Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas! - Selection box of Festive Short Story Reviews

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas this year, and if you don't celebrate that you have an enjoyable day regardless.

I'm not really doing much for Christmas this year, so will probably be making in-roads into my TBR piles instead, while hopefully watching some festive films and listening to some Christmassy music!

As it's Christmas Day, I thought I would offer you today a selection box of short story reviews, so that if you do have any time to read today, you can see some of my recommendations, from short stories I have downloaded over the past few months.

Candlelight at Christmas by Katie Fforde - 5 Stars

Amazon UK
It seems to be practically an annual tradition now, that Katie Fforde will release a Christmas short story, and this year is of course no exception. In fact I think I loved this one more than some of the previous ones, purely because I recognised the setting and some of the characters instantly from Recipe for Love. 

There is a welcome return to Somerby, where Fenella and Rupert are having a massive friends and family Christmas celebration this year, complete with in-laws, assorted children, and couple of even more unexpected guests. 

As the amount of people having Christmas day grows, Fenella is getting a bit more stressed, so once Christmas Day finally arrives, the power cut doesn't help matters. 

I loved the solutions as to how they cope with no power over Christmas, and really enjoyed a snapshot look at how Zoe and Gideon were getting on with life, years after we first met them. There is also a very promising and tender romance, between two of the younger extra guests, which was very sweet to read. 

All in all a lovely short story that won't take too long to read, but will fill your heart with the joy of Christmas. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Cornerstone Digital for my copy of this story that I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Justice at Christmas by M. A. Comley - 5 Stars

Amazon UK
As a huge fan of the Justice series, I was delighted to spot this brand new short story, but when I read the blurb, I did wonder how I'd feel about reading a story set quite a bit before where the series currently is, while a certain character is still alive. 

My doubts were short lived as I got into the story very fast, and actually found it to quite a fun little thriller, as its not every day you read about a stampede of Santa's attempting armed robbery!

I loved the plan D.I. Lorne Simkins came up with to infiltrate the Santa's, as well as this reminder as to just how far she has come in the newer books. 

For a fan of the series this is definitely a great addition, and up to the usual standards. If you are only just discovering this series or author, then I think its a fun way to get a feel for the writing, and just what D.I. Lorne Simpkins is like. 

A hugely enjoyable short story, that took me very little time to read, as I was loving the action. 

A Fairytale Christmas by Melissa Hill - 4 Stars

Amazon UK
Delightful short story from Melissa Hill, featuring Christmas, New York and a gentle romance. 

Once I worked out who the characters were, I really enjoyed this story, especially the budding whirlwind romance between Mike and Penny.  I also loved seeing some of New York's landmarks at Christmas, as that always feels like a magical setting.

There is a story arc and there is a bit of depth to the characters, which can sometimes be missing from short stories, and it really is a short and sweet story that can be read in under and hour! 

A Cornish Christmas Carol by Liz Fenwick - 5 Stars

Amazon UK
Beautifully written re-telling of the Charles Dickens' classic story A Christmas Carol. Believe it or not until I read this version, I had never read any version of the story, despite having seen a lot of the film variants - in fact Muppet's Christmas Carol is my favourite Christmas film. 

In Liz Fenwick's story, we still have the three ghosts, and by the middle of the ghost of Christmas past, I was on the verge of crying. The writing just really got to me, and Abigail Scorrier is a woman who is need of this wake up call. 

I love that the Scrooge character is female, and she has had a lot varied Christmas's in the past, but a lot of bad things have occurred at this time of year. There is very good reasons why she has become the person she is but it isn't too late for her to right her wrongs.

I loved the comforting nature of a story that is familiar to me, but being told in a new way. The spirits appear while Abigail is on the sleeper train from London to Cornwall, and there is also a sub storyline that is quite interesting about Christmas carols in Cornwall. 

This is the perfect story for anyone wanting a new take on an old story this Christmas, from a talented writer. I loved reading every last word in this book.  

Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley  - 5 Stars

Amazon UK
If you are looking for a story that epitomises Christmas spirit, then look no further than Comfort and Joy, it is one of my favourite stories, and just shows how a community can come together even when things are looking bleak. 

This is a wonderfully festive sequel to what was a brilliant book, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. Comfort and Joy can easily be read as a standalone story, but as someone who has read the original book, I can say it was brilliant as a short story extra. It gives you a sense of fulfillment as you see what the familiar characters are all up to this Christmas in Plumberry. 

If you like Christmas food, then you won't be disappointed, as there is a veritable treasure trove of a festive feast within these pages, between the Christmas classes being run at the cooking school on Christmas eve, to Christmas day itself. I especially liked the turkey called Kevin, and what happened to him! 

I truly believe that Comfort and Joy will bring you just that, when it is read, its a delightful short story featuring all the warmth and loveliness that Cathy Bramley is becoming very known for, in a bite sized package. 

If you have never read a book by Cathy Bramley, then Comfort and Joy is definitely a good taster for her easy to read writing style, as well as a heart warming story. 


  1. Thank you for the lovely review, Rachel! xx

    1. You are very welcome Cathy. I am so looking forward to starting White Lies and Wishes.


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