Delighted to be closing Donna Ashcroft’s blogtour today for ‘The Christmas Countdown’ – many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the tour and for the ARC. Here is my review:
It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…
Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s cosy cottage to hide away over the winter season. But kind, impulsive Aunt Clara has other ideas… She’s not about to see her favourite niece wallowing in sadness during the most wonderful time of the year. So, with the help of her close circle of friends and plenty of gin, she creates a handmade advent calendar for Holly.
Every day in December, Holly opens a new door and has a different task to complete. She soon finds herself asking out a complete stranger – gorgeous, cheeky pub landlord, Finn Jackson. But as handsome Finn gets involved in her festive challenges, Holly’s determination to avoid romance is put to the test. Still, Finn’s far too carefree and single for true love, isn’t he?
As Holly begins to embrace each day – a complete makeover, building the biggest snowman she’s ever seen, singing in a karaoke contest – Finn is there adding fun and laughter to every moment. Holly starts to realise that she can become the person she’s always wanted to be…
But a secret from Finn’s past threatens to turn Holly’s Christmas upside down and makes her question everything she has experienced in the last few weeks. Will Finn open up to Holly in time to show her how he really feels? And will she complete the advent calendar challenges and fall in love this Christmas?
What does TWG think?
Mrs Christmas has done it again!!!! Omg I LOVED it! What a festive, flirty, fun, and utterly fabulous read this is. I knew that Donna Ashcroft was talented, but honestly, she has exceeded my expectations with ‘The Christmas Countdown’.
I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or not, but the fact that the author set the book around Christmas was genius. I mean, at one point in the story I got a little bit hot under the collar and was thankful for cooler temperatures. Phwoar!
I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Holly and her lack of self confidence, something which I am sure a lot of us have dealt with at some point. I am struggling with my own mental health at the moment, so i found myself becoming emotional at Holly’s situation. I wanted to tell her that I understood y’know?
Holly went on various journeys throughout the book, and watching her grow into her wings and flourish was definitely a highlight of mine.
I also thought Finn was one of those ‘perfectly flawed’ types, another character who had a lot to offer but was lacking in the confidence to be able to offer himself the vital gift of moving on.
You know, I try to savour every word of Donna Ashcroft’s novels and, as weird as this sounds, I sometimes dread reading them too because I know that they will come to an end – I hate it when that happens! As Jane Austen said, ‘if a book is well written, i always find it too short’. The same applies with ‘The Christmas Countdown – I really didn’t want it to end.
It may be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, however Donna Ashcroft has written the best gift of all in the shape of a book that just kept on giving. Mrs Christmas by name, Mrs Christmas by nature – a heartwarming, humourous, poignant, rromantic and beautifully written nove. Donna Ashcroft has kept her title of ‘Mrs Christmas of fiction’ for the second year running – LOVED IT!