When Carrie Blake is employed by Adam Fletcher to be a nanny to his two children, twins Olivia and David, little does she realise what a mess the family is in. Adam doesn’t appear to have a relationship with his children; he is a part-time father but main provider for the twins. This breaks Carrie’s heart and, for better or for worse, she makes it her mission to unite the family before her time with the family is up.
A Christmas to Remember is the first book to be read as part of my seasonal feature – Lisa’s 12 Books of Christmas – and if the next eleven are half as good as this book then I am in for a festive treat sweeter than a candy cane pooped by Rudolph….which, on reflection, is not the prettiest of images. However, I feel it adequately expresses how I felt about this book. It was lovely.
You see, I often have a problem with romance books. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of good old fashioned romance and will often swoon along with my leading ladies but I do worry that chick-lit set at Christmas time can be a sugary overload – too saccharine. Jenny Hale balanced this perfectly.
The story had a slight Dickensian quality to it, with references to A Christmas Carol peppered lightly (and sometimes not so discreetly) but it was a lovely, modernised retelling.
What was especially lovely is that you saw the love story unfold slowly, timidly. Both of the main characters, Carrie and Adam, had both been either burnt before or just lacked self belief but as they got to know each other their relationship became almost tangible as it flew off the page.
The further complications of having a small family, the part time position, beautiful-leggy-red-haired-assistants provided perfect obstacles for the characters love story. What was also rather lovely is that you did not just fall for the main characters and the development of their romance but you fell for Adam’s family too who were just holiday card perfect…even with their imperfections as a family unit.
Having never read anything by Jenny Hale before I now feel that I have found an author on whom I can count for a lovely, realistic piece of escapist fiction.
Brava Jenny Hale!
A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale is available from October 10th, 2014.
You can follow Jenny Hale on Twitter @jhaleauthor