I embarked on a new reading challenge this year called 20 Books for Christmas. Here are my thoughts on some of the ones that I’ve enjoyed so far that you might like to read too. I’ve chosen 7 fabulously festive women’s fiction books for your Christmas reading.
Christmas at Tiffany’s by Karen Swan
I absolutely loved this book and it was my first from this author. Even though it was a hefty read at over 500 pages, it was easy going and I just kept wanting to read on.
The main character Cassie, spent her childhood at boarding school with three other girls, Kelly, Anouka and Suzy, and the three women remain close friends despite living in different parts of the world. When Cassie’s marriage breaks up, she is whisked away from her home in Scotland by her three friends to spend 4 months with each of them in New York, Paris and London.
The story tells of friends, lovers and adventures along the way. It’s very funny in places but moving too and in some places shocking. Highly recommended.
The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts
This book is exactly as the title suggests – cosy and full of chocolate. We follow Emma, who lives in a lovely little seaside village, as she works on developing her business as the owner of a chocolate shop. There’s a slow burn new love interest too. At 400 plus pages it’s quite a long story for Christmas but easy enough to pick up and put down.
Make sure you have a stash of chocolate close by as the chocolately descriptions are divine. There are boozy truffle and festive chocolate-orange truffle recipes at the end too.
A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams
This took me a while to get into as there were so many characters being I introduced – 3 main characters, their husbands, children, parents and even some of the local community. However, once you get around who’s who it is easy to follow.
It’s quite an emotional story with pregnancy, death, an accident, dealing with cuts in social services and all the usual family drama, with a merry Christmas at the end.
It’s a well-written read with likable characters I enjoyed it.
Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe by Katherine Garbera
It took no time at all getting into this book. It felt like you were reading a Christmas movie. It is set in Manhatten where Iona meets Mads through business connections. Iona is an upmarket cafe/shop owner and Mads the widowed dad of a cute 6-year-old girl.
It really is a stereotypical movie setting and is perfect for getting you in the Christmas mood. Towards the end, I got a little frustrated with the two main characters, but the little girl steals the show. At around 200 pages its a nice quick read with some lovely truffle recipes at the end.
I heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk
Regular Tea & Cake readers will know I’m a big fan of Lindsey Kelk particularly the I heart series and here we have the Christmas version. It could be read as a standalone but I highly recommend starting at the beginning and reading the whole series. Some funny moments as we experience the lead up to Christmas in New York with interim magazine editor Angela and friends.
Fairytale of New York – Miranda Dickinson
I bought a large pile of books by Miranda Dickinson after I read one a couple of years ago and loved it.
Fairy Tale of New York was a new one for me. I enjoyed the author’s straightforward style of writing and the way she inserts interesting snippets of information into the text.
In this book, she concentrated on a small handful of main characters that worked in florists but brought others into the story with much clarity in such a few words. People like the Christmas tree seller, or the man who buys flowers every month for his wife even though they’re in their 80s. Their small parts were just as clear and effortless to read.
Real heart warming stuff. I really enjoyed this.
I’ll Take New York – Miranda Dickinson.
Unbeknown to me when I bought it, I’ll Take New York followed on from Fairytale of New York but focuses on new main characters and is based around a bookshop. Not only do you get to know the new characters, but you catch up with Rosie, Ed, Marnie and Celia from the previous story.
You can usually guess the endings with a book like this but I’ll Take New York could have had 3 possible outcomes. Another winner from Miranda Dickinson.
Authors’ Twitter @wurdsmyth @KarenSwan1 @JCCWilliams @katheringarbera #LindseyKelk @_caroroberts