Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Veronica Henry - Christmas at the Crescent (A Noella)

**Review by Stacey

Behind the gorgeous Georgian sweep of Pelham Crescent, Bath, everyone's getting ready for Christmas...

At Number 14, Josie Ballard is up to her ears in brandy, raisins and cherries as she battles to make forty Christmas puddings to sell at Bath Christmas Market. Ever since Giles walked out the day their baby was born, Josie has had to work twice as hard to make ends meet. Sacrificing a career as a chef, her famous steamed puddings keep her and her gorgeous baby boy Titus afloat. Almost. So when, in the middle of Stir Up Sunday, a new neighbour in the Crescent complains about the noise that Titus is making, Josie gives him a basinful...

Giles, meanwhile, is finding life in the fast lane with his uber-glamorous new girlfriend Rebecca rather draining. With one party blurring into another, he's now wondering if he hasn't made a terrible mistake in abandoning Josie and his child. Isn't it time he grew up, his mother asks, and Giles is starting to agree. So when he discovers Josie has a handsome new neighbour, Giles decides it's time to step up to his parental duties...

Christmas just got complicated.

If you've read my previous reviews of Christmas reads you will know I am completely sucked in by a beautiful cover and this one is snow different! Add to that the fact the blurb mentions food, and I'm right there!

So Christmas at the Crescent introduces us to Josie who has just set up a new business in order to provide for her son Titus, after his father (Giles) left them stranded in the hospital when he was born and she sacrificed her career to stay home with him. As any 10 month old baby, Titus is rather noisy and her new neighbour from upstairs finds it rather annoying, but Josie isn't having any of it...

Nevertheless, Josie and her neighbour strike up a friendship which she starts to think might lead to a budding romance - but boy was she mistaken. Meanwhile, Giles takes note of the new neighbour and decides to step up his fatherly duties. An unfortunate accident leaves Josie unable to care for herself or Titus so Giles really steps up and realises what an idiot he has been. Can taking charge of their son bring them back together or has their fate already been sealed?...

"The flakes drifted down dreamily at first, as soft as goose-feathers, whirling around in the gelid winter air until they kissed the ground."

I loved reading this throughout, it was so descriptive and I actually wanted to dive into the book and eat everything Josie made. It was full of snow (which I always love) and it did actually concentrate on the Christmas period - Veronica made Bath at Christmas sound amazing and also made me want to visit! I will probably read this again next year to get me in the spirit! A wonderfully short read for a cosy day indoors.

You can keep in touch with Veronica and news about her books on her website or Twitter.

Get your copy of Christmas at the Crescent here (UK) or here (US).

I purchased this book myself and wasn't asked to write this review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

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