Festive Fiction Feature – some ideas for your Christmas reading list

You know that old saying ‘so many books, so little time’. This year more than ever, it has been true for me and especially for all the Christmas books I’d hoped to read and review. The combination of preparing for Christmas and helping one of my daughters get ready to move to Canada to do an semester exchange at Uni after Christmas (cross your fingers for her please!) has meant that reluctantly I’ve had to accept that I just will not be able to fit in all the lovely books on my Christmas reading list. I might still fit in another couple of festive reads over the next ten days or so, so you may find another couple of reviews coming your way.

Rather than not mention these books at all, I thought I’d do a blogpost featuring them so you can have a look and see if you fancy any of them. If you do, I’d urge you to buy from a bookshop if possible, Failing that, Bookshop.org or Hive.co.uk are great ways to buy books online while still supporting bookshops and your local high street.

The Patchwork Girls by Elaine Everest

1939. After the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Helen is returning home to her mother’s house in Biggin Hill, Kent – the one place she vowed she’d never go back to again.

Alone and not knowing where to turn, Helen finds herself joining the local women’s sewing circle despite being hopeless with a needle and thread. These resourceful women can not only make do and mend clothes, quilts and woolly hats, but their friendship mends something deeper in Helen too. Lizzie is a natural leader, always ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Effie has uprooted her life from London to keep her two little girls away from the bombing raids, and the sewing circle is a welcome distraction from worries about how to keep a roof over their heads and about her husband too, now serving in active duty overseas.

When the reason for Helen’s husband’s death comes to light, her world is turned upside down yet again. The investigating officer on the case, Richard, will leave no stone unturned, but it’s not long before his interest in Helen goes beyond the professional. As she pieces together old fabrics into a beautiful quilt, will Helen patch up the rifts in her own life?

Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson

Two people. One month to fall in love.

Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.

Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.

But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?

A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch

It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.

A DASH OF DECEPTION

Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…

A MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE

Secrets mull in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

A Winter in Wonderland by Isla Gordon

Myla is the UK’s least-festive woman. Starting the year she found out the truth about Santa Claus, everything bad that’s ever happened to her occurs around Christmas. Nowadays, she wants nothing to do with this time of year, so of course she would lose the bet with her sister and be forced to put herself forward for a seasonal job in Lapland, welcoming tourists to Santa’s winter wonderland for the holidays.

Ten weeks, temperatures well below freezing, days that are mostly dark, and the need to stay brimming with Christmas spirit doesn’t fill Myla with joy as she heads off to the arctic circle for winter in Finland. But as she discovers that Lapland is more than Santa Claus’s Village, the very last person she ever thought she’d fall for turns out to be a man who plays an Elf, and who is bound to stay in character at all times.

Will a little love under the Northern Lights convince Myla that her bad luck might finally have come to an end?

A Special Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

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

When Bo Grayson and her friends meet a mysterious fortune teller, she gives each woman the same prediction: You will meet the love of your life by Christmas Day.

But Bo quickly dismisses this as nonsense. And with the festive season in full swing, she has plenty to keep her busy: creating the seasonal menu for her Boatyard Café, getting her rock and roll dance group ready for their Christmas show – and avoiding thinking about last December, when her fortune took a turn for the worse…

Besides, she definitely isn’t ready to open her heart again. But will fate – and perhaps a sprinkle of Christmas magic – change her mind?

The Country Village Winter Wedding by Cathy Lake

Clare Greene and Sam Wilson are getting married and everyone in Little Bramble is excited for the event of the year. But Clare and Sam are busy people and have left organising their wedding to the last minute.

Luckily, wedding planner Hazel Campbell has recently moved to the village. She had what she thought was a wonderful life in Edinburgh with a successful business, a loving fiancé and her own wedding coming up. But when she caught her groom-to-be in bed with her best friend she fled, leaving everyone and everything behind.

Little Bramble seems like the ideal place for Hazel to start over. As she throws herself into planning the perfect country village winter wedding, she starts to find herself again. And soon she realises that a second chance at happiness might just be on the cards . . .

They all sound great don’t they? I hope you see something in that selection which you like the sound of. Thanks to all the publicists and publishers who sent me copies of these books and apologies to them – and of course the authors – if I don’t find time to read them.


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