If you are new to my blog (and Instagram account) you might not be aware that I pretty obsessed with cosy Christmas stories. It started with a few Hallmark movies one Christmas, and then I realised a bunch of those were based on books and since then every festive season (and to be completely honest, a reasonable amount of the rest of the year) is spent devouring Christmas cosy romance (or murder) in any form I can find them.
Given my love of Christmas books I am always keen to get my hands on the latest new releases to review, but it is always a bit of a dilemma deciding when to start sharing reviews. Publication of new Christmas reads generally starts from mid to late August, and through to mid November-ish, but I’m not sure that anyone (apart from me haha) is that keen on reading Christmas reviews in August. On the other hand, I want to make sure people have enough time to see reviews and decide what they want to read so they can get their hands on the books, and if I wait until November the days and weeks suddenly disappear.
This year I’ve decided to do something a bit different. I’m going to share my first review today (only 4 months til Christmas today!), then my next one on 25 September, and weekly from then all the way up to Christmas. Of course, if you’d like to see more Christmassy content sooner, you can check out my all of my festive stuff here.
Today’s review is of Karen King’s Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel, which was released in the lead up to Christmas 2018.
I have no idea how I missed it when it came out, but why I didn’t get to this one sooner, but I sped through it and found it utterly charming.
Twenty-nine-year-old Saffron Baxter knew her fun holiday plans didn’t stand a chance the moment her sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of being home before Christmas. Saffy would just have to abandon thoughts of wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall.
Because every year her sister hosts a huge Christmas meal for all the single parents in her village. And Saffy knows it’d break her heart to let them down.
Arriving as snow starts to fall over the thatched cottages of the little harbour town of Port Breok, she meets Logan – the tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed, devoted single dad who lives over the road, with his adorable daughter Chloe. At first she thinks he might help her make Christmas Day extra-memorable, but he just seems convinced she’ll never manage – that she’s just a party girl who doesn’t care about family, or anyone’s feelings.
Maybe he’s right. After all – she doesn’t want to settle down, she’s only there for a few days… But she’s still determined to do her sister proud with gorgeous decorations, the most beautiful real tree – complete with extra twinkly lights, and delicious mince pies. To make it a Christmas everyone will remember, especially little Chloe. Even if, when the mistletoe comes down, she knows she’ll probably never see Logan again…
Look, this was just lovely. The characters were fun and a little bit over the top but in a good way. Saffy was sweet and I feel like she was relatable in the way that she missed her family but didn’t want to miss out on being with her friends, and the way she loved the life she had but still wondered about how it could have been different. For the most part it’s a really light and fun read, although there is a little mention of infertility, which sort of took me a bit by surprise.
In terms of the things I look for in my Christmas books, this one ticked a bunch boxes. The Christmassy bits are sweet and actually Christmassy, and then the second half of the book is all after Christmas. It was nice and snowy, and I could feel the Christmas lights. I really loved that Saffy and Logan weren’t quite enemies at the start, just mildly annoyed by each other – I’m not really a fan of the insta-hate you sometimes see in romance/romcom novels to set up for enemies to lovers so this suited me really well.
I definitely recommend this as a sweet fun Christmas read with all the snow and sparkle you could want (and plenty of mulled wine too!).
Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by Karen King
Out now from Bookouture
Source: I received an e-ARC from Bookouture via NetGalley (Thanks you!) – all views are my own.
Category: Contemporary Christmas cosy romance set in the UK (Cornwall Village)