A charming Christmas story, with a European twist, of how love can surface in the unlikeliest of places. From an exciting new voice in festive fiction.
Can a trip away lead you home?
After a bad break-up, eternal optimist Evie Miller has moved to the small village of Willowbrook to finally pursue her dream of opening a craft shop. Unfortunately, with money worries and an ex- boyfriend determined to track her down, her fresh start isn’t going entirely to plan.
Jake Hartwood is also looking to escape his past. Haunted by the loss of his wife, he’s determined not to get close to anyone again – and the last thing he wants is to be celebrating this December.
Hoping to avoid the festivities, Evie and Jake arrange to escape Christmas together as friends in Provence. But can they avoid the magic of the season from changing things between them?
And what happens if one of them starts to feel something more?
– My Thoughts –
The Christmas Holiday is a beautiful Christmas romance about love, loss, grief and the struggle to comes to terms with it and moving forward.
The story is about Evie Miller who has recently moved into a small village of Willowbrook and has set up her fabric and sewing shop, leaving behind her cheating fiancé and dreaded job. Although Evie is talented at what she does, she is facing financial problems this Christmas; it certainly doesn’t help when her ex-fiancé Tom keeps harassing her and her parents keep trying to persuade to give up her shop and give Tom another chance. Evie doesn’t give up and instead starts making fitted curtains to give her finances a boost.
When Evie visits a client’s home -a local manor house- for fitting curtains, she encounters the rude owner(her client) and his wonderful dog Smoke. Jake Hartwood is inebriated and is in no mood for company..especially not cheery and bright Evie. Jake specifically chose this place to be alone and away from his family, to grieve for the loss of his beloved wife, Maria. Jake doesn’t like Evie’s colourful personality and her easy optimism, he goes as far as calling her ‘Pollyanna’. Jake, however, doesn’t know that Evie’s life is not all rainbows and sunshine; she’s still grieving for her dead sister Zara, her self-esteem has been thoroughly butchered by her ex-fiancé Tom who has even followed her to her village.
Jake’s friend offers him the use of a villa in France and Jake readily agrees as this holiday season, he wants to be far away from home. Evie loves Christmas but it seems this year her family wants them to spend the holiday with Tim’s family. Rescue comes in the way of Jake’s sister who suggests Jake take Evie with him to France. Jake and Evie slowly start becoming friends but will it develop into something more? Will Jake ever be able to escape the clutches of his grief over losing his wife?
Overall, I would highly recommend this book but if you’re looking for a beautifully written Christmas romance that’ll warm your cold, dead heart(like mine). Before diving into this, I had thought this would be a silly, cheesy romance(nothing wrong with that) but this had so much depth with wonderful and relatable characters(including an adorable dalmatian). Christmas seems like a cheery season but it can be depressingly lonely and this book shows exactly that..Furthermore, it shows us that if only we allow ourselves to be open, we find ourselves not so alone after all.
Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Many Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for including me in this blog tour! Please have a look at the banner and visit the other bloggers on this tour.
– About the Author –
Sophie Claire, born to a French mother and Scottish father, grew up in Manchester where she still lives with her husband and two sons. She writes stories centred around sunny Provence, where she spent her summers as a child.
Thank you for reading! Do you like reading Christmas romances? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!