Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Reading Challenge: Carole Matthews - Calling Mrs Christmas

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.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

If you follow Carole Matthews on Twitter or Facebook then you'll probably have noticed that she's a huge Christmas addict, if she's not talking about writing her latest Christmas book then she's often talking about the new decorations that she's bought sometimes as early as in the summertime!  So I had high expectations for her latest Christmas novel Calling Mrs Christmas and having just finished it I can firmly say it has taken over as my favourite of her Christmas stories.

Cassie Smith has become stuck in a rut and disillusioned with her self-worth after being out of work for months having been made redundant.  As the Christmas adverts start to appear on the TV it makes her feel even worse to realise that she and boyfriend Jim, a prison officer at a young offenders institute, will really have to cut back this year as he doesn't earn enough to support them both financially and have the type of Christmas she would love.

But at the same time it gives her an idea that maybe she could set up her own business organising Christmas for others who don't have the time or inclination to do so, after all how hard can it be? 

What initially starts off as a pipe dream soon takes off as she gets more work than she can possibly handle on her own so she ropes in Jim, her sister Gaby and even a couple of Jim's inmates to help write cards, wrap presents and even be Santa! But when local businessman Carter Randall employs her, is he interested in more than the professional services that she offers?...

As well as Cassie's story there is also a secondary story featuring Jim and his desire to help two of the young boys in his care, Rozzer and Smudge, that made this book more than just a Christmas story.  Both boys are due to be released shortly and he's worried about what their future holds, as neither of their families want anything to do with them, so he's determined to do whatever he can to help them on the outside.  

Cassie was such a likeable character, it was fun to see her getting carried away with her research, so that she could learn to make the perfect bow, wrap presents etc, and with her desire to give everyone the perfect Christmas.  As for Jim, he was such a sweetheart helping her with whatever task she needed help with even after completing a manic shift at work. 

If you're not yet in the Christmas spirit then I'd definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book as it's such a fun festive read that will certainly help you to feel Christmassy. I have to confess that after reading about Cassie's stay in the Ice Hotel and seeing the Northern Lights, something that's on my bucket list, I really want to go there even more now myself.... maybe next year! 

I'd like to thank Jo at Sphere for sending me a copy of this book to review. 

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