This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
REVIEWED BY KIRA SLAUGHTER
The festive season has always been a sad time for young widow Holly Brown, so when she’s asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors, it’s the perfect excuse to forget about the festivities.
The owner of the house, Jude Martland, is also avoiding Christmas since the last one saw his brother run off with his fiancée. But forced to return home unexpectedly, Jude arrives to find that his family are running amok- with Holly seemingly at the centre of it all.
As the blizzards descend, there is no escape. With nowhere to go, Holly and Jude get much more than they bargained for and it soon looks like the twelve days of Christmas are going to be very interesting indeed!
Being a big kid at heart, when I received this book in the post I was like, ‘Yes! Christmas has finally arrived!’ I love everything about the festive season; the decorations, the old Christmas songs that I tend to start playing in early November (don’t judge me) and the presents, of course! One of the best things, though, is the books that come out at this time of year; fantastic sparkly covers and a story that can’t fail to make you feel all festive. This was one of those books. This is the first book by Trisha Ashley that I’ve read and it was definitely a good place to start.
The story is based around Holly, a young widow who doesn’t celebrate Christmas due to bad memories of what happened to her around Christmas time a few years back. She was raised by her Grandmother who was a Baptist and they don’t celebrate Christmas either. So when she is asked by her boss at the house sitting agency she works for if she would like to look after a remote house in Lancashire, she jumps at the chance for an escape from the surrounding festivities.
All set for a peaceful and uninterrupted couple of weeks she finds a whole different set up when she arrives there. The owner of the house has been in America for the last few weeks and has left his family in the lurch over the Christmas period, as they always spend the holidays up at his house. After settling in Holly meets the family members who Jude, the house owner, has left behind. Madness ensues as she is guilt tripped into preparing a traditional family Christmas for them, as well as dealing with Jude’s increasingly abrupt telephone conversations regarding his instructions that he had left for her. After putting the phone down on him several times (atta girl!) Holly spends her time getting acquainted with the Martland family, including Jude’s slightly smarmy younger brother and his annoying fiancée. A surprise appearance at the last minute sets in line some events that Holly may never forget about, and that will ensure that she has a Christmas she may never forget.
On the whole this book had all the festive charm you’d expect from looking at the cover, and what made it even more appealing was the description of the food that Holly, a trained chef, was making for the family meal. As a girl who loves her food this aspect of the book was very much appreciated! The mix of characters that Trisha Ashley wrote about made for very amusing reading, especially the chemistry created between Holly and Jude, even through a phone line! Add this book to your Christmas wish list if a light hearted, fun read is the type of thing you’re after.
I’m giving this a festive 7/10!
And remember people, it’s just over six weeks ‘til Crimbo!:-)
You can buy this book here