Last year was – I think – one of the very best years for Christmas books, but if you really forced me to pick my favourite, I think it might just have been A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (you’ll find my review here – and it’s available in paperback this year too, so everyone can enjoy it). So I was really rather excited to be able to read an early copy (with thanks to publishers Choc Lit) of this year’s Christmas book from the author – A Little Christmas Charm is published today, available from Amazon in the UK and US for kindle (just 99p in the UK at the moment) and as an audio book, and is also available on all other major e-book platforms. Let’s take a closer look…
Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.
But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?
I’ll admit that I didn’t entirely warm to the characters at the book’s start – Gabby seems a bit of a cold fish, Owen the kind of flashy salesman type that I’d usually cross the street to avoid, and the initial focus on the world of work wasn’t really quite what I was expecting. But, as I read on, I just loved the way their brittle layers were shed to reveal a heroine struggling to come to terms with many years of rejection, and a hero who won my heart as the depths of his (and his own vulnerability) were uncovered. This was such clever writing, capturing that slow thaw as they both, slowly and surely, grew to realise that they’d found something rather special.
The supporting cast was particularly wonderful, and rather made the story for me – particularly Owen’s father, complete with his budgie and hens, and Owen’s PA Hilda. The family content of this book is just so very well done – there’s Gabby’s difficult relationship with her mother too, and the complications caused by young Zoe and her mother Stella. There are times in this book you almost want to cover your eyes – or intervene because you can see how everything’s going so badly wrong as the countdown to Christmas continues – and feel a real frustration that they don’t just all talk to each other and sort things out. Don’t get the impression though that it’s a book filled with angst and soul searching – it’s a quite gorgeous and heartwarming read, with some wonderful touches of humour, even a few laugh-out-loud set pieces, and enough tinsel and Christmas lights for the most ardent Christmas fan.
The full blurb for this book mentions that it’s linked to A Little Christmas Faith, but it certainly isn’t a sequel – in fact, I wondered quite what the link was until not far from the end. But when you come across it, it’s an absolute treat, and – if you loved the book – well worth waiting for. Another lovely read from Kathryn Freeman – I really enjoyed this one.
About the author
I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.