In Mistletoe Gardens a legend exists: anyone who kisses underneath the mistletoe will be guaranteed another year of love…
When local baker Essie Browne discovers that Mistletoe Gardens is to be demolished in January, she’s determined to save the place she loves so much. So Essie proposes building a life size gingerbread house to bring in the crowds…just how hard can it be?
Well, quite hard actually. Essie can bake gingerbread blindfolded, but she hasn’t got a clue how to build an actual house with it! She needs help – and fast!
Enter local builder, Joss Hallissey. Essie is convinced that with Joss’s help they can pull this off. There’s just one tiny problem: Joss hates Christmas, gingerbread, and… well, just about everything else too.
Joss the Grinch makes it clear that her idea is ludicrous and pointless, but he reluctantly agrees to help with her plan.
Will the gingerbread house be enough to save Mistletoe Gardens? Or will Essie’s chance for a magical kiss under the mistletoe be lost forever?
When Essie discovers that her town’s beloved Mistletoe Gardens is going to be demolished at the end of the Christmas period, she is devastated; especially as there is so much history attached to the Gardens.
She then has an idea to build a life-size gingerbread house that will then house Father Christmas in the build up to the festive season. To begin with, no one believes in her idea which is a problem as that includes the builder she needs to help bring her vision to life.
Can Essie bring the residents of Folkhornton on side to help her save Mistletoe Gardens before it gets demolished and turned into flats?
I know I say this every year but one of the things I love about September is the fact that Christmas themed novels start to get released and The Gingerbread House in Mistletoe Gardens is officially my first festive novel in the lead up to my favourite season.
I was so excited to be invited onto this tour and couldn’t wait to get started. I am going to try and talk about this novel without giving too much away.
It wasn’t hard to like Essie. She is working in a Bakery owned by her mother. Heartbroken from a previous relationship that left her coming home with her tail between her legs, Essie has allowed herself to get comfortable. When the need to save Mistletoe Gardens is presented, there is a huge change in her and I liked seeing her come out of her shell as the novel progressed. I loved her determination and spirit. She’s an inspiring character.
Joss was a lot harder to figure out and it takes a while to get to know anything about him. I was rooting for him to transform into something better than the grump he is at the beginning – certainly not someone who is embracing the season and, as my Mum used to say, someone with a grumper up his Christmas jumper.
The residents of Folkhornton were also easy to like, especially Saff, MMM and Mr Arkins.
The plot moved well and I wanted the Gingerbread House to be a success. It brought to mind the house that gets put up in the Grand Floridian in Walt Disney World and I could feel that level of magic. The setting and feeling of this novel is beautiful and I felt like I was stepping in and experiencing it with all the characters. For example, The Mistletoe Dance which had me thinking of my favourite scene in Meet Me in St Louis where they are at the Christmas dance.
I definitely wanted to make myself a hot chocolate, find a comfy blanket and snuggle up when reading this novel. I also wanted to play the Christmas songs and put up the Christmas tree but the husband vetoed it. Haha. To be honest, I don’t need much persuading to want to put the tree up to be fair.
This novel has bundles of charm, love and friendship. It showcases the greatness of a community coming together. It is also about self belief and, when something goes wrong, the importance of picking yourself up and trying again.
It also has massive amounts of Christmas spirit that will delight any fan of romance and Christmas. If you’re looking to get into the festive mood early, this novel will certainly help you on your way. I loved every moment of it.
Thank you to Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
About Jaimie Admans –
She lives in South Wales and was previously published by HQ Digital.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.