Hi all, this is the second of five special Xmas reviews I’m doing this week. Not a bad read, although I preferred the book I first reviewed Never Kiss A Man In A Xmas Jumper so make sure to check that out two.
Author: Sue Moorcroft
Ahhh The Christmas Promise, a story of love, overcoming life’s obstacles, revenge porn, hats, and a smattering of the softest soft-core pornography. Yeah, not quite what I was expecting either.
I must admit we got off to a bad start. That was pretty much entirely the fault of Ava, our main character milliner (hat maker), who I could not think of a single reason to like until about half way through the book. We’re seemed to be expected to like her on the basis that she’s the main character, but I’m sorry love, you say you can’t go out with our smexy love interest because your best friend likes him, yet that seems a bit insincere when you lie to her face about him and keep kissing him despite claiming not to want to. I could not see why Sam (see smexy love interest above), pursued her so relentlessly, apart from the fact that Ava is obviously supposed to be incredibly gorgeous since three of the five male leads express interest in her, and one male lead is her Dad. In one of their first conversations Sam says “Tell me about hat making.” To which she replies “If I could explain it in a conversation I wouldn’t have spent four years learning how to do it.”
Okay love, calm down.
I did warm up to her when she started actually showing kind-heartedness as opposed to other cast members telling me she was kind hearted, but it took a while. I did like Sam, for the most part, bar a slightly overbearing case of nice-guy near the beginning, it was soon forgotten and he became what you want in a romantic interest, innovative and exciting with swooshing 90’s hair.
The plot could have used a bit of a touch-up, it seemed strange to me that a lot of the characters in their thirties were still relying on parental support. When Ava’s ex turns up and starting being a waffle-basket all over the place no one seems particularly embarrassed by the spectacles. Wendy, Sam’s sick mother, makes a very contrived plot point that the main characters need to pretend to date for…. Some reason? Ava’s supposed to be very selfless but I never actually saw her do anything self-sacrificing until near the end, everything up to that point was massively beneficial to her. Not saying she shouldn’t do it, just that doing things for yourself isn’t part of the altruistic routine. And I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a romance book, because it’s usually the men doing it to the women, but no more of Sam being emotional manipulated, please?
There were parts I enjoyed, though, despite her being used for a contrived plot point Wendy’s struggling with Cancer was touching and tastefully done. I especially love her sister, living with Wendy, looking after each other – very heart-warming and made for good fireside snuggle reading. The hat business was also fun, with the hat designs and the slightly trashy footballer’s wife who models them making, loud entrances where she’s least expected. Ava’s parents as well, made a very festive feel appearance. Then I warmed up to the romance and Ava (although I still can’t claim to really like her) and I was away enjoying the book.
So while not perfect I did end up having fun with it, it’s an easy Christmas read that at least was worht the time it took to read – even if I won’t do so agian.