Title: The Christmas Promise
Author: Sue Moorcroft
Series: – –
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
Source: ARC from Avon via NetGalley
This sounded like a cute Christmas read that’s perfect to curl up with in the lengthening evenings – plus I was intrigued by Ava’s millinery skills.
That’s not quite what I got. Ava lives in Camden with her friends, constantly pleading poverty because her business is struggling. She’s fiercely independent and insists on paying her way – except when it comes to living in her best-friend’s house and having studio space in the attic. I found her frequently quite shallow and materialistic and I struggled to see why everyone liked her so much, though I guessed the guys were in it for her looks.
When it came to her ex, I did feel for her. In fact it’s the only thing that made me really connect to her. That’s an awful situation to be in and I could understand her feelings and the way it sent her emotions spiralling. I also found her millinery business interesting too, though I’ll admit the amount of detail there did bore me a touch at times.
Then there’s Sam, who half the time was a sweet and decent guy, and other times bordered on jerkishness. I did love how he supported Ava though, and the way he tried to protect her from any hint of her ex making trouble.
It does take a while for all of that to unfold and the pace at times was really slow. I confess I skimmed a lot of the middle and don’t feel like I missed much. I just wasn’t that interested in her friend Izz or the celebs at the agency and Ava’s business woes. That definitely changed towards the end, and I found the last third an interesting, compelling read.
Wendy is absolutely the best part of the book. Not only is she warm and lovely, but her story was deeply touching. If she hadn’t been in it I might not have finished, but she completely won me over and made me glad I stayed to the end.
So overall I found this an okay read. It didn’t engage me as deeply as I’d hoped and Ava wasn’t particularly likeable to me. However, there are good points and I loved how things with the ex eventually played out. There’s also plenty of Christmassy spirit by the end to throw a glittery sparkle over everything.
The Christmas Promise is Out Now.
Visit Sue Moorcroft for more details.