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CHRISTMAS READING CHALLENGE – 01 – Nine Lives of Christmas – Sheila Roberts

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. 

  1. The book must have Christmas in the title. 
  2. Some one has lost the Christmas Spirit.
  3. A Christmas Miracle will therefore have to occur.
  4. Some one will then regain the Christmas Spirit.

So please, make yourself comfy and enjoy the first review!

Who has lost the Christmas Spirit?

Firefighter and all-round hunk, Zach. Zach’s a basically decent guy with an unfortunate penchant for treating women as objects, but it’s not his fault, man, he is issues.

What form does the Christmas Miracle occur?

An old ginger cat called Ambrose. Ambrose is on his last life (the ninth of the title), and feels guilty that he’s wasted the rest of them. He just wants to live! He promises The Christmas Spirit that he will make someone’s life better if only he can live, and guess whose life that ends up being…

Hyper-masculine Zach doesn’t need women, they’re nothing but trouble, and relationships only end in misery, don’t they? But when he rescues Ambrose from the snarling jaws of a Rottweiler, Ambrose makes it his personal mission to make Zach’s life better, which obviously means getting him a decent mate.

The chosen love interest is Merilee, who, sad upon sad, used to be fat. But don’t worry, gang, she isn’t any more! She now has a “hot body” and is cute in an elfish red haired way. But of course, she has zero self-esteem. Because she used to be fat. Sad.

This book is a mix of mad-cap cat inspired japes and fatphobia. There are baddies and goodies, but the line between the two is very much Do You Like Cats? Zach’s redemption story is quite sweet, involving appreciating family and learning to accept your parents as people who make mistakes, but Merilee’s lesson that you have to buy lovely clothes and stay thin in order to achieve happiness, which is man shaped, grates. Ambrose the cat is the best thing in it. I also loved how the town had a suitably Christmassy name, “Angel Falls”, and representation of firefighters as hunky heroes with a heart.

I didn’t hate this book, but it didn’t give me many warm and fuzzies. It HAS however been adapted as a Hallmark movie, WITH BRANDON ROUTH,  which I am not going to lie, I have marked up as Future Hangover Viewing…

 

Listen to @BookElfLeeds and I introduce the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge – HERE 

Or just click here!

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