it with. But she is happy and busy in her florist shop and when Anthony rents out the upstairs space things may look up.

Anthony though is a bit of a sourpuss when it comes to Christmas. Nevertheless there is a slight spark between them but life isn’t going to go smoothly. And the inevitable shock comes when she realises why he is there.

So, enjoy the families, Rachel’s parents are great there are a few people popping up from previous books. Meet Me Under The Mistletoe is a quick easy read. Delight in the journey of Rachel and Anthony, because true love always has ups and downs and that is where the real entertainment lies. I could visualise all the flowers and enjoyed the wintery feel. As much as I liked the end it did seem to happen rather abruptly .. maybe there will be a continuation?

Thanks to the author and publisher for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

Extract Chapter One

Anthony Bascombe walked into my life one Thursday afternoon in the middle of November. The bell above the door tinkled violently and a gust of wind accompanied him into the shop, making the flowers quiver in their buckets and the fairy lights shiver on the shelves. The shifting air carried the scent of his aftershave as it lifted my hair from my shoulders, and I had to place a hand on the sheets of wrapping paper on the counter to stop them flying away.

‘Sorry!’ he said, shutting the door behind him quickly. ‘It’s a bit blustery out there.’

‘It’s okay.’ I laughed and tried to ignore the fizz of attraction that surged through my veins as he smiled across at me. All kinds of customers came into my flower shop, including plenty of attractive men buying gifts for their loved ones, but it wasn’t often that they were dressed so well or had such lovely, twinkly blue eyes. He wore a beautifully cut navy suit and his short, dark-blond hair was styled into a neat little quiff at the front. Self-consciously, I smoothed down my flowery tea dress and tried to remember if I’d applied my winged eyeliner straight this morning. ‘How can I help you? Are you looking for anything in particular?’

‘I’m looking for you, actually,’ he said, still smiling as he walked towards me. ‘If you’re Rachel Jones, that is?’

‘Oh! Yes, that’s me. What can I do for you?’ I cleared my throat, mortified that my voice had gone all squeaky when his was so pleasantly deep.

‘I just came in to introduce myself. My name’s Anthony Bascombe.’ He extended a hand to shake. ‘I’m the new tenant in the apartment upstairs. I believe your parents are my new landlords.’

‘Oh!’ I gazed at him wide-eyed, delighted that I was going to be seeing him around a lot. He had such a lovely warm smile; it lit up his whole face. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. ‘Of course! You moved in on Sunday, didn’t you? I was wondering when we’d get to meet. Have you settled in okay? Is everything to your liking?’

‘Yes, everything’s perfectly fine, thank you. The apartment’s lovely.’

‘It is, isn’t it?’ I said, eager to keep him talking. ‘We had it renovated recently so it’s all fresh and new. I’m quite jealous you’re living there, actually. I felt like moving in myself.’

Raising his eyebrows slightly, he looked at me with interest. ‘Why didn’t you then?’

‘I have my own house already. It’s only a ten-minute walk down the road and over the river. Close enough.’ Realising I was on the verge of giving him my home address and inviting him round for tea, I shut up and then noticed my fingers were still wrapped around his big, warm hand. Trying to pretend it

was normal to hold a handshake for this long, I let go and tucked my hands into the pockets of my cardigan instead. To his credit, Anthony pretended not to notice and turned his attention to the shop.

‘It’s lovely in here. I love the whole vintage vibe.’ He turned around slowly, taking in the shelves of flowers, the display of scented candles on the shabby-chic Welsh dresser in the corner and the floral birdcages hung at different levels from the ceiling. ‘I like the fact you haven’t got any Christmas decorations up yet.’

‘Oh, they’ll be going up this weekend, don’t worry.’

He glanced back over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow. ‘Still too early.’

I laughed. ‘That’s the way it is in retail, I’m afraid. Some shops put them up as soon as Halloween’s out of the way.’

‘I know,’ he said, grudgingly. ‘So, why’s this shop called The Birdcage, then? You’re not trapped here, I take it?’

‘No, it was my Mum’s shop. Her name’s Birdie. I take it you haven’t met her yet. She’s on holiday with her sister at the moment. Dad won’t fly.’

‘Yes, I’ve only met your dad. Nice man.’ He turned back to face me and smiled. ‘Well, if you’re not trapped here, perhaps you’d like to take pity on the new boy in town and come out to dinner with me?’

‘I’m sorry?’ I blinked in surprise, thinking I’d misheard him.

He smiled. ‘No pressure or anything. I just can’t stand the thought of spending another night sitting in the flat sorting out boxes and I’d quite like to see a bit of Chester. That’s unless you already have plans, and only if your boyfriend wouldn’t object, of course?’

‘Oh! No, not at all. What time is it now?’

He looked at his watch. ‘Half past five. What time do you close?’

‘Half past five.’ I smiled, suddenly excited. This was a vast improvement on my original plans for the evening, which involved a microwave meal for one in front of Emmerdale and a bubble bath. ‘Let me bring the flowers in from outside and then I can lock up.’

‘Oh here, I’ll help you,’ he said, following me out of the shop to where more buckets of flowers stood just outside the door.

‘You don’t have to. It’ll only take a minute,’ I said, bending to lift a container of roses.

‘No, here, pass it to me.’ He held the door open with his back and took the container out of my hands. ‘Do I just put them in front of this shelf?’

‘Yes, please. That’s perfect,’ I said, passing him another container. There were only half a dozen or so containers of flowers out today. It had been too windy and cold to risk more. Leaves scuttled along the pavement and my skirt flapped around my legs, lifting and billowing ominously as I passed Anthony the

last container. I clamped it down with my hand, pink with embarrassment, but Anthony either didn’t or pretended not to see to spare my blushes. ‘Thank you,’ I said, as he stood back to let me through the door. I caught another waft of his aftershave and resisted the urge to sniff him all over like my parents’ spaniel. ‘I’ll just lock the back door and get my coat,’ I said, breathlessly, walking through the archway into the back of the shop where we created the flower arrangements. I’d intended to clear the stalks and leaves from the large wooden table before I left tonight, but it could wait until the morning. Locking the door, I set the alarm and grabbed my blue pea coat from the peg. Anthony turned the sign to closed as I dashed round switching off fairy lights and blowing out candles, and then held the door open for me when we were ready to go. I was seriously impressed by his manners. I wasn’t used to such gentlemanly behaviour.

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