Monday, 8 October 2018

Book Review - Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

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Title: Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop
Author: Portia MacIntosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 8th October 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Blast the Michael Bublé, wrap your hands around a cinnamon latte and enjoy this warm, hilarious Christmas novel!
Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you'd expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy's life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for a holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?

Easily my favourite Christmas book of the season so far - this one has all the elements I love in a feel good Christmas story - a fight to save a business,  an open all year round Christmas Shop, a pair of twins with very festive names and differing personalities, a sexy businessman that is cast in the bad guy role, a cheeky chappy playing Santa, and all the festive food you could ever want. 

In fact the scene involving the Christmas Cake tasting was hilarious, although I have to agree with Ivy's feelings on the subject of Christmas cake. 

I really don't know where to start in extolling the virtues of this book, it really was a purely pleasurable way to spend some time, with the residents of Marram Bay. If that is a familiar sounding location to you then you will be right, it was the setting for Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli but apart from a few cameos from those characters, this was a wholly brand new story that can be read as a standalone. 

This has easily shot to the top of my favourite Portia MacIntosh books list - its has Christmas, it has a shop, food, relationships, banter, humour, a kissing booth, some sweet children and fabulous writing.  It had me smiling from ear to ear throughout. 

Holly and Ivy are incredibly different twins and for Ivy who is trying to save her shop from its seemingly  inevitable closure, trying to keep their mother's memory alive, and giving her niece and nephew a christmas to remember, she is also worried about Holly as she seems to be hiding something. 

There are three main men in this book - Gaz, Seb and Santa.  Yes Santa gets a big part, but that's because having him in a Christmas shop makes a lot of sense, as does all the other things that Ivy tries to raise the money to stop Seb from demolishing her shop.  Seb is the smooth developer who appears to be charming the whole town, but also getting under Ivy's skin.  Then there is Gaz who I believe has heart of gold even if he shows it in not the best ways. I really liked Gaz, even if some of what he did wasn't quite what Ivy wanted. 

And then there is the shop at the heart of the book - easily my favourite shoop of all the fictional ones I have read about this year (of which there are many). It is Christmas every single day in the shop, and it sounded amazing. I could really picture it and wanted to jump on a train up to Marram Bay to visit for myself. 

This is a wonderful story, it has certainly made me very aware Christmas is coming, without necessarily giving me the warm fuzzy feeling of the season - but is definitely a great way to ease myself into getting more and more festive!  

I'm almost ready to start hunting down the Christmas music and film channels on TV, but its only September so I'd probably be disappointed. But what won't disappoint is this joy to read story that I adored every second of. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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