Tilly Tennant returns to the blog today with a holiday romance that travels from London to the Peak Districts to Lapland in a hope to fulfill a wish promised in
The Christmas Wish
I have to start by saying that I adore Tilly Tenant and her stories, and the way she manages to craft characters that could be ripped from your life and put on the page. That being said – I had some seriously difficult times with Esme and her lack of self-awareness – and perhaps that was the point. So while this story started out a bit overly-angsty, with a not so surprise return from Esme’s moronic and abusive ex, complete with attempted bullying, guilt tripping and assorted other childish behaviors straight in the face of someone who was just starting to recapture her own feet beneath her…. I honestly thought that she would cave. And Kudos to Tennant for not allowing Warren’s influence to dismantle Esme once again.
As for the trip, the joy found in the atmosphere in Lapland, the inclusion of Brian and Hortense and their very ‘in your face’ affection that felt very much a ‘vacation romance’ at first, then took on a life of its own as the two are eminently suited. The attraction to Zach, and his grief balanced out by a genuine ability to see Esme as she is, not through her own lenses colored by the ever-insecure Warren, and the reticence that Zach showed early on that has Esme questioning his sexuality and finding that it made her far more comfortable and free in his company after years of being isolated by Warren that perfectly illustrated the slow dissolving of the walls built around Esme with plenty of encouragement by Warren, that isolated her and created an endless cacophony of self-defeating voices criticizing her every move. All with Zach’s help, even if his own behavior was often erratic and far too confusing for someone in Esme’s stage of growth.
But, with a careful eye (and ear) to the voice and wishes of Matilda in her head, the stand-off / show-down with Warren on the last night, and Esme’s own decisions to firm up plans to live at her house and not in an overpriced London flat, were clearly coalescing and showing her well on the way to healing and reconnecting with things lost during her relationship. Coming back a year later and discovering the slowly-progressing relationship with Zach, a renovated and reinvigorated cottage still filled with Matilda’s things but brighter and livelier because of Esme at the heart of things brought a lovely hopeful sense to the story, and showed the growth and change that Esme has achieved, once the weight of Warren was lifted away. Perhaps not a favorite of mine by Tennant, but one of her most skillful in the depiction of the changes that are possible, even when things seem most dire.
Title: The Christmas Wish
Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: British, Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Setting: Lapland
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 22 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Lose yourself in this beautiful romantic comedy set in a land of sleigh rides, sparkling starry skies and gingerbread cottages. Perfect for fans of Karen Swan, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell.
Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme Greenwood. Recently jilted by her cheating fiancee Warren, she’s had enough of London life and escapes to Thimble Cottage in the Peak District, home of her beloved grandmother Matilda.
While Esme mourns for the wedding she’ll never have, Matilda puts her granddaughter back together again with comforting words and generous helpings of fruitcake and together, they plan the trip of a lifetime, to Lapland to see the northern lights, somewhere Matilda has always dreamt of going.
But tragedy strikes and when Matilda dies, Esme screws up the courage to go on the trip on her own to honour her beloved grandmother’s wishes. At the airport she meets a motley crew of characters including Zach, a handsome, brooding, out-of- work actor and together they set off for an adventure.
Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, Esme and Zach grow closer. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something very significant - will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent of Zach’s own secret past, is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.