I’ve been reading lots of Christmas-themed books recently so today I’m sharing a collection of festive mini reviews!
Baby It’s Cold Outside by Emily Bell
Norah Jones is single and it’s nearly Christmas, she’s fed up and wondering what to do with her life. Then she remembers the boy she met on holiday a decade earlier and their promise to meet in Dublin in ten years time on Christmas Eve if they were both single. She decides she has nothing to lose and persuades her good friend Joe to go with her. This novel isn’t as Christmassy as I thought it was going to be but it is a gorgeous read and I got completely swept up in Norah’s story. I was rooting for her the whole way through and hoping she would find the happiness she so deserved. It was also nostalgic learning about her holiday romance with Andrew, it made me remember those times in my life and while I’m very happy to leave them in the past it was fun to see what would happen with Norah and her holiday boyfriend. This is a novel set in the run up to Christmas so you do get snow and nods to the festive season; it’s a great book to curl up with on a cold afternoon. I recommend it!
A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton
Megan has returned home to York to help run her family’s ailing book shop. It’s almost Christmas and she’s feeling the pressure of organising a high profile book launch for a demanding author and publisher. I enjoyed this book but it wasn’t quite as Christmassy as I’d hoped. It is set near Christmas but there wasn’t enough of the season in it for me. Having said that I loved the characters and getting to know them. I loved the will they, won’t they? element of the budding romance. And I especially loved the setting – York is a city I know well and it was wonderful to find that it is the setting of this novel. I could picture exactly where the bookshop would be so clearly and it gave me a sense of home for a while. There is also a very cute dog in this novel, which is always a bonus! All in all this is a fast, cosy read and I enjoyed it.
The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees
This is a gorgeous festive novel that follows three characters – Holly the school teacher who is recovering from having her heart broken earlier in the year; Edward who has just bought Christmas house and is trying to find his feet; and Edward’s fabulous 8-year-old daughter Eliza who is in Holly’s class at school. I loved this novel, it’s a gorgeous read about recovering when the rug is pulled out from under you, about discovering that there are still kind people in the world and learning that you can begin again. I love Eliza and her perceptiveness, and I loved reading all about the goings on at school – especially with the school play. This is such a lovely read and I highly recommend it!
The Perfect Christmas Gift by Katie Ginger
Bella returns home from work early one day to find her boyfriend moving out and she is devastated. Next door is Nick who is a newly single dad to Freddie and is trying to make Christmas the best it can be. Bella is heartbroken but knows she needs to find her Christmas spirit and she comes up with an idea that will give her a distraction from the pain whilst also helping out her community and bringing people together. This book was an okay read but for me the Christmas feels didn’t really come through, it felt like it was missing a spark. I did enjoy it, and I loved the ideas in the novel but it didn’t give me the festive feel I was hoping for.
The Twelve Wishes of Christmas by Ruby Basu
I have to admit that when it gets to mid-November I get obsessed with watching sappy Christmas TV movies, I just can’t help it so when I heard about this book and that the main character Sharmila is similarly obsessed I knew this would be a book for me! Sharmila’s friend Thomas has died and left her a wonderful holiday booked where she can experience her first American Christmas, just like the ones in the movies. When she gets there she finds out he’s left her a list of fun tasks to complete, all the things you see in the movies! What she doesn’t know is that Thomas has left her his house and shares in his company if she does everything on the list and his family are determined to stop Sharmila in her tracks! I loved this novel, it has all the elements of Christmas films, and it’s done in a knowing way that stops it being too sickly sweet. There is the hate to love romance (which I loved!) and all the festive activities. This is such a lovely Christmas read and one I definitely recommend!