A Special Cornish Christmas – Phillipa Ashley

Published By: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Released On: 11/11/2021

For Bo Grayson, Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year. Well, until she had her heart broken last December.

At a local summer fete, Bo and her friends meet the mysterious fortune teller Madame Odette, and they are each given the dame prediction: You will meet the love of your life by Christmas.

With just a few months until the festive season, they dismiss the predictions out of hand. Bo’s attentions are focussed on creating the best seasonal menu for her Boatyard Cafe, and her rock and roll dance group – the Falford Flingers – who are hard at work getting ready for their Christmas Spectacular show. The last thing she imagines is that she’ll be ready to open her heart again. But will fate – and perhaps a sprinkle of Christmas magic – change her mind?

*****

Thanks to Avon Books for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

This was such a delightful read that had me hooked right from the start. Whilst, as the title suggests, it’s about a Cornish Christmas, it doesn’t throw the festivities in your face. This wouldn’t normally be a problem for me, as I like full-on festivities, but for some they don’t want Christmas rammed down their throats so this is a genteel introduction.

Whilst I have some of Phillipa’s books, I realised I hadn’t actually read any of them, so this was my first foray into her world and it was a lovely world. There’s some great original characters, all a mixture of light and dark and real human elements. The main character of Bo was very well written; she is feisty but vulnerable, and a great match for Ran and Angel, our other protagonists. There’s a good mix of uplifting holiday magic, but also serious topics such as relationships and marriages ending, and the worry of job security.

Whilst this did follow the happily-ever-after plot I come to expect from Christmas novels, there was the niche introduction of a rock and roll dancing plot point which ran through the whole book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Knowing absolutely nothing about what world, I got the idea that Phillipa had done a lot of research to make it sound believable.

I thoroughly look forward to whatever Phillipa produces next – hopefully another Christmas book!

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