I am back again with new books from NetGalley! I am really enjoying the chance to read new books before they come out and share my reviews to help authors and other readers- it is a wonderful feeling. I was able to request and read many great books this month, but I thought that I would share my favourite new 2018 Christmas chick lit books with you! With the holiday season fast approaching, it is time to get into the mood, and reading by the fireplace is a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays…
I have to give NetGalley, the publishers, and authors a huge thank you for sending me eARCs for each of these books! I have linked the Goodreads page for each book here, when you want to go find it yourself. If you are interested in NetGalley, I can’t recommend signing up enough- all you have to do is share reviews of the books you read!
A Christmas Date, Camilla Isley- 25 October 2018
Even Little Miss Grinch, Nikki, a successful and independent woman, must face her bachelorette status at the most horrible time of the year.
December is her personal version of holly-jolly hell: a merry torture made of couples kissing at every corner, forced vacation days, and an inescapable family reunion.
And when her baby sister announces she’s engaged—to Paul, the man Nikki is secretly in love with—and that he’s spending the holidays with them, Christmas starts looking bluer than ever.
Nikki can’t possibly survive an entire week trapped home as the family’s spinster. But she has no time to meet men or to try the newest dating app, she’s too busy working as a video producer for an advertising agency.
So what’s a girl to do?
Nikki has the perfect solution: to hire a fake boyfriend.
Luckily, her job gives her access to an endless catalog of gorgeous actors to choose from.
But Nikki will soon discover that keeping business and pleasure from mixing isn’t so easy, and that she might not be immune to a little mistletoe magic. Especially not when she picked out the perfect man as her Christmas date…
I really enjoyed this book- it was a light and fun read for the holiday season! The characters were pretty standard for chick lit, but it is wonderful to relax with a book and not have to think too hard about everything. I particularly enjoyed that the drama was not with her romantic interest, as it makes for a more realistic and interesting read.
All of the key characters were fleshed out, which I very much appreciated- Nikki’s sister Julia is one of the most realistic characters I’ve read this entire year! I do wish that the setting had been slightly more detailed (it plays a big role for me in holiday reads especially), but this didn’t distract my reading.
I didn’t realise until after reading that this was the third in a series until after reading, but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything at all! I also went and purchased the first two to save for some snow day reading.
No One Cancels Christmas, Zara Stoneley – 19 October 2018
It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.
The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!
With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….
But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.
With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…
I enjoyed this book, it was a lot of fun! While I do read chick lit specifically to relax, there was a bit more meat to No One Cancels Christmas which I really appreciated. Stoneley has written complex characters that don’t always fall into chick lit tropes, and she wove together a few truly touching story lines to create a wonderful story. I do love Christmas themed anything, but she thoughtfully used the holidays to frame the story without it falling into “Tree decorating! Cookies! Santa!”, which gave it a lot of depth.
My one pet peeve is due to me being Canadian- none of the Canadian characters dialogue was written in a way that we would actually say. We “move” wood, we don’t “shift” it, for example- I wish she had taken a little bit of time to flesh that out because it was slightly distracting. (I knew what she was saying throughout having lived in Ireland, but I could see some of it being slightly confusing for North Americans.
Christmas at Strand House, Linda Mitchelmore – 15 November 2018
Lissy hosts Janey, Bobbie, and Xander for the holidays at her late godmother’s house, and over the span of a few days, each character makes their own journey forward.
I have to say, this is quite possible one of my favourite pieces of Christmas chick lit, period. (I have quite a few, too….) Mitchelmore has written such a thoughtful and engaging book; it gives you the warm Christmas feelings that you expect from this sort of book but you also have to really think. All of the characters are established in adulthood, meaning that there aren’t any clueless twenty-somethings wandering about. All four are fully-fledged adults who have very real and adult problems, like abuse, death, and infidelity. That sounds like it may be a heavy book, but it truly is a light and loving journey for each character finding their way.
The house itself is a fantastic character, as well as the village, but the four protagonists are the stars. What I love is that each character is given their own space to be and grow, which is no easy feat with four to balance. There is enough conflict for the book to feel realistic, but they are so supportive of each other (lending to the warm feeling)! You feel the bumps and friction of their time together, as well as their own individual issues, but it never takes centre stage. I should hope that whenever I am lucky enough to host the holidays, that I provide such a welcoming atmosphere! I will absolutely be on the lookout for more books from Linda Mitchelmore.