*I was given a copy of A Christmas Celebration in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK and Heidi Swain*
When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life.
One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
All three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but with Christmas on the horizon, is that really the best way to celebrate the season?
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book, I read Heidi’s previous festive novel and liked it but there was some kind of magic in this one. I’ve never rated a Christmas book five stars before but this one completely stole my heart.
This isn’t important to the review, but it meant a lot to me personally. Paige makes a joke about Bran the dog taking a fancy to a custard cream or three and that made me very happy as I once knew a special doggy that did the same thing.
Brodie’s personality seemed to instantly change. The first couple of times he and Paige interacted he was really grumpy and then at the opticians, he was really nice, joked around a bit, and asked her out for a drink. This was very confusing at first but don’t worry it all gets explained. He’s actually quite sweet and almost an entirely different person by the end of the book. In a good way obviously.
Paige was an interesting main character her past is really reflected in how she acts and the subtly of how this both affects and changes her by the end of the book is very well done. She was completely selfless and extremely likable.
My favourite characters by far were Molly and Albert. I love Molly because of her witchy spiritualness, I really was not expecting this in a Christmas novel. She was always so easygoing and had a general floatiness about her that was just great.
Then there’s Albert who completely stole my heart. His character development throughout the book was incredible to see and he was so cute. I love the relationship he has with Paige and how she basically becomes his adopted daughter – this isn’t a canon thing in the book but they gave me that vibe.
I liked the nod to last year’s festive novel with the Christmas trees coming from the Wynter farm. Then later in the book some of the secondary characters take a trip there in order to keep the Christmas celebration a surprise.
Romance was very much a background feature in a Christmas celebration and I actually really liked that. This was much more than a romance novel, it was utterly feel-good and the non-romantic relationships Paige forms were so important. A Christmas Celebration is by far my favourite festive read of the year.
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Like this post? Why not read this one too: The 12 Books of Christmas: The Naughty Or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan