*I was sent a copy of Christmas By The Coast in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Aria & Aries and Mady Baggot.*
After a terrible heartbreak, Harriet Cookson worked hard to build her life back up. Now she has a dependable boyfriend, a great job and a decent flatshare. But when her beloved grandmother passes away, Harriet drops everything to fly out to the Hamptons to comfort her grieving grandpa.
Christmas is coming and as she arrives on the sandy beaches of her childhood in Montauk, Long Island, Harriet spots someone she never expected to see again – her ‘one that got away’, ex-soldier Mack Wyatt. Now, Mack is determined to win Harriet back and show her that the life she’s been living might be the wrong happily-ever-after.
Honestly, before writing this review I really did not know how I felt about this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I’m very much on the fence.
One part I really did like about this book was the disability representation, Mack is a veteran amputee. It was honestly very refreshing to see this type of representation in a festive romance as you genuinely don’t see it very often. Well either that or I’m just not reading those types of books.
The overall story was nice and I liked how Harriet and Mack already had a connection and basically a relationship before the book is set. I often get tired of the insta-love that comes with festive romances, so seeing a relationship happen between people that already had a romantic past was a nice change.
Apparently, Harriet has two different names and when I say this was confusing, it really was. Harriet’s other name was used without any explanation and as this is a review copy I thought it was just a typo. However, when it happend a few times I had to guess that it was intentional. This didn’t make it any less confusing. The two different names were not clarified until a little while later and I feel like this should have been done from the start.
The major issue with this book for me was that it did not feel festive in the slightest. Now, this could just be me, but I think the beachy setting and how everything came back the summer months that Harriet was usually there killed the Christmas feeling. There were quite a few festive events, however, they didn’t focus on the festivities very much.
When I read these types of books I like to be slapped in the face with Christmas and have none stop Christmassy vibes. So honestly this could be something that only I was disappointed with.
The romance wasn’t awful but it was a bit disappointing. Mack and Harriet seem like a good match but I just didn’t ‘vibe’ with them. I really, really wanted to like them, but I don’t know there was just something missing.
Christmas By The Coast had very interesting side characters that I actually preferred over the main characters. I would have loved to actually meet Harriet’s grandmother as she seemed like such a colourful character, but the whole point of the plot was that she wasn’t there she that wouldn’t have made sense. The little glimpses that you do get about her character are wonderful.
I was actually a little annoyed that you never actually get to see Harriet live out her dream with her cute gift shop. After seeing her stuck in her property business with Iain for so long I was hoping to see at least one closing scene where she was finally actually happy.
It may not seem like it from this review, but I did like this book. It definitely isn’t my favourite festive romance of all time, but it isn’t my least favourite either. If you are the type of person that enjoys Christmas but doesn’t want to let go of a slight summer feeling then you will enjoy Christmas By The Coast.
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