Monday 21 September 2020

Guest Review: Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

Cosy up with the new Christmas book from best-selling author Jo Thomas
Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she's feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie's residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market - with the promise she'll take a mini-bus full of pensioners with her...
Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a check-list of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich's rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.
Will Connie's wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so - with who?

Review: I am very excited that this is my first Christmas book for 2020. I absolutely love Christmas books and films, and look forward to this time of year when the new festive books begin to appear. It’s nice that it is by Jo Thomas, an author who I have really only discovered this year, and who has quickly become one of my favourites. When picking up one of her books, I always feel assured of a powerful storyline, interesting location and lots of delicious food. That is certainly the case with this Christmassy story.

The story revolves around Connie, a caterer who at the beginning of the tale is driving a group of elderly friends to Germany. The purpose of the journey is two-fold: to scatter the ashes of another resident of the retirement flats where they live, whose wish was to be returned to the country of her birth, and for Connie to meet up with Heinrich, who she has met on a dating site and has been messaging for some weeks. Connie also hopes that the trip may help to lift the spirits of her friends, who have become unhappy with their living conditions. When the party arrives at the quaint little town of Alte Stadt in time for the start of the Christmas market, they find themselves in the midst of the annual competition with the neighbouring new town, the winner being awarded money to stage the market next year. The bigger town has won for many years in a row, and this is last chance for Alte Stadt to survive. Connie finds that Heinrich lives and runs a bakery in the larger town, while the old-fashioned, traditional bakery in the small town is run by his once friend, William. Connie finds herself becoming torn between allegiance to the man she has come to love and another, who is quickly also finding a place in her heart.

I loved this heart warming Christmas tale filled with friendship, romance and lots of humour, the smell of gingerbread wafting through the pages. As usual, Jo Thomas expertly set the scene for me; even though I have never been to a Christmas market in Germany, I could imagine myself there in the square with the smells and sounds typical of the Christmas setting. I felt for Connie, travelling such a long way with hope for romance after a long search for the right man and then beginning to doubt whether she had found him after all. The competition between the two towns added extra interest to the story. I thought the humour provided by the party from the retirement flats was great. I could just imagine what the conversation must have been like in that minibus on the way to Germany. This is definitely a story I would recommend for reading in the run up to Christmas; it’s guaranteed to get anyone into the Christmas spirit.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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