About Books #54: Dreaming of Christmas

Look, I don’t decide this, okay? But either way: apparently it is now fully the season of Christmas books. And I’m not complaining. Especially… Well, after Dreaming of Christmas one just made me dream away on so many levels!

I was offered an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The story

It’s the dream Christmas: snow, mountains… and, er, an ex-boyfriend. But can Zoe still find love in the Alps?

Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it’s been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all expenses paid skiing holiday with old university friends.

The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime he’s done rather well for himself. As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it’ll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others…

The opinion

Some books you start reading and you basically have to do all the work yourself. The descriptions fall flat, the dialogue seems stiff, the plot unrealistic. And then there’s some books… Where, basically, you’re done reading before you even realize you’ve started. This book, let me be clear, falls in the second category.

I mean, I wanted to go to Austria before I read this book, obviously. Now, though? Now I have to go. Preferably this coming Christmas. Or at least this fall or winter. (A girl can dream, right?) I don’t know if the author has ever been in Austria, but it certainly does sound like he has. From the opera to the streets, from the hotel via the houses to the ski slopes: I feel like I’ve seen them all. And – talking about those ski slopes: T.A. Williams made me want to get back on them. Almost. As far as Christmas miracles go: that might just be one!

Now, this is, of course, a romance novel. And, although I’ve read quite a few of those? It took me more than half the book to finally figure out who the love interests would be. Sure, there’s one “plot twist” that I felt was pretty clear (think: the MC’s best friend) but then there was another twist tied so closely to that one… And I completely did not see that coming until the last second!

What’s more, rather than just focus on one love story (and what a love story!), the author manages to beautifully weave together couples throughout all the different stages of love… From long held, to almost lost, from undervalued to sneaky and “please no”… This book really does offer everything. With a nice little bang of a Christmas party to close it all off. Of course!

Just one final note: as has probably become clear, by now, I’m rather fond of books where the main character is a journalist. (think, for example, of The Little Brooklyn Bakery and The Little Wedding Island) And guess what? It does the trick for me – again. Anna is faced with that classic choice: her integrity or her job? Talk about the head breaker for Christmas!

The rating: 4.5/5

This is already one of my favorite Christmas novels of 2018. There, I said it. The scenery is beautiful, both of itself and in the way it is described. The characters just keep on giving, and so does the romance. Maybe the biggest compliment I can give it: it was 20°C+ when I read this book – but it made me feel like the holidays. If you want that coziness as well? Read it. It’s as simple as that! (Goodreads)

-Saar