I so enjoyed “meeting” Jo Bartlett when she popped in for a chat in October: you can catch up with it here. I really wanted to read Somebody Else’s Boy – and I will catch up later, I promise. But instead, I’ve just been reading Jo’s latest, a St Nicholas Bay novella, The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come – published for kindle by Accent Press on 24th November – and I thought it was simply wonderful.
As a special ed teacher in beautiful St Nicholas Bay, Kate Harris is used to taking the sensible approach. So when she decides that all she wants for Christmas is a family of her own, it seems there’s only one solution.
What Kate hasn’t considered is how the opinion of her friends might de-rail her plans, and almost everyone seems to have a view on what she should do for the best. But when a psychic suggests her destiny is already mapped out for her in red-and-white, Kate’s not sure if she can put her scepticism to one side to listen to any more advice.
There’s a special little boy, Kate hasn’t even met yet, whose whole future hangs on her decision. As Christmas approaches once more, time is running out for St Nicholas Bay to work its magic. Will Kate make the right decision and get the ready-made family she’s never dared dream of, or will it disappear – along with her oldest friend – as Christmas Eve closes in?
I always think novellas are a great choice for Christmas, when you need to fit your reading around collecting the turkey, the frantic shopping trips and tweaking the decorations – and this one was absolutely perfect. Jo Bartlett writes quite beautifully, and I was immediately drawn into the group of friends at its centre (I wish I could be an Old St Nicker too!). The story is just gorgeous – the ticking of the biological clock, perfect friendships, some points where you worry the story might not play out quite as you hope it will, warm and believable romance, a touch of the supernatural, lovely touches of humour, the perfect setting – and I loved every moment. I’m quite blown away by how the author could pack so much into 116 pages, and leave me with a Christmassy glow and a smile on my face. A magical Christmas read, and highly recommended to all. I can’t wait for my next visit to St Nicholas Bay.
My thanks to Jo Bartlett for providing an e-copy of this lovely book for me to read and review.