Publisher: UK – Avon
Christmas has always been a sad time for young widow Holly Brown, so when she's asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors, the opportunity to hide herself away is irresistible – the perfect excuse to forget about the festivities. Sculptor, Jude Martland, is determined that this year there will be no Christmas after his brother runs off with his fiancée and he is keen to avoid the family home. However, he will have to return by Twelfth Night, when the hamlet of Little Mumming hold their historic festivities and all of his family are required to attend. Meanwhile, Holly is finding that if she wants to avoid Christmas, she has come to the wrong place. When Jude unexpectedly returns on Christmas Eve he is far from delighted to discover that Holly seems to be holding the very family party he had hoped to avoid. Suddenly, the blizzards come out of nowhere and the whole village is snowed in. With no escape, Holly and Jude get much more than they bargained for – it looks like the twelve days of Christmas are going to be very interesting indeed!
It’s that time of year again when the same old seasonal songs are played non-stop and shopping becomes a deathly sport – yep, it’s December and that means Christmas has nearly come. So, in order to try and get into the spirit I scanned my bookshelves for something in keeping with the time of year and picked up this, Twelve Days of Christmas. And it worked perfectly. By the end of this book, if you are not feeling the Christmas spirit you are either dead inside or you don’t like food at all! J
Holly may not like Christmas but she is a professional chief and many pages are dedicated to her cooking preparations and descriptions of food. In fact, better make sure you have a full cupboard when you start reading because I can guarantee you will be frequently craving something sweet to eat after all the talk about food! Little Mumming is a picturesque village in the middle of no-where, populated with plenty of eccentric but good hearted people straight out of a Richard Curtis film. There are plenty of unconventional characters that while not original are amusing enough - from an old-celebrity chef to a horse mad old aunt to a precocious young girl and a flirty brother– not to mention the awkward, stiff but handsome lord of the manor type who serves as the main love interest. As you would expect Holly and Jude have a prickly relationship to start with but events conspire to leave the whole family stuck in the house for longer than expected. Nothing really startling happens – but then again you don’t tend read these chick-lit books for shocking twists.
Overall, this was a wonderfully feel good book. There are some amusing lines, warm family attachments and it really does leave you aching for a roaring log-fire in the middle of a snow storm. The writing is not challenging and simply serves to embrace the reader and surround you with Christmas.
Recommended for fans of Love, Actually and Sophie Kinsella. 8 out of 10.