How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake – My Review

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What’s it all about:

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’ve found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance’s phone…
Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.
But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?

Review

As soon as I saw Rosie’s new cover appear on Twitter way back when, I knew I had to have it and I’m so pleased to tell you lovely bookish folk that it was a highly anticipated read that didn’t disappoint one bit.

How to Stuff Up Christmas follows Eve, a recently single woman after discovering her arse of a fiancé was cheating on her with someone who is quite partial to sending picture messages of their ladygarden…..can you imagine?! So Eve would like to avoid the festive period if she can. This doesn’t mean she’s a humbug, because she isn’t, she’s simply a woman who would rather lock herself away with a bucket of ice cream than spend the day with her family and the reminder of how perfect the Christmas before was when her fiancé proposed. Who can blame her, right? So this year she decides to escape and enrols in a pottery class in the quaint little village of Pangbourne and rents a houseboat. From this point on the world around me disappeared! Emails were avoided, meals were burned and husbands were ignored (it’s fine though, we have a snack cupboard he raided!) Seriously though, Pangbourne was a truly delightful setting and I could just imagine myself walking through the village, watching the world go by on the river…..and attending pottery classes.

In Pangbourne, Eve meets local vet Greg under comical circumstances and it becomes clear that the two of them will hit it off, but Greg has something mysterious going on in his life which means he can be frustratingly elusive and it doesn’t help that he doesn’t seem to want to open up to Eve. To be fair, she is a stranger but I still found myself pleading with him to go visit Eve more, to not misinterpret her distance with disinterest. Their story is heart-warming and I loved watching them get to know each other better.

The supporting characters were also wonderful and realistic and I found myself laughing along at the antics of Eve’s sister and brother in law, best friend Daisy, Eve’s dog, Marmite and a special shout out goes to the geese; they made me snort with laughter. So attractive.

If you’re looking for a festive read that is jam packed with Christmassy romance, festive recipes (what a bonus!) and humour that will have you spitting out your mulled wine, then How to Stuff Up Christmas is a must read for you. I would also like to add that I fell so deeply in love with this book that it inspired me to attend a pottery class myself in a local village not too far from me. It was one of the best experiences and I have the lovely Rosie Blake to thank for that.

5 STARS

Buy the book: Amazon UK / US

Follow Rosie on Twitter

Visit Rosie’s website

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How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

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Here’s the official description:

Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.

Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola’s reluctance to lose control means she’s living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine’s Day.

The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it’s an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn’t quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it’s rather a lot of fun…

 Review

After seeing all of the rave reviews and people saying how funny it was on Twitter, I couldn’t NOT one click this beauty!

Nicola Brown is a single 29 year old creature of habit, and that’s putting it mildly. She has serious OCD, from the strict times she has her food on a specific day of the week to her super organised office space. Nothing she does is ever spontaneous and her life is meticulously planned – but she likes it that way….doesn’t she?

It’s Nicola’s colleague, Caroline, that finally get’s Nicola to relax little by little by setting her a challenge: find true love by Valentines Day.

Caroline is hilarious. I loved her care free attitude and free spirit, if it wasn’t for her I don’t think Nicola would have ever taken the plunge and realised how little of her life she was actually living.

Poor Nicola has to suffer her fair share of disastrous dates though and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments. My ultimate favourite was the kayaking date. I. LOVED. It.

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Between Caroline and her brother Mark, Nicola finally let’s her hair down and becomes the happy person that she deserves to be which results in her potentially finding love in the most unexpected of places 😉

Once Nicola finally begins to relax, the book skips along nicely and I for one really fell for all of the characters at that point.

4 STARS

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