A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell - Feature and Review


A festive feel-good holiday read. Highly recommended. 
What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer. 

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting Tom Chambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Fee finally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life – and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas? 



Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat (Choc Lit): Celebrate Christmas in a gorgeous retreat with this heartwarming read of 2018!Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat (Choc Lit): Celebrate Christmas in a gorgeous retreat with this heartwarming read of 2018! by Angela Britnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell is a 2018 Choc Lit publication.

Fee Winter has arrived at The Black Cherry retreat for a much needed break. She’s a photographer who has witnessed entirely too much while on assignment. The remote area in Pine Tree, Tennessee is the perfect, tranquil place for Fee to lick her wounds, to nurse her broken heart and spirit back to health.

However, she never planned on Tom…

Tom is a former policeman, who is working to refurbish the family retreat. Tom, too, has seen and experienced major pain and loss in his life. When he meets Fee, despite coming from vastly different worlds, he senses she is a kindred spirit.

Despite their growing attraction to each other, they must first overcome their fears of making another mistake, of experiencing pain or loss, and overcome crushing guilt.

This story is not your sweet and syrupy sort of holiday fare. In fact, the story begins a couple of months prior to Christmas. However, it certainly embodies the spirit of the season, giving hope to two people who deserve a fresh beginning.

I love to see two people who have been knocked sideways by devastating life events, find a way to fight their way out of bleak depression and pain- experiencing personal growth, first, which then enables them to look to the future with the promise of new beginnings, hope and of course, love.

No person is an island, as they say, so Fee and Tom lean on each other to heal and forgive themselves, and others. However, each of them will have to take the ultimate leap of faith if they hope to have a future together.

Running in the background of this high drama, is a personal criminal case Tom has a stake in, and the delightful interactions with Tom’s family, especially with his little niece, who is simply adorable.

The story does deal with some somber and heavy issues, but there’s plenty of southern charm and humor in the story, as well. I love a story which features more mature characters who have to deal with real adversity and cope with deep emotional traumas. When they finally step into the light, it means so much more, and is so satisfying for the reader who has taken this journey along with them.

Although this story is set against a holiday backdrop, it’s a mild reference, making this a book one can enjoy any time of the year.




I was born in the beautiful county of Cornwall in southwestern England and grew up in a small village there. I return frequently to visit family and friends but especially to savor the cool rainy weather and hot tea. After school I joined the Royal Navy and served for nearly six years. I held varying jobs from being the only woman in the staff of a sports center to arranging social engagements for the Captain of the base. My last assignment was to Denmark where I thought I would spend a wild two years in Copenhagen only to discover I was being sent to a NATO Headquarters in a quiet town on the Jutland Peninsula. I was only disappointed for a while as I met my own tall, dark, handsome stranger there - a US Naval Officer named Richard who became my husband.

That was the beginning of an itinerant life as from Denmark we went to Sicily where we had our first son. Then it was on to Monterey, California and the birth of our second son. From there we headed to Patuxent River, Maryland where we had our third son. Richard's last assignment was to London where we spent a wonderful three years. Retiring from the Navy he took a job in Brentwood, Tennessee near where he grew up. Since 2008 we are empty nesters which allows more time for my writing.

I have always been a voracious reader, even at 5 years old my school reports show a keen interest in English and very little in math - some things never change! Although I enjoyed writing in school it wasn't until 2001 that I was tempted to take a creative writing class at a local recreation center which has sparked my new career.

When I'm not busy writing I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I try to grow English flowers in the Tennessee heat and succeed some of the time. I belong to the wonderful Red Bandanas Writing Group, Jubilee Readers Book Club, and volunteer at my local library so you can see that words are important to me.

I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it so sit back, make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a break from everyday life.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the beautiful review - you totally captured the spirit of the book I hoped I'd managed to write!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.