by Carole Matthews
Publication Date - 24th October 2013
Publisher - Sphere
Amazon Description - Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born.
Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients.
When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go . . . Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life.
Join Cassie as she takes you on a romantic and emotional rollercoaster ride in Calling Mrs Christmas.
For me, Christmas films just don't cut it. Of course, I have a few favourite festive movies I like to watch with my family. Oliver! is an absolute must in the run up to Christmas. But they aren't what I rely on to get me into the Christmas spirit. Christmassy books are what I love, the things which make me feel the most festive and excited. As soon as December the first comes around (I make myself wait until this date, it's very difficult) I buy about five books with the world 'Christmas' somewhere on the cover and get lost in a soppy, sickly, snow-covered world.
One of the first books I read this December was Calling Mrs Christmas. I must say that I wasn't expecting much from this book. I thought that it would be a quick, easy read, girl with horrible boyfriend, meets rich, lovely man, they fall in love and that's the end of that. No other stories in the background, not too much concentration needed. I was completely wrong. I won't give too much of the plot away but the ending was really not what I had predicted.
I really enjoyed this book. Cassie is a strong, likeable main character and I was willing her to do well for herself throughout the book. Jim was a kind, supportive partner and I thought it was nice that he was given a small story line of his own with the boys in the young offenders unit. It gave the story a bit more depth and threw an extra few weepy moments in too. That can never be a bad thing can it? I found Carter Randall to be quite pushy and annoying. He was a sweet and attentive father but the way he wouldn't take no for an answer really got on my nerves at times.
This book really was Christmas through and through. The trip to Lapland was written so beautifully that I really felt I was sleeping in the Ice Hotel and cuddling Huskies myself! It seemed like an amazing trip of a lifetime yet it stayed believable, the description of the scenery and Cassie's surroundings were in-depth enough so that I could totally imagine where she was but not to the extent that I was bored.
There were quite a few bits which made me cry, not a difficult task, and there were plenty of sweet moments but they didn't seem saccharine. I think this will definitely be going into the archive of Christmas books which I read every December. Four stars (4*).