New to me author Jenny Hale is on the blog today with a new Christmas themed romance full of changes and growth and holiday spirit. Please read on for my review of
We’ll Always Have Christmas
Noelle has had a rough year: losing her beloved Gran, struggling to give her young son what he needs, and now: losing her job just weeks before Christmas. She’s moved back home with her parents, but having a struggle to decide what next. An opportunity to provide care for an elderly man, with living quarters included at a salary she can’t refuse opens up – and she jumps at the chance. This causes no little concern from her parents and grandfather – the Harrington family: rich, removed from the doings in town are the family she will be working for. But, this is what Noelle sees as a stop-gap move: she can earn good money, provide her son Lucas with the Christmas he deserves, and continue to plan for her dream: taking over the Hope and Sugar bakery: her family’s bakery started by her beloved Gran.
But, then the shoes start to drop: the bakery isn’t making money and with her grandfather aging and her father unable to turn it around, combined with the increase in rent – the family has decided to close the shop, leaving Noelle reeling and feeling like she’s lost her gran all over again. To make matters worse, the person who hired her: Alex, is wonderfully welcoming and Lucas has formed an instant attachment to him and she’s not far behind. When she meets William, Alex’s grandfather – more secrets and tensions start to unfold – and she’s finding herself at the center of an ages old estrangement and a story of lost love. Unwilling to just give up on mending fences between Alex and his grandfather, OR making her dreams come true by trying to turn the bakery’s custom around – she’s soon a mass of conflicting feelings, unanswered questions and struggling with Alex’s stated desire to leave Richmond for New York, never to return.
So many stories here – the mystery of William’s lost love and his estrangement from Alex, Alex’s refusal to consider staying in the family home, her own grief at the twofold loss of gran and bakery, and her own concerns for Lucas and his growing attachment to Alex. Through dogged determination and her belief that she can make a difference in the bakery, in William and Alex’s life and her growing feelings for Alex – Noelle moves forward using her own joy of Christmas and the ‘traditions’ she grew up with and has shared with Lucas to make those changes. Secondary characters: including her two best friends and her sister, her parents and her strong memories of her Gran and her optimistic outlook on life bring an emotional context to the wonderful atmosphere that Hale has created here.
Truly a story that brings hope and forgiveness to the forefront with Noelle’s gentle coaxing (and occasional stamp her feet and refuse to let an issue go) work on both Alex and William as she arranges moments for them to be together, despite their unwillingness to interact even as neither wants to disappoint her or Lucas. And Lucas, as a quiet and curious little soul is just marvelous – always reading, constantly watching and observing those around him: so enriched by Noelle’s obvious devotion and caring. While the issue that Alex hangs his hat on as reason for resenting his grandfather is actually pretty easy to puzzle out early on, the resolution of the many issues and the new starts that come because of Noelle brings this lovely read to a wonderful conclusion and makes it a perfect holiday read.
Title: We'll Always Have Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Holiday Themed
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 18 September, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 13 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
An enchanting story about the magic of Christmas, the importance of family, and the joy of falling in love during the most romantic season of the year…
Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…
The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.
Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.
As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson - the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington…
In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?
Unwrap the feeling of Christmas in this beautiful novel celebrating friendship, family and love that lasts a lifetime. We’ll Always Have Christmas is the perfect treat for fans of Karen Swan, Susan Mallery and Sue Moorcroft.
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: