Yes, it is the end of march and I’m reading christmas books! Christmas has no limits for me – everyday is christmas day. I’m very much an enthusiast for (romance) books set around christmas, as they tend to be light-hearted and an easy read.
I originally read one of Rosie Blake’s books – How to Get a (Love) Life – around Christmas last year, and I enjoyed the easy flow of it, so I thought I’d give another one of her books a try. Blake tends to introduce her main characters’ traits and personality from the start, rather than giving the reader time to get to know them as the book moves along. I quite like this quality in books, however it doesn’t always give you the chance to see different sides of the character’s, making them feel like what they literally are, fictional.
It took me a while to get into this book as it was quite slow to kick off, which then carried through to the rest of the book, and only really paced up towards the end.
Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.
But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?
my rating: 3/5
Eve was very reliant on her ex-fiance Liam, through the book we see her coming into her own as she learns how to move on from him, develop her skills and learn more about herself outside a relationship in the process of her becoming. At the start of the book we see Eve as a useless cook, who doesn’t believe in her creative abilities, but as time goes on she grows into herself through moving from London to Pangbourne to ‘find herself’ and take some time out from friends and family.
Meanwhile in Pangbourne we have Greg who is a beloved local vet, with a particular part of his life weighing him down, which we only seem to find out 3/4 of the way into the book. Personally, I thought the secret/situation, which was perceived as a very big deal, would have been something a whole lot more escalated than it was but, then again this is meant to be a light-hearted easy read. So for the genre I guess the ‘huge’ situation was appropriate as it gives us as the readers a glance into Greg’s guarded, and over-protective character, in which he seems to easily let down around Eve.
I found Eve and Greg’s relationship to be very warm and easy going, which contrasted to that of Eve and Liam’s which seemed rather intense, and co-dependent, rather than each person being their own individual human being within the relationship. I enjoyed the slow build of Eve and Greg’s relationship, especially as it seemed to bring the best out in both of them as people. Although the relationship between these two was a central point of the book, their growth through the relationship and those that they encountered around them, played a huge part in shaping the story line of the book, with quirky and intense minor characters, to stuck-up and bossy ones, it balanced the story and enabled it to keep it’s easy going feel.
The plot twist for the book was one that I hadn’t expected, giving that it was a minor and unexpected character that had caused such a big stir that resulted in Eve and Liam’s break-up. I definitely expected it to be someone else, as those were the clues hinted at as the story line built up, however it did add a bit of flair and excitement to the book considering, it took a while to actually get to the plot twist.
I did love reading this book as it was an easy read, and it set a very Christmas-y feel, which I always love. I’d recommend it if you wanted a quick read to get yourself into a Christmas mood (around Christmas, of course, if that’s your jam). However, it lacked in forming well rounded and developed character’s that I personally found it hard to connect with, as the ending although light, cheery and warm, seemed incomplete and didn’t really satisfy the ending that would be wanted or expected. It’s definitely a slow, gentle and easy read but compared to Blake’s last book I read, I found this one quite a disappointment, as it had so much potential, especially in developing well rounded characters that you would both equally love and hate.