The 12 Books of Christmas: A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley

*I was given an advanced copy of the audiobook for A Surprise Christmas Wedding in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Harper Collins Audio UK and Phillipa Ashley*

A Surprise Christmas Wedding follows Lottie, who at the beginning of the book gets engaged to Connor. This engagement is very quickly called off and the two go their separate ways. 

A year later Lottie is now the event planner for a prestigious estate in the Lake District, which just so happens to be the venue for her ex-fiances wedding to a different woman. His new fiancee has no idea who Lottie is or the past she shares with Connor. They both decide to hide their shared past. 

This was my first book by Phillipa Ashley and it was also the first-ever audiobook I have listened to. I don’t think I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. The narration at times was quite cringey for me. I really did not like the put on the voices, especially the men. Absolutely no hate to the narrator, but it just was not to my liking.  

I have found that I am having trouble remembering most parts of this book. I’m not saying that the story was forgettable however as I didn’t read the book myself I was as immersed in the story. I do remember that it has plenty of festive moments and the scenery sounded wonderful. 

This book was actually quite melancholic at times and it almost put me off but I’m stubborn and I like to finish what I start. I’m definitely the type of person who enjoys fluffy books about Christmas that have little to no conflict.  

I also really did not enjoy the insta-love aspect, and if I’m being completely honest, it felt very juvenile to me. I want to believe in the whole ‘love at first sight’ trope but the execution of it here was somewhat poor. Although there was a while of ‘will they won’t they’ between Lottie and Jay (her neighbour who also works at the estate) when they do finally get together everything happens so quickly. This is probably something that a lot of people will love, but it just did not work for me. 

The best part about this book is probably the family dynamic between Lottie, her sister Steph and Steph’s two young daughters. This book really showcased what a normal family Christmas is like. The family dynamic was not perfect but it is definitely one that most can relate to. 

Overall I am giving this book a 2.5/5. I do think that the low score is mostly down to it being an audiobook. I don’t feel like I really experienced the story properly this way and I probably would have given it a higher score if I had read the book myself.


Like this post? Why not read this one too? The 12 Books of Christmas: One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

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