Thursday, 10 November 2016

Book Review - All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Amazon UK
Title: All I Want For Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 6th October 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Christmas comes once a year . . . But true love comes once in a lifetime.

Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.

But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.

Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.

They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too. 

Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?

Leah is slightly apprehensive about Christmas this year, as it is the first without her beloved nan. Her plans were always to finish her course, and then take on the running of events at her grandmother's plantation, but her grandmother died unexpectedly, and now she isn't sure what will happen. 

Leah has been left the mansion, but surprisingly so has a man called David. She knew David when they were children and both have a shared history of the house, but it soon becomes apparent they both have different views on what to do with their joint ownership. 

All Leah wants is to give Sadie a magnificent childhood, and be able to encourage her gymnastics skills, so she finds David's offer to buy her out very tempting, as although they had always planned to live in the house, at least she would be able to improve their life. 

Regardless Leah insists on moving herself and Sadie in for the duration of the Christmas period, where she also reconnects with David, and has a huge family Christmas with both of their families and friends. 

What I loved the most about this book was the connection and rapport between David and Leah, and also David with Sadie. He seems to be one of the most perfect gentleman about, with a big and kind heart, and capable of making simple but effective gestures. He may be about to destroy Leah's dreams but they are still laughing and smiling together as well as reminiscing about nan. 

Leah's nan, Nina although dead, was a clear presence in the story and by all accounts sounded like a marvellous lady, and a brilliant cook, some of her recipes sounded very delectable, and I loved the little touches too, such as leaving notes on all of her Christmas decorations. 

Sadie is another character I loved, she is only 7 years old, but has the sense of someone a lot older, although at times she still explains a childlike innocence.  She is incredibly talented at gymnastics, and often seems to know what her mum is thinking, in advance. She is an all around joy to read about. 

The setting of Evergreen Hill, the plantation, which is at the heart of the book, and the main setting, sounds incredibly impressive, and has a fascinating history. In fact there is a little mystery for them to solve too, as to just who a certain person is. 

There is a warmth to the writing, and I lost track of time, as I lost myself within the story, as I was determined to discover everything I could about this enjoyable cast of characters. 

All I Want For Christmas is a fantastic story, with a lot of festive elements, as well as a child just wanting to believe in Santa, and a Christmas miracle.  It is an absorbing story that was a pleasure to read, and once again shows just how good Jenny Hale is at writing wintery stories.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy of the book. This was my honest opinion. 

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