It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Sue Moorcroft’s writing so it’ll come as no surprise to hear that I absolutely loved this one. I particularly enjoyed virtual visits to Sweden at several points throughout the novel. The little shops and streets of Stockholm sounded wonderful and I am deeply envious of the snow. I was so pleased though to pay a visit again to Middledip, one of my favourite fictional settings, and to visit at Christmas time was extra special.
The story focuses on Hannah who we first meet in her boutique shop in Stockholm, where she lives with her boyfriend. She is surprised by a visit from her brother’s friend, Nico. Nico used to play ice hockey with Rob when living in the UK as a teenager. When unforeseen circumstances mean that Hannah loses her shop, she returns home to help look after her elderly Nan, and finds that Nico has also moved to Middledip with his young daughter Josie and Josie’s half sister, Maria.
I don’t want to say too much about the main characters, Hannah and Nico, as I’d like you to meet them and get to know them for yourself. However, I will say that Albin is the villain of the piece and my goodness how I hated his calculated cruelty towards Hannah. He really was a nasty piece of work! By contrast, Josie and Maria are child characters who will melt your heart. I especially loved when little Maria calls Nico ‘Mydad’, it brought a lump to my throat.
It was lovely to catch up with Ratty who featured in Starting Over and who makes a few cameo appearances. I think that Ratty now has competition for the position of my favourite of Sue Moorcroft’s leading men as Nico is such a wonderful creation – sorry Ratty!
Despite her books being romantic fiction, Sue Moorcroft doesn’t shy away from tackling big issues not often seen in contemporary fiction. For example in this book we see a male character affected by an eating disorders. I think it’s really important to realise that this is something experienced by men too as it’s often quite often a hidden issue.
There is also a character who is struggling with alcohol and substance dependence. Sue Moorcroft shows clearly the effect this has, not just on immediate family but the extended family too. This is something which has touched our family in the past and I can say that I feel that Sue Moorcroft has depicted this situation sensitively and authentically. She shows how some people step up to help, whether something is their responsibility or not. And she also shows how people who should be helping, sometimes just don’t.
For all these rather heavy sounding issues, this book is a joy to read. As I expected and hoped, Sue Moorcroft draws all the strands of her story together beautifully by the end. This is a heart-warming and uplifting read, oozing Christmas charm. I have probably said this before about her previous novels, but I think that Christmas Wishes could well be Sue Moorcroft’s best book yet.
My thanks to the publishers, Avon Books UK, for my review copy of the book from Netgalley. Christmas Wishes is published today in paperback. At a difficult time for bookshops, please support a local book retailer if you can. If that’s not possible, you will find the book in many supermarkets or you will find buying options for various retailers on the Avon website here: Christmas Wishes
From the back of the book
A sparkling Christmas read from the Sunday Times bestseller – perfect to snuggle up with this winter!
Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.
But fate is keeping them apart…
As soon as Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after.
When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?
About the Author
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel Award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Her novels of love and life are currently released by publishing giant HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by an array of publishers in other countries.
An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. Now she has the best job in the world … author.
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