A few weeks back I shared the prologue from The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley. It really put me in the mood for Christmas and I’m delighted to share my review of this lovely festive read today. If you’d like to read that prologue click here.
About the book
She’s planned the perfect Christmas. But fate might have other ideas…
Krystle didn’t have a normal childhood and longed for warm family Christmases with presents under the tree. Now she makes sure everyone else has the perfect Christmas she never had, bringing beautiful decorations to cheer as many people as possible.
With her festive business booming, she decides to celebrate by renting a secluded house in the Lakes, with a plan to make this the ultimate yuletide getaway.
But fate immediately throws a spanner in the works in the form of a broken-down car, a flooded river and Max; a man who despises Christmas.
Krystle becomes determined to show Max the joys of the holiday. She won’t take no for an answer.
Can she melt Max’s Grinch-like heart? And can he show her that life doesn’t need to go to plan to take you somewhere magical…
This book sees change of location from Philippa Ashley, or at least from those of her books which I’ve read. Most of her books take place in Cornwall but this one is set in the beautiful Lake District. We see just why there are so many lakes in the area when Krystle and her boyfriend Brett arrive in the middle of one stormy night. They do that thing of trusting the satnav which is often not a good idea in rural areas and proves to be disastrous and dangerous here. Luckily, they are rescued from the situation by lovely Max – or is it Mad Max? – and his equally lovely collie dog Jake.
Max is such an enigmatic character. He’s reclusive and a bit anti-social. Yet he’s always willing to help in the community and in the mountain rescue team. He lives in a small bothy which he renovated himself but is very much off grid with no WiFi or tv. Although he lives simply there’s hints that this hasn’t always been the case. He really was most intriguing!
Krystal had a difficult childhood but always dreamed of the perfect Christmas in a big house. Despite the difficulties of her early life she developed that love of Christmas and spends the whole year sourcing Christmas decorations and designing displays for big stores, offices, hotels etc. It was so interesting to read about her work as it’s something I’d never thought about before. While we are taking our decorations down, some people are already planning for the next festive season!
I loved the Lakeland setting of the book with the mountains, becks, beautiful countryside and of course the Lakes. A dusting of snow made it perfect. It was really interesting finding out a bit about the work of the mountain rescue teams. The volunteers were so dedicated and willing to put themselves in truly dangerous situations to rescue people who had had accidents or got lost. The sense of a welcoming community throughout the book was so well done and something I always enjoy reading about.
I think this is probably my favourite Phillipa Ashley book. It’s a gorgeous read about community and love and full of Christmas spirit. There are even reindeer! Definitely one to add to your Christmas reading list.
My thanks to Maddie Dunne Kirby at Avon Books for sending me a copy of the book for review.
The Christmas Holiday is available now in all formats.
About the Author
Phillipa Ashley is a Sunday Times best selling author of heart-warming romantic fiction. After studying English at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist before writing her debut novel, Decent Exposure.
It won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award and was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins.
Her novels have sold almost a million copies and been translated into many languages. She is also an Audible number 1 best-seller.
Phillipa lives in an English village with her husband, has a grown-up daughter and loves nothing better than walking the Lakeland hills and swimming in Cornish coves.
3 thoughts on “The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley | #bookreview #festiveread | @AvonBooksUK @PhillipaAshley | #TheChristmasHoliday”
I knew you’d love this one Joanne!
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Oh yes – one of my favourite books this year!
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