Delighted and excited to announce that @BookElfLeeds has a brand new reading challenge!
Jess had decided to seek out the Christmas Spirit in contemporary fiction. And like all good reading challenges; there’s a strict criteria to be followed.
- The book must have Christmas in the title.
- Some one has lost the Christmas Spirit.
- A Christmas Miracle will therefore have to occur.
- Some one will then regain the Christmas Spirit.
So please, make yourself comfy and enjoy the 11th review!
Evil Capitalist With A Past Hurt, Roy.
In what form does the Christmas Miracle appear?
Three literal angels, descended from actual Heaven, on a mission to bring love into Roy’s life, as requested by his mother, Anne.
I wanted to read a full-novel of Debbie Macomber after being absolutely smitten by her short novella earlier in the challenge, and this one was a corker. Part of a longer series starring the three angels Mercy, Goodness, and Shirley, this one had every single ingredient of a Christmas Feelgood. But there was a something a little, I dunno, sickening about how twee it actually got. I think, by book 11, I’m beginning to feel a little bit saccharined out by this Challenge. I found myself on the train this morning really wishing for a bit of hardcore George Elliot or something a little bit meatier.
Anyway. Anne is a middle aged lady living on San Juan Island in Washington State, the same location of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour, but described a lot less (with Macomber it is all about the characters rather than their settings, descriptions aren’t really her bag). Anne was divorced by her husband a few years ago, who left her for his son’s fiancé, horror of horrors, breaking pretty much everyone’s heart in the process. Roy hasn’t spoken to his father in years, and his resentment hangs over him, he has become instead a workaholic, putting everything into building his dotcom (this was originally published in 2003, so of course he runs a dotcom). Even though he runs an entire massive company with its own building however, Roy still interviews for security guards…. And ends up employing Dean, father of Julie, who is also going through a lack of Christmas Spirit, about to face the first Christmas without his wife.
The three angels have been sent down by Gabriel, despite them having been very naughty on previous missions to Earth, to answer Anne’s prayer to make Roy find true happiness. Anne is the ultimate interfering mother (at one point she takes the girl Roy has been dating for a week and asks her what her plans are for having kids etc. I would have lamped her). The angels, however, love her, and crack on in trying to bring Roy and Julie together.
And why Julie? Because she’s the complete opposite of the fiancée that broke his heart. She’s tall and athletic (I think the word used is “sturdy”) and has her own mind. She also isn’t after his money.
The plot gets a little complex and there is loads of back-and-forth will-they-won’t-they between Roy and Julie, with the angels providing light relief. Anne’s story of discovering her own talent and worth as an artist and getting one back on her ex is probably the best thing about this book. To be honest I didn’t click with the main love story and found Roy especially an extremely unlikeable lead.
The most overtly religious of the books I’ve read, with a moral around sex before marriage being something to be avoided, I felt less warm and fuzzies with this one. I think that to be honest my cheer is starting to wear a little thin. But nearly there! Maybe book 12 will bring me back to Proper Christmas Cheer!
Listen to @BookElfLeeds and I introduce the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge – HERE
Or just click here!
Review 01 – Nine Lives of Christmas
Review 02 – The Christmas Secret
Review 03 – Last Christmas
Review 04 – Lakeshore Christmas
Review 05 – Home for Christmas
Review 06 – Christmas Magic
Review 07 – Claude’s Christmas Adventure
Review 08 – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour
Review 09 – Christmas for One
Review 10 – A Redbird Christmas