It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…
Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s cosy cottage to hide away over the winter season. But kind, impulsive Aunt Clara has other ideas… She’s not about to see her favourite niece wallowing in sadness during the most wonderful time of the year. So, with the help of her close circle of friends and plenty of gin, she creates a handmade advent calendar for Holly.
Every day in December, Holly opens a new door and has a different task to complete. She soon finds herself asking out a complete stranger – gorgeous, cheeky pub landlord, Finn Jackson. But as handsome Finn gets involved in her festive challenges, Holly’s determination to avoid romance is put to the test. Still, Finn’s far too carefree and single for true love, isn’t he?
As Holly begins to embrace each day – a complete makeover, building the biggest snowman she’s ever seen, singing in a karaoke contest – Finn is there adding fun and laughter to every moment. Holly starts to realise that she can become the person she’s always wanted to be…
But a secret from Finn’s past threatens to turn Holly’s Christmas upside down and makes her question everything she has experienced in the last few weeks. Will Finn open up to Holly in time to show her how he really feels? And will she complete the advent calendar challenges and fall in love this Christmas?
It’s time to curl up for a delicious Christmas romance about daring to take chances, opening yourself up to love, and being true to who you really are. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Debbie Johnson, and Debbie Macomber.
Apple Books: tinyurl.com/y69ytubf
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
After her mother died Holly became the anchor for her dad and twin sister and in the aftermath lost the essence of herself to become want they both needed to get through the tragedy. At 27, the sisters lived together and worked for their dad. When Holly sees her boyfriend and sister together, it breaks her heart, even more so because Christmas is just around the corner too. Holly retreats to the safety of her eccentric Aunt Clara and her cosy cottage.
Aunt Clara is quite a character who along with her merry band of gin drinking accomplices, sets about to give Holly a much-needed self-esteem boost. As dreaded December arrives for Holly so does a special advent calendar from her Aunt. Each day brings a new challenge for Holly, the first is to ask out a complete stranger.
I must admit that I was quite giddy reading some of these chapters and the challenges that Holly had to take on as it was lovely to see how each day she found another piece of herself that had got lost after her mum died. Of course, it isn’t just about putting her back together how she was, it is giving her confidence to take a leap of faith too into a future she doesn’t yet know.
I really liked that the story just didn’t revolve around Holly as if she was the only one who had challenges to face in life, that it is about being there for other people and helping them through tragic times too. Forgiving, accepting what can’t be changed and being able to move on. The story made me laugh so many times, count my blessings and feel gooey and warm inside.
Brilliant characters, gorgeous setting. Everyone should have an Aunt Clara, she is one special lady!
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donna Ashcroft was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.
Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint recipient of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. She has had three books published with Bookouture and has another coming out in October 2019.
Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.
or visit her at www.donna-writes.co.uk