After barely a year of dating, Thea and Sean decide to get married on Christmas Day in Cornwall, in the place and on the day they first met. But along the way there are problems to resolve: first of all, her sister Emily is battling post-natal depression and refuses to participate in the wedding. There is also the issue of an ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend reappearing. With her parents selling the house where they have lived all their lives to go travel and the organisation of the wedding behind schedule, Thea is also having problems leaving her teaching job in London and finding a new one in Cornwall. This is a lovely romantic novel, but Thea and Sean do get a little on the nerves, pictured as the perfect couple who agree on everything and never fight. I found it interesting how it deals with women suffering from post-natal depression, describing their fears and problems. All in all, this sequel to It Must Have Been Mistletoe is a good atmospheric story to get you in the Christmas mood. (NP)
Church bells are ringing in this sequel to Judy Astley's It Must Have Been the Mistletoe. The summary of A Merry Mistletoe Wedding says: "It is almost a year since Sean and Thea met and it's been a roller-coaster ride: they're getting married on Christmas Eve! Neither Thea or Sean want a big fuss - a simple wedding, with Christmas carols and just a few sprigs of mistletoe for decoration is all they need. But before they know it, things begin to get complicated. Trying to manage a long-distance relationship in the build-up to their Christmas wedding is one thing, but as one challenge after another comes their way, the happy couple begin to wonder if they'll ever make it down the aisle." A Merry Mistletoe Wedding is out in October 2015.
Thea's parents, Anna and Mike, have decided to get divorced after many happy years of marriage but they want to have one more big happy family Christmas before everything changes. For this occasion, they have rented a big holiday home in Cornwall where all family members are expected to spend the holidays. While her siblings Emily and Jimi will bring their partners and children, Thea knows she will be going alone after her long-time boyfriend decided it wasn't working out between the two of them. Thea wants to do anything to keep her mind off her broken heart, and with the new partners of her parents unexpectedly arriving in Cornwall, combined with the visits of handsome holiday home owner Sean, there is more than enough to keep her distracted... What's not to love about this novel? There's an interesting storyline, a great cast of characters, and I personally fell head over heels in love with the setting, the holiday home in Cornwall. Judy Astley managed to make it sound like such an incredible place; the beautiful home near the sea, the snow, and combined with that magical Christmas feeling it seemed just perfect. Thea was a great protagonist who is easy to warm to. Her family members are all entertaining characters as well, and I also specifically liked Sean, the owner of the holiday home the family is staying at. He's an amazing guy, and in my opinion a Christmas novel is never complete without a touch of romance! Judy Astley's writing style is well-paced and detailed; she's a great storyteller and I will definitely pick up more of her works in the future. It Must Have Been the Mistletoe is a wonderfully festive read that is all about family and being with the ones you love and a novel that definitely has that magic touch of Christmas. (JoH)
At Christmas, anything can happen, according to Judy Astley's festive book, It Must Have Been the Mistletoe. The summary says: "A family Christmas in Cornwall for the newly single? Thea's parents have split up but still seem to be together. Both her younger sister and her brother are Smug Marrieds. But Thea is newly single and very much wishes she wasn't. When her mother and father plan a great family Christmas in a big house by the sea, the idea is to make it all great fun and tremendously civilised - not remotely complicated despite the fact that what they will really be celebrating is the final break-up of their marriage and the Moving On to new partners. And the new partners will also be there - and why not? It's what they do in Sweden, apparently, and it all works out fine. But will they move on? And will Thea manage to navigate her way through the forced jollities and family disasters to find some happiness for herself?"