Real Christmas miracles only ever happen in the movies – don’t they?
When Jessica was fifteen, she shared the perfect kiss with a mystery boy at a Christmas party. It might have only lasted a moment, and the boy might have disappeared shortly afterwards but, to Jessica, it was just a little bit magic.
Fourteen years later, and Jessica is faced with a less than magical Christmas after uncovering her husband’s secret affair. And, whilst she wouldn’t admit it, she sometimes finds herself thinking about that perfect Christmas kiss, back when her life still seemed full of hope and possibility.
But she never would have guessed that the boy she kissed in the kitchen all those years ago might still think about her too…
I’m a big fan of shorter reads at Christmas – so much to do that it’s quite difficult to take on a full-length novel sometimes – and Alison May’s Christmas Kisses series has become an important part of my Christmas run-up. Christmas 2013, I really enjoyed Holly’s Christmas Kiss and reviewed it here on the blog: last year there was Cora’s Christmas Kiss, which I also loved and reviewed. So this year we have Jessica’s Christmas Kiss – again 148 pages of absolute perfection, published for Kindle by Choc Lit on 12th December (cutting it fine this year Alison!).
This is such a lovely story. After a quite perfect teenage first kiss at a party, Jess always remembers the mysterious boy with the green eyes who briefly stole her heart. Having drifted into marriage, she still thinks about that perfect moment – and when her marriage falls apart, she doesn’t recognise Lucas (she thought he was called Alan – but other people do too…) when he unexpectedly comes back into her life.
What I’m always so impressed by when reading Alison’s “shorts” is how well she develops her characters within such few pages. You really care about Jess, who believes she’s unattractive and unloveable – and Lucas, with his mysterious background and the guilt that weighs him down, is simply wonderful. It’s difficult to review a novella without giving away the entire story, so I won’t – but this story absolutely won my heart as two damaged people struggle to find their own happiness.
I liked the way characters from the previous Christmas Kisses touched on the story – but if this is the only one you read, it really doesn’t matter one bit (but I bet you’ll go on to read the others!). Again, this is a story that puts a smile on your face and a tear in your eye – Alison May writes beautifully, perfectly balancing sadness and humour, all set against a wonderful Christmassy backdrop. A perfect little read for less (a lot less) than the price of a cup of coffee – just 99p at time of writing. I’m looking forward to next year’s Christmas Kiss already… no pressure Alison, but not to have one would totally ruin my Christmas…
Alison May was born and raised in North Yorkshire, but now lives in Worcester with one husband, no kids and no pets. There were goldfish once. That ended badly. Alison has studied History and Creative Writing, and has worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, and a freelance trainer, before settling on ‘making up stories’ as an entirely acceptable grown-up career plan.
Alison is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and won the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2012. Her novella, Cora’s Christmas Kiss was shortlisted in the Love Stories Awards, 2015. She writes contemporary romantic comedies, and short stories.
Find out more about Alison at her website: she is also active on both Twitter and Facebook.