Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Review: Not Just for Christmas

By Becky Gulc

‘Charlie hates the holidays, and this year is shaping up to be her worst yuletide ever. Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her flat is out of bounds after a gas leak, and her mother has gone to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her fifth husband. Finding herself single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie hesitantly agrees to dust off her wellies and spend the festive season in Devon, looking after Cosy Canine Cottages, her cousin Jez's dog-care centre.

However, her plans for a quiet rural Christmas with only the four-legged friends for company are dashed as soon as she meets Malcolm the deaf Great Dane, Hugo, his gorgeous (but engaged) owner, and Cal, the undeniably attractive but unbearably haughty and patronising local vet...’ (Synopsis courtesy of Orion Publishing.)

I’m a dog-person. I’m a Christmas-person. I was sold by the cover and the synopsis for Not Just for Christmas, but would this novel live up to my early expectations? Absolutely! This is a novel which really delivers what it promises and it was a great book to read in the early build-up to Christmas.

Charlie is someone who dislikes more things about Christmas than she likes, someone who doesn’t care much for dogs. So the book lends itself to great comedy moments when she finds herself recuperating (at least in theory) at her cousin’s place in Devon who runs a kennel, only for her cousin to take a last minute Christmas break and leave Charlie in charge of things. But with only a couple of dogs to care for, surely it will be easy? And Charlie will surely get lots of alone time, just her and Audrey Hepburn over Christmas won’t she? Not quite.

This book was a lot of fun, very funny and I whizzed through it; pure reading pleasure. I felt like I was at the cottage too and pictured it vividly. I loved how Charlie throws herself into things full-throttle, caring for the dogs (even if she taps into new acquaintances for some tasks..she’s a sensible woman!); getting to know the locals; not saying no when she really should! All the characters were great, human and canine! There are quite a few dogs to get to know and I adored each of them, it would be impossible not to warm to these doggies.

Christmas felt natural in this novel. It was inviting, engaging and you feel love in the air and are urging something to come of it for Charlie as she’s such a likable and no-nonsense character. I truly adored this book and would love to read more featuring these characters, and more of Jez (Charlie’s cousin) as I could see potential for a follow-up there definitely. More please Natalie.

Thanks to Orion Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on Natalie's tour.

1 comment:

Janine said...

This does sound like a fun book