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Hey guys,

today’s is my stop on Claire Sandy’s blog tour for her latest Christmas release, ‘Snowed in for Christmas’ which was published this month. I’d like to thank lovely Francesca from Pan Macmillan for the chance to be part of the blog tour, and make sure you visit the other tour hosts for more reviews and content. Now read on for my review and make sure you follow me on twitter because I’ve got a competition there for a PB of ‘Snowed in for Christmas’. Will include my tweet at the end of this post (which you need to RT & follow me) for a chance to win.

Asta’s plane touches down in Ireland as the first flakes of snow begin to settle. As the weather worsens, it turns what should be a flying visit into a snowed-in Yuletide with her chaotic family.

Asta fled her childhood village years ago, with a secret hidden deep within her. That secret is now a feisty sixteen-year-old – Kitty – who’s keen to meet her long-lost relatives. It seems there are many family mysteries waiting to be unwrapped, along with the presents under the tree…

Missing the man she left behind in London, yet drawn to a man she meets in Ireland, Asta is caught in an emotional snowstorm.

Maybe this Christmas Asta will find a cure for her long-broken heart?

Buy ‘Snowed in for Christmas’ on Amazon

* Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

‘Snowed in for Christmas’ was on my list of most anticipated Christmas reads and I was dying to get my hands on a copy. I enjoyed Claire’s summer book ‘A Very Big House in the Country’ and couldn’t wait to see what she has in store for us this time. Also, let’s just take a second (or more) to admire that cover? Gorgeous, right? It’s even more gorgeous live, all sparkly and so very festive.

While definitely being a read you’ll fly through, ‘Snowed in for Christmas’ is definitely not another fluffy Christmas book. It tells the story of Asta, who’s in her early 30s and already has a 16 year old daughter. Getting pregnant and deciding to keep the baby while you’re still a child yourself, is definitely a brave move, something not everyone would do. But Asta did it, and despite having to move out of her home and even her country, her daughter is the biggest blessing in her life. She’s never given a second thought of the choice she’s made, however she thinks a lot about her family she left in Ireland and about the love of her life, the French exchange student Etienne.

She’s trying to move on when it comes to relationships, but after being burnt she simply doesn’t have that much needed trust for a relationship to survive. Few affairs here and there, and a slight crush in her boss, but is there a chance for Asta to be loved an love with her whole heart ever again?

After some strange things start happening in Tobercree, the place she fled with all her bad memories and a baby in belly, she’s sent to investigate them and write an article on it. A crying statue in her little, uneventful Tobercree might be just the miracle she’s waited on so many years.

‘Snowed in for Christmas’ was definitely an enjoyable and interesting Christmas story. It did start kind of slow and it took me a while to get into it, but once I did I totally raced through it. What I really liked is the humour, though it’s not the typical rom com but there’s a fair amount of humour that caused me laughing out loud. Asta was not someone I warmed up to instantly, but she did grow on me as I continued reading. I admired her for her strength and the awesome, friendly relationship she has with her teenage daughter, Kitty. I was even thinking, if all parent-kid relationships were like this, maybe the world wouldn’t be full of angry, rebellious teenagers. The fact Kitty is a mature and clever young woman could’ve helped too. She’s the kind of kid who deeply understands her parent and appreciates all the sacrifices her mother made for her. I truly loved Kitty, and wish I could have a daughter like her, so wise and smart. I can only imagine what kind of struggle was for Asta living as a teenager mother, and I wish Ms Sandy included a bit more of those days when Asta raised a baby girl. I do believe this way I could feel Asta’s personality more, but still we do get to see enough of it.

There weren’t that many characters, but they were all lovely. I really liked the charming American and her boss, Conan. Oh, Conan was incredible and made me laugh out loud. He’s bubbly and though he relies on Asta way too much, he was definitely a nice addition to the book and his e-mails to Asta were a cause for many belly laughs.

This is not your usual romance story, however. Despite liking Asta as a mother, I couldn’t bring myself to understand her when it came to relationships. We’re about the same age (OK, I might be a couple of years older) and I didn’t expect her to be so indecisive when it came to men. I did understand her fear of being hurt again, but the triangles and other geometrical shapes unless in maths, I simply don’t understand. But I guess this did raise the drama bar and made the story move faster and there’s even a twist waiting at the corner.

If you’re a fan of Christmas reads, you should definitely check out ‘Snowed in for Christmas’. It’s a charming story about everything that matters most in life, family, love and faith. Humour, drama, secrets and an unpredictable turn out of events – these are just some of its traits. Enjoy!

My rating: 7/10

Buy ‘Snowed in for Christmas’ on Amazon


write. All the time. I write so much that I have more than one nom de plume, so on this site you’ll find novels by Bernadette Strachan, Juliet Ashton and Claire Sandy. As Bernie Gaughan I co-write musicals with my husband, the composer Matthew Strachan, and I’m working on a sitcom with  Steve Lee.

I write when I’m happy, I write when I’m morose, I write when I should be doing other things. I’m not much like George Bernard Shaw (except maybe the beard) but I do agree with him on this: “The more I work, the more I live”.

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