Thursday 24 November 2022

Guest Review: The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley

She’s planned the perfect Christmas. But fate might have other ideas…

Krystle didn’t have a normal childhood and longed for warm family Christmases with presents under the tree. Now she makes sure everyone else has the perfect Christmas she never had, bringing beautiful decorations to cheer as many people as possible.

With her festive business booming, she decides to celebrate by renting a secluded house in the Lakes, with a plan to make this the ultimate yuletide getaway.

But fate immediately throws a spanner in the works in the form of a broken-down car, a flooded river and Max; a man who despises Christmas.

Krystle becomes determined to show Max the joys of the holiday. She won’t take no for an answer.

Can she melt Max’s Grinch-like heart? And can he show her that life doesn’t need to go to plan to take you somewhere magical…

Review: I have been looking out with anticipation for the annual Christmas book from Phillipa Ashley. I have been a regular reader of her books for some time now, and have never failed to love her festive publication. This one is set in the Lake District, one of my favourite parts of the UK. The cover is absolutely beautiful, promising the reader a snowy Christmas trip to the countryside.

The story centres on Krystle, who has planned her dream vacation in the Lake District with boyfriend Brett, staying for 2 months in a large manor house that she plans to fill with all the decorations for a real family Christmas. Following a difficult start in life, Krystle now has a highly successful business sourcing Christmas decorations and planning commercial and domestic displays. Her dream holiday doesn’t get off to the best start as the couple have to be rescued from a swollen river after their expensive car gets stuck within sight of their destination. Their rescuer, Max, is a seemingly unpleasant recluse with a hatred of Christmas. Even when they reach their lovely rental property, things don’t improve, as Brett can’t forget about work and eventually leaves Krystle on her own. In his absence, she becomes more and more involved with local events and tries to involve Max in the festivities. The pair become friends as they share the difficult times in their past, but will their friendship develop into something more?

This was a wonderfully heart-warming Christmas romance which I can confidently recommend. It has a great mix of drama, humour and Christmas activities. The setting of Krystle’s remote holiday let amongst the snow covered mountains is beautifully described in a way that is guaranteed to make the reader want to set off for a visit. The characters in the story are all likeable, with the possible exception of Brett, but then he and Krystle didn’t seem well suited from the start. I liked that both Max and Krystle had interesting, if sad, back stories that emerged gradually as the book progressed. It was rewarding to witness how Krystle managed to find a way past Max’s gruff exterior and dislike of all things festive to discover the person beneath. I also loved that Krystle became so involved with the community while she was staying there. This is definitely a book that anyone would be delighted to find in their Christmas stocking.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment