Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Review: Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop

By Sara Steven

Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you'd expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy's life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?
(synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Nothing thrills me more than having the opportunity to go back to a great place within the mind of an author’s story. Marram Bay is that story. Having read Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli (reviewed here), it was so much fun to see the town from another perspective, from Ivy’s point of view.

Set within this idyllic location, you get the feeling that those who live in Marram Bay are encased in a bubble, where time slows down and the bigger cities and associated fast paced lifestyle has no place here. Ivy has become one with her town, running a Christmas-themed store that has been a fixture for generations, feeling settled within the day-to-day operations that come from owning a business. This doesn’t allow for much else.

When Seb, the enigmatic businessman enters her store, he represents much more than a hindrance to her way of life. He represents all that she has tried desperately to steer clear of, like the future. Going beyond the old-fashioned ways that she has held steadfast to, he pushes her into taking steps toward finding other methods of survival, for her business, and for her own livelihood. I appreciated how we can slowly see the growth and change that happens for Ivy, expanding on the list of what’s most important to her, fighting against the need to stay put in her comfort zone, while tentatively sticking a toe outside of it. There is a lot of push-pull that happens between Ivy and Seb, adding a nice layer of romance to this Christmas story.

Portia has a way with creating characters who fill you with light and joy. You find yourself imagining what it would be like to be neighbors with those who bring back a simpleness to what often feels like a chaotic world. Marram Bay finds a special place in your heart, with characters who are fun and unique, spanning from book to book, with special cameos and glimpses into the different viewpoints that make up what this town is all about. It truly is the perfect holiday read!

Thanks to Portia MacIntosh for the book in exchange for an honest review. Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop can be purchased here.

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1 comment:

Janine said...

Great review. Now I need to read this book.