Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley
Christmas has always been a sad time for young widow Holly Brown, so when she's asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors, the opportunity to hide herself away is irresistible -- the perfect excuse to forget about the festivities. Sculptor, Jude Martland, is determined that this year there will be no Christmas after his brother runs off with his fiancee and he is keen to avoid the family home. However, he will have to return by the twelfth night of the festivities, when the hamlet of Little Mumming hold their historic festivities and all of his family are required to attend. Meanwhile, Holly is finding that if she wants to avoid Christmas, she has come to the wrong place. When Jude unexpectedly returns on Christmas Eve he is far from delighted to discover that Holly seems to be holding the very family party he had hoped to avoid. Suddenly, the blizzards come out of nowhere and the whole village is snowed in. With no escape, Holly and Jude get much more than they bargained for -- it looks like the twelve days of Christmas are going to be very interesting indeed!
My first Christmas read of 2010 and I am already excited! Oh how I wish to live in a big house in the country, completely snowed in with Holly to cater for the whole festive period.
I was first introduced to Trisha Ashley through her previous release, Chocolate Wishes and I was soon a fan, so when I heard her next book was due to be released, I was eager for a copy and I was not disappointed. Even the cover is beautiful and Christmassy. The large, country house with the snow glistening on the cover sets the scene perfectly.
Holly is a professional house sitter, who looks after clients houses while they are away. When she is asked by her boss to look after a remote house at Little Mumming over the festive period, it is ideal as Holly, who was bought up by her Strange Baptist grandmother, who celebrated only the religious festival of Christmas, and who has recently died and is also mourning the death of her husband some years ago, also around Christmas, the idea of getting away from the festivities are perfect.
Holly arrives at the house, with her Grandmothers treasured tin full of memories and her diaries, looks forward to a quiet time, however, it does not go to plan, when the owners family all talk about spending the Christmas period at the house, although the owner has disappeared to America on business and to avoid his brother and ex-fiance who spoilt the previous Christmas by getting together. As Christmas draws nearer, and the snow gets worse, more relatives drop into the house along with Jude, the owner, who decides Holly should stay and cater for them all. What is the attraction between Jude and Holly? or Holly and Michael? Will they all stay for the Twelfth Night festivities?
I loved this book. Set in a small country village, with real village community, pulling together when the weather got worse and they were cut off and the winter scenes were great for curling up at night and reading. The story was great, with twists and turns. I really loved the diary entries from Holly's nan at the start of each chapter - this was a story in its own right and I was eager to find out what happened to her as much as Holly. It was a book I could get lost in each night and really wanted to carry on to find out what happened. The characters became friends, although Jude was standoffish to start off with, and then came good - I really wish I could have seen Jude's finished sculpture, it sounded stunning!
I would recommend this book to all who want to get in the Christmassy mood, or want to get lost in a good book over the winter period, but don't read it when you are hungry. The meals Holly cooks all sound delicious. Trisha has added a few recipes to the end of the book which I think i am going to have to try.
A great read, thank you to Charlotte Allen at Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review.