Monday, 27 March 2017

Review: How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

Okay so this is actually a review book from Christmas 2015 and I totally apologise to both publisher and author for my extreme lateness. I wasn't feeling very Christmassy that season, and 2016 was honestly a bad year for which I'm now just trying to catch up on my reviewing. It may be late but I do hope you enjoy my review of this gorgeous 5 star book.

'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you've found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance's phone... 
Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen. 
But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat?



This book was perfect in so many ways. For one it features a strong female lead who may or may not know what she wants but does know she can get it. Though a part of her does feel anxiety at the prospect of her new single life - and though her temporary move is part of her 'running away' - she nonetheless faces her doubts and carves a new life for herself amongst the lush countryside. Though she may occasionally stumble, she faces many challenges head on and comes out stronger in the end. Eve was a perfect heroine to follow and I loved her journey.

Second, the book had the perfect amount of romance and drama. Neither was too heavy, allowing Eve's character to shine throughout, but the drama worked well in pushing the narrative along, even creating an air of mystery around Greg and around who Eve's ex fiancé cheated on her with. The dual POV's also heightened the drama in an entertaining way, showing the truth to scenes where one character may have 'gotten the wrong end of the stick' so to speak. The romance was swoon-worthy - a true Christmas treat - without overpowering Eve's progress and strength as an independent woman.

The Christmas elements - specifically the setting - were absolutely gorgeous, and my favourite part was the little Christmas market Greg and Eve enjoy, as I honestly love attending myself. Despite not feeling wholly jovial, the book succeeded in bringing out my seasonal joy.

Last but not least, it was funny - almost crazy at times, in a way that makes you laugh out loud. I won't spoil anything, but lets just say I won't ever look at geese in the same way again. Also Marmite, who is probably the best fictional dog you'll ever meet.

How To Stuff Up Christmas was a fabulous seasonal read by an equally fabulous author, and one I do highly recommend. I'll definitely be re-reading next December, for sure.

As always, thanks for reading, and do feel free to leave me a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


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