Merry Christmas Cwtchers!
As the presents are wrapped, the giant-enough-food-for-a-month-shopping is done & we approach some fun times with our loved ones, I’d like to take the chance to share with you this year’s Top 7 Cwtch Up Festive Reads 2015. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been counting down the days to the Christmas break & looking forward to cwtching up in a quiet corner with a comfy blanket, a glass of bubbly, a plate of something delicious and a cracking festive read to lose yourself in.
Whether you’ll be able to escape the family madness & indulge in some me-time is another question! If however, you do manage to find a quiet moment or two for yourselves (I really hope you do!) then you can be sure that any of these books will fill you with festive cheer.
In no particular order…(because choosing between them is like choosing between courses for your Christmas Dinner – why choose?! Have them ALL!!)
The first of our two New York-based Christmas romances, Meet Me in Manhattan tells the story of Holly Johnson (great character name!) and the often dodgy world of online dating. Her adventures eventually lead her to the Big Apple on a journey to track down her man. Is there anything more romantic than a snowy New York Christmas? Funny and warm, this book captures modern dating in a perfect, well-wrapped package. I can see that Claudia has written several other Christmassy books too, I’ll be sure to go back & check those out. I’m positive I’ll love them too. Five cwtches! One Wish in Manhattan – Mandy Baggot Our second trip to New York introduces us to Hayley Walker – a single mum on a mission to find her daughter’s biological father; and Oliver Drummond – a bored billionaire seeking a little more meaning in his life. I cannot tell you how much I love Mandy Baggot…but I’ll try! Her books always have the perfect balance of humour & romance and I never fail to fall in love with her leading men. She just gets it bang on EVERY TIME! I know that if I pick up a book by Mandy I’m going to be swept away, off my feet and swooning. A really gorgeous read with loveable characters – Angel is a doll! – Five cwtches!
Jenny Hale just IS Christmas. She gets it perfectly. She creates these amazing backdrops for gorgeous Christmases where loveable people fall in love. What could be better? Again, for the purposes of full disclosure…I’m a big fan! CW&MK is the magical tale of single Mum Abbey Fuller whose dream it is to become an interior designer. With a talent for selecting colours, materials & furniture but a lack of confidence in her own abilities she needs someone to really believe in her talents for her to make that leap into the dream career. In steps Nick Sinclair who needs someone to decorate his house before his family visit for the holidays. Money is no object & time is of the essence. Did I mention he’s gorgeous too?! So just to recap, a gorgeous man with an unlimited budget asks you to decorate his gigantic beautiful home…not gonna lie, I’d be straight in there! I know NOTHING about interior design (I have a pretty hefty Pinterest addiction, does that count?) but I’d learn pretty fast if it meant working for Nick! A really warm, festive tale that for me, truly captures the essence of Christmas…family, food & falling in love. Gorgeous, five cwtches!
The first in the White Cliff Bay series set in the idyllic coastal town, CALC introduces us to a whole cast of colourful characters – something that Holly Martin writes so very well. I really want to live there! Our leading lady Penny Meadows (again, GREAT name) is a talented ice carver with an annexe to rent. Henry is new in town & needs somewhere to live. Can you guess what happens next?! Maybe…LOVE! A really great, five cwtches stand alone book which only gets even better if you then follow it with….
Our second visit to White Cliff Bay where the sticky drama of falling in love with your best friend – and neighbour – is the main thread of the story. You’ll recognise some of the characters & places from the previous book – I must say, I really like this idea, as you really feel like you get to know the town & its residents. The stories are perfectly fine to stand-alone but are really cleverly interwoven too. A nice touch for loyal readers, love it. I hope there are more? Fingers & toes crossed. Five cwtches!
I love a man in a Christmas Jumper. I really do. Throw in a beard & a bit of carol-singing too & you’ll find me in a puddle of swoon. Does that make me odd? Maybe. Anyway, what I was getting at, is that the advice imparted in the title had some way to go to convince me not to pucker up…! I’m a sucker for knitwear. Before we get to the story, firstly, the cover of this book is just GORGEOUS, I absolutely love the design & couldn’t wait to start reading it. It just screams cosy & festive and I know we shouldn’t judge and all that jazz, but c’mon we all do it….Many a book has been bought because of the lure of a pretty cover! This is absolutely NOT all style & no substance however, it’s another really heartwarming story where we get to hear Marco & Maggie’s story, and find ourselves really rooting for them as a couple. (I believe the young things call it “shipping”…yup, totally shipped them.)
Will Maggie spend the holidays alone or snuggled up to a hot Italian in a plastercast? You’ll have to read it to find out! Five cwtches!
I don’t know about you but I am HOOKED on those cookery shows on TV where everything looks perfect and delicious and far too good to be true, the voluptuous TV cook licking her lips and pouting seductively at the camera (naming no names… *cough* Nigella * cough*) I enjoy them even more so at Christmas. Food, food ALL THE FOOOOOOOD!
Bella Bradley is the Queen of TV baking but estranged old school best friend Amy Lane knows Bella’s big secret. Will it be revealed live on TV? Can they ever be friends again? This is a really funny and relatable read about friendship, family and food (obvs…did I mention FOOD?) set against the not-so-glamorous backdrop of television cookery.
This will make you hungry, no matter how many mince pies you’ve eaten. Luckily for us, there’s a really gorgeous recipe included so it won’t be long before you can create your own deliciousness! A lip-licking five cwtches!
Big thanks to the authors & publishers for the review copies – you make my heart VERY happy indeed.