Friday, 16 October 2015

!Release Day! Review of Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

The bit on the back…

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…
With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

Two Christmases ago I read my very first Jenny Hale book, it also happened to be her debut. I absolutely adored Coming Home for Christmas and it pretty much guaranteed me as a hugh fan of Jenny’s writing from that point on – if you follow me on Twitter I am sure you will know this already. Since that Christmas Jenny and I have become great friends and I ALWAYS look forward to her next book. Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses was no exception to that rule. Thank you to the lovely people over at Bookouture for approving me for a copy of this title via NetGalley.

Jenny’s latest Christmas release is all about Abbey Fuller and Nick Sinclair. Abbey and Nick couldn’t be any more different if they tried. Abbey, single mother to Max, struggles to make ends meet and is very family orientated. Nick, on the other hand, can afford anything he might want to have and is quite the recluse when it comes to his family and relationships.

From the start, I found that I really liked Abbey as a main character. She’s easy to empathise with and get to like, especially when you see how great a mum she is to Max. Max has quite a prominent role throughout the story and he added a childlike innocence to it especially when you saw what he thought about things especially when it came to Nick and his relationship with him. Max is a kind little boy and is a testament to Abbey. She tries her best for everyone – for Max; her mother and grandfather; Nick; Nick’s grandmother – you get my drift. One of my favourite lines was from Abbey and it’s something I can imagine Jenny would say herself –

“We have to have faith in things we can’t see sometimes, and if we believe, we may discover goodness beyond our dreams.”

Although Abbey and Nick are quite different there is a definite spark of interest between them right from the beginning. I loved that Abbey wanted Nick to experience everything with her and Max and although the story is told only from Abbey’s POV, we get to see Nick’s character changing mostly in his interactions with Max. Each of the main characters are loveable and easy to connect with as you are able to see a little something of yourself in each one, although Abbey, Nick and Max are in the spotlight for the majority of the book, Abbey’s grandfather and Nick’s grandmother share some of their worldy wisdom throughout making the entire cast of characters loveable in their own way.

The story is set in a snowy Richmond where Nick lives in a fabulous, dream mansion on a huge family estate. I hopped onto Google and searched for actual pictures of Richmond to fuel the picture Jenny had already created in my head. After clicking through a few images it was clear that, as always, Jenny had nailed the description to a tee. I could easily picture Nick’s sprawling house surrounded by powder white snow with Max’s snowman standing proudly outside. I love losing myself in Jenny’s settings; it’s one of the things I love about reading – complete escapism.

If you’re looking for a Christmas read then really I could recommend any of Jenny’s books to you, without a doubt. I can feel a re-read of this coming on already when it’s cold and snowy, and I’m inside looking out!

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