Warm Hearts in Winter is exactly what you want to read while curled up in front of a warm fire as the nights get shorter and yet I read it lying on a sunbed in southern Europe with just as much pleasure.
The main characters are Jack Blane, a slightly gruff, handsome writer in his mid-30s and Abby a capable young woman who has driven through dreadful winter weather to Jack’s remote house in Yorkshire, to be his PA while he writes his latest novel. Both characters have baggage; Jack tragically lost his wife 3 years earlier and Abby is trying to rebuild her professional and personal life after an unfortunate incident while with her previous employer.
From the start there are misunderstandings between Jack and Abby, especially as they are confined to the house by thick snow, but their working relationship flourishes although they are both determined not to become personally involved. However there is an undercurrent of menace from silent phone calls, a figure seen in the woods and something nasty found on the doorstep. Jack decides to ignore it but Abby is increasingly anxious.
This element of mystery and danger widens the appeal of the novel which is also a heart-warming romance. No-one could resist the strength and kindness shown by Jack, while Abby, though independent, is vulnerable and caring. The chemistry between them is palpable, however much they fight their inclinations. They are blessed by a guardian angel in the form of Mrs Macintosh whom everyone should have in their life!
Helen Pollard engages her readers by allowing us to see events through the eyes of both main characters and describing their location effectively. I very much enjoyed reading this lovely story.