But when ghosts of partners past, a tangled web of secrets and the demands of a reality television show strike at the very heart of Gemma’s plans, her dreams of the perfect Christmas crumble. Will she still find her Christmas escape? Or is Gemma just running away?
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I was so pleased to be asked to review this book after reading and reviewing Escape for the Summer which was one of my favourite reads of the Summer. This book follows the same characters as Escape for the Summer but can be read as a standalone.
This book is mainly about Gemma and Cal and is set in the big mansion house of Kenniston where the filming of ‘Bread and Butlers’ takes place. This was the idea of Lady Angel Elliott, Gemma’s best friend, to raise money to keep the household running as it was falling into disrepair. It’s supposed to be a fly on the wall documentary about Kenniston and the people who live there. The characters involved with the filming are now famous and most have signed up to allow the film crew to follow them everywhere around the grounds. This can lead to embarrassing situations at times which had me laughing out loud.
However Gemma Pengelley has not signed up for another year and is becoming disheartened by her once famous football player boyfriend, Cal, having done so. She is now famous within her own rights after writing a baking book around her job of baking in the premises and shop set up within the grounds of Kenniston. She runs the bakery with Cal who discovered his passion for baking in the first book. Their life as a couple is struggling as Cal is always so tired by his filming commitments and the fact that their tiny cottage, called Lion Lodge, is so cold that they go to bed in layers. Gemma wants to leave the area and the filming and move back to her home area of Cornwall. Her heart is broken when she finds that a house that she has her heart set on as been sold and is being renovated by others.
The story covers the struggles of these characters and you wonder if they will get through it. Especially as Cal’s mother does not seem to like Gemma and is constantly comparing her to Cal’s old girlfriend and next door neighbour Aoife. This fact is not helped by them still being friends and for some reason there seems to be a secret between them.
The ups and downs in the book are good and I could not wait to read the conclusion. I have to say that although I enjoyed this book and it is set around Christmas I feel you could read it most times of the year. If I am truthful my favourite was the Summer book but that does not put me off recommending this one. Thanks for the opportunity.
I'd like to thank Ruth for sending us a copy of Escape for Christmas and Tanya for another fab review.