Happy publication day, Jenny Hale! If this book doesn’t make you feel excited for Christmas, then I don’t know what will! I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘It Started With Christmas’ as part of the blog blitz today. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and ARC. Here is my review:
Holly McAdams loves spending the Christmas holidays at her family’s cozy cabin, with its little red door and twinkling lights, tucked in the snowy hills outside Nashville. But this year will be different. Someone unexpected is joining them…
After Holly and her beloved Nana struggle through a snow storm to reach the cabin, they discover gorgeous and wealthy Joseph Barnes, who has been renting the cabin for the last few weeks, is now snowed in. And it looks like he’ll be staying for the holidays.
Determined to make the best of the surprise situation, Holly tries to bring everyone together by baking delicious treats and decorating the cabin with plenty of festive sparkle. She finds herself growing close to handsome Joseph, who is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, even if Nana isn’t so keen on the dashing stranger with the mysterious past.
But charming and irresistible musician Rhett Burton is also back in town. Thrown into close proximity with the person who used to be her best friend and the man who broke her heart, Holly realizes it’s time to face her feelings and figure out what she really wants from her life. But to complicate things, both Joseph and Rhett have secrets to reveal…
Will Holly be able to find herself and the love she’s always dreamed of this Christmas?
What does TWG think?
Someone please hug me, I think I’ve turned into a romantic pile of mush!!! You know those films which come on TV in the run up to Christmas, the ones usually on Christmas24 or equivalent? You know the ones I mean? Well, Jenny Hale’s new novel reminded me of one of those – the type of film which fills you with Christmas joy to rival Santa Claus’ Christmas spirit, whilst also warming you like a giant mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows. How could anyone complain about that?
Holly is determined to make her Nana smile this Christmas, as the death of a loved one seemed to strip Nana’s joy away permanently. It’s no wonder really, but, having been close to her grandmother ever since she was a little girl, Holly would do anything to make Christmas one to remember for both of them. Of course best laid intentions don’t always go to plan….that would be FAR too easy.
The romance in this book is utterly spellbinding. As I have said more than once, I don’t do romance unless someone shoves a cookie under my nose, yet this storyline just oozed romantic love as well as tender, family love. I guess part of me was waiting for a family argument to appear like on most Christmases, but I was so thankful that rifts were so far away from Holly’s family, I definitely sighed with relief. Holly and her Nana had a relationship just too special to be dented by any family row, especially as they both knew just how devastating it was to lose someone who meant the world to them.
I also loved the little subplot where Joseph was concerned as it highlighted the deeper and more naive (in a good way) parts of Holly’s personality. It was as though I witnessed two versions of Holly’s character – the one where she did things for her Nana and everyone else, and then the one where she decided to listen to her heart and put her trust in her own beliefs in hope that things would pan out in the way that she had hoped.
‘It Started With Christmas’ is such a beautiful, tender, touching novel which left me covered in goosebumps due to the sheer beauty of every little detail from the description of the furniture in the cabin, to the way the author described Holly’s romantic thoughts. There was no stone unturned, and for me, such attention to detail and well crafted storyline from the author, made this book the little, festive gem that blew me away and left me wanting more. I adored it and would love to see this gracing my TV screens one Christmas!
About the author.
When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.
Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.
While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about the magic of love at Christmas, and 2017 TV movie on The Hallmark Channel.
The rest is history.
When I’m not writing, I’m a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.
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