On the beautiful coast of Cornwall lies the idyllic Salt Bay, where Christmas is the perfect time for bringing family and friends together…
Annie Trebarwith is happily settled in Salt Bay with her beloved great-aunt Alice and gorgeous boyfriend Josh Pasco. Snow is in the air, and Christmas is just around the corner.
But when the father she’s never met, aging rock god Barry, turns up with the half-sister Annie didn’t know existed, life suddenly gets complicated. Barry and Storm are soon clashing with the entire village, and their antics are even driving a wedge between Annie and Josh.
Can Annie prevent her new family ruining the festivities and repair things with Josh in time for a cosy Christmas? Or will their relationship end up as frosty as the Salt Bay air?
Annie’s Christmas by the Sea is a hilarious and heart-warming story about family, friends and the magic of Christmas, perfect for fans of Lily Graham, Holly Martin and Phillipa Ashley.
Read what everyone is saying about Liz Eeles:
‘Everything about this book was just perfect… I got such a good feeling from this book within the first few chapters and I totally fell in love with Salt Bay and its residents… A simply brilliant read that left me wondering why haven't we heard from this author before… It was more than worth the wait as I loved, loved this book.’ Shaz’s Book Blog
‘A breath of fresh air… I knew I was going to love this bookand I wasn't wrong. This is without a doubt a fabulous read and one that will no doubt get this author a huge following as I for one can not wait to read more by her.’ By The Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars
‘I absolutely fell in love… A totally outstanding debut that made me giggle and maybe even tear up a few times, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a super fun, light read.’ Novel Gossip, 5 stars
‘Hilarious… A charming, heart-warming and enjoyable read about love, hope, and opening yourself up to happiness. Annie is such a funny and wonderful character… I really couldn't get enough of the Salt Bay community… Everything you want in a contemporary novel, and its sharp wit and excellent narrative makes it truly shine. I can't wait to return to Salt Bay. Go and buy this book!!!!!’ Books of All Kinds, 5 stars
‘A wonderful start to a new series… I’m definitely impressed with Liz Eeles’ writing and can see she really owns the rom com genre. I have a feeling we shall be hearing a lot about her in the future… Gorgeous story with equally gorgeous characters… from a fresh, new and powerful voice on the chick lit scene.’ This Chick Reads, 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First meeting Annie when a solicitor’s letter introduced her to family she’d never known, some time has passed and she’s found a sense of belonging in the tiny community: working at a charity that uses music for therapy, recovering after a flood in Trebarwith House, enjoying the company of her elderly aunt Alice and her relationship with Josh is stable. Add to that the Salt Bay Choir, reinvigorated with Annie’s push, cajoling and determination, and it seems as if everyone is looking forward to the first competition. And then, just as things are feeling as if she’s found a place – things change. With an unknown father and half-sister appear, far different from her childhood musings, Josh’s mother taking ill, his sister Lucy and her five year old daughter requesting a secret, and cousin Toby arriving to be as overbearing and distasteful as ever, things are getting rocky. Alice’s health is slowly deteriorating, her half-sister Storm is just that with her 16 year old angst and anger erupting at every opportunity, the choir, prone to be pitchy at the best of times is feeling the pressure of an upcoming competition, and who really needs a pudgy, aging wanna-be rock star with a penchant for cluelessness as a father – albeit a father who isn’t easy to hide away? And the secrets: secret requests from Josh’s sister Lucy, Josh’s inability to even hold hands in public, shopkeeper Jennifer’s secrets that are hinted to but shut away when Storm presents more than a bit of trouble, and Annie’s worries about her place in Salt Bay, and the constant worry that she’s only made a temporary retreat from a life that was, until recently, more footloose and connection free. Salt Bay is a little community that was weighted down with its sorrows and secrets, and Annie’s arrival rather shook that up, bringing music back after the tragic loss of so many to a storm. But there are secrets that are still buried, and the changes, particularly with her reaction to, at nearly 30, finally meeting her father for the first time. Eeles has imbued the stories of the town with emotion: sorrow, loss, family and belonging, and brought each to these characters: giving them moments to heal and reframe what each moment means. From Barry’s talks with Alice that result in a song that celebrates the lives of those lost to the storm, to Storm’s finding a place where she is needed and wanted, for Josh’s support of his family nearly bringing an end to his relationship with Annie, and for Annie finally taking a breath and a moment to see, and truly question, people’s motivations and then making decisions that are in the best interest of someone other than herself, despite her own personal stakes. So much is happening in the story, but the overwhelming effect is to heal the fractures in lives, in large and small ways, building those little bridges that make growth possible. Annie’s growth through these two stories has been remarkable, as she’s learned more about herself and what she truly wants, overcome those fears and even brought some healing to others in this time, and I can’t wait to see the Salt Bay Choir, with Annie and Josh, conducting them to face off with Gareth Malone. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Annie has finally found happiness in her life. She loves spending time with her aunt Alice and things are going well between her and Josh. Annie will spend her first Christmas with family and she's really enjoying her time in Salt Bay. However, something unexpected makes her feel completely unbalanced once more. Annie's father Barry pays an unexpected visit. Annie has never met Barry, she didn't even know his first name. She also has a teenage half-sister, Storm. Storm has quite an attitude and Barry doesn't seem very trustworthy. What should Annie do? Barry and Storm are just paying a quick visit, but after their arrival there seem to be plenty of reasons for them to prolong their stay. Annie constantly makes excuses for them. They insult the inhabitants of Salt Bay, they make things difficult for Annie on numerous occasions and she has no idea why they've even paid her a visit in the first place. Being caught up in family drama puts the relationship between Annie and Josh under pressure. Will Annie actually have her nice family Christmas or will she be heartbroken and alone once more? Annie's Christmas by the Sea is another amazing story about Annie and her family and friends. Annie has changed since she arrived in Salt Bay. It was fantastic to see her grow. She's a wonderful person and she learns quickly. She cares about people and genuinely wants to make them happy, that are the right qualities for the main character of a feelgood Christmas story. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out if Annie would find the happiness she deserves and read the book in one sitting because of it. Liz Eeles's writing has a lovely flow. I could easily picture Salt Bay with its gorgeous landscape, quirky inhabitants and wonderful new choir. I loved reading about each main character and liked that Liz Eeles has given her readers the chance to get to know them even better. Annie's Christmas by the Sea is filled with charm, entertainment and cosiness. It's a terrific holiday story with plenty of unexpected twists and turns and an incredibly romantic ending.
After reading Annie’s Holiday by the Sea and getting to know the family, community and history of Salt Bay it was a delight to return for Christmas. If you are after a fabulous rom-com look no further. I recommend Liz Eeles’ writing, she let’s humour and reality flow from her pen. I suspect a lot of readers will adore the small Cornish village by the sea setting and see that as quirky, well I live in a place very similar and the feeling of belonging and never wanting to leave is so true. Everyone knows each others business before they do so I could relate to this story! Poor Annie just as she thinks her life is getting settled the father she has never met arrives, with a half-sister in tow. How many long lost relatives can a person have!? Of course these two don’t come quietly there is plenty of friction and drama which only succeeds in jeopardising Annie’s relationship with boyfriend Josh and great aunt Alice. Dad Barry is an ageing rocker and Storm is a sulky, petulant teenager so between them they aren’t a particularly good fit for Salt Bay. Can Annie keep the peace or is she destined to fall apart at the seams? The whole setting of this book is charming, from the choir to the locals it just grabs hold of your heart and fills it with warmth. It could be read as a stand alone but to get the back story I would suggest reading them in order. This is perfect for a cosy read during the cooler months to get into the winter spirit. Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.