Review: 'All I Want for Christmas' by Jenny Hale (2016)
Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.
But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.
Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.
They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.
Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?
When I think about Christmas fiction I immediately think of author Jenny Hale. I can still clearly remember enjoying her first festive novel released by Bookouture, ‘Coming Home for Christmas’, and in the years after we’ve been treated to lovely festive reads such as ‘A Christmas to Remember’ and ‘Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses’ (click here to read my review). Luckily, 2016 also has a holiday winter read from Jenny for us to enjoy, namely ‘All I Want for Christmas’, which immediately makes me want to sing Mariah Carey’s classic out loud! The cover of the book is gorgeous and the description promises a trustworthy Jenny Hale tale, so there was definitely more than enough for me to get excited about and I looked forward to checking out this read this Christmas season!
December is here again and Leah Evans can’t help but miss her beloved grandmother Nina even more, especially around this time of year. The only good thing is that Leah will most likely inherit her grandmother’s wonderful plantation home, Evergreen Hills, so she will be able to give her daughter Sadie a fantastic Christmas. But Leah is surprised to hear her grandmother changed her will last-minute: Leah now owns half of the house, while the other half has been given to one of her childhood friends who has recently returned to town, David. Leah has no idea why her grandmother made changes to her original plan, but she’s determined to celebrate Christmas at the plantation this year, even if that means including David and his family. The sparks between her and David are slowly reappearing and Leah will need to make some life-changing decisions for both herself and her daughter Sadie this Christmas…
What I love most about Jenny Hale’s Christmas reads is that you know what you can expect and the novel will undoubtedly live up to those expectations: a warm-hearted and touching festive story with a strong focus on family, friends and love. This is also the case with ‘All I Want for Christmas’, Jenny’s 2016 winter release, which focuses on the story of main character Leah who has inherited her grandmother’s plantation home and business, but is faced with quite a big surprise in the form of her childhood friend David Forester. I enjoyed reading about Leah and her daughter Sadie, and seeing the relationship between David and Leah develop, while there was also a focus on other secondary characters such as Leah’s best friends Roz and Louise and their children.
Jenny Hale’s descriptions are great and she really knows how to set the scene and convey a certain feeling with her stories. I personally loved how important memories are in this particular novel, and how Leah holds these memories close to her heart throughout the story. The entire book has that warm and lovely feeling to it; an American small town that is getting ready to celebrate Christmas.. I don’t really know how to describe it, but in my eyes it’s a typical Jenny Hale feeling, and a feeling I’ve come to love. While ‘All I Want for Christmas’ is not my favourite festive novel by this author, it’s still a warm-hearted and thoroughly enjoyable read and one you won’t regret picking up to get in that Christmas mood!