For Lila Evans, Christmas is the toughest time of year––a heartbreaking reminder of losing her father, and just how lonely she is… This year, she’s organized a blissful getaway with her closest friends: just the remedy for the December blues.
The countryside resort of Fireside Cabins, tucked away in the snowy Tennessee hills, seems like this year’s perfect setting to get into the festive spirit. But it’s far from a winter wonderland––the crumbling cottage is falling apart, and the owner, a widow named Eleanor Finely, confesses that the cabins are on the brink of closure. Lila and her friends should pack their bags right there and then, but Lila can’t bear to leave the tearful elderly woman. She clearly has no one, and Lila, more than anyone, knows how that feels.
In search of holiday cheer, the women find a local coffee shop. But the rugged, surly owner Theo Perry has an apparent aversion to Christmas, seeming downright angry when Lila asks for a peppermint latte. No one in the area knows who he is––but it’s clear he’s running from something.
Yet there’s more to this small town than Theo’s frosty reception. As much as his coldness infuriates her, Lila can’t deny that on the rare occasions when he does smile, it feels like coming home. Plus, the cabins are just calling for some festive sparkle.
And, unexpectedly, Pinewood Hills could hold a new beginning for Lila… But can she save Fireside Cabins in time for Christmas? With a dusting of festive magic, spiced apple cider and sugarplum pie, could this be the first holiday she doesn’t spend alone?
As far as I can figure, Christmas at Fireside Cabins is Jenny Hale’s eighth Christmas romance novel, and it is filled with the same cosy charm and Christmas joy as her others.
I have to admit, I had a bit of trouble with Lila’s approach to start off with – I felt like she (and her friends) was barging in and trying to ‘fix’ people she didn’t even know, and it felt a bit judgey. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that really Lila is trying to fix her own life, and I couldn’t help but be charmed by her and her story. I also really enjoyed the fact that there was a friendship at the centre of the book, and that it is kind of about found family more than actual family.
I read this over the space of about a day or two – there is always something about Jenny Hale’s books that draws me in and makes me want to spend time with her characters and settings. I really loved the setting in this one – the small town and lovely community feel is exactly the vibe I love in these books, and the idea of the cabins themselves, and imagining them all done up and Christmassy was just lovely.
I don’t think there is anything in this book that is unexpected from a Jenny Hale novel, but it was a very sweet read and I’d recommend it to fans of Christmas romance, and of Hale in particular. She remains a must read author for me each Christmas season, and I’d also recommend this or any of her books to anyone looking for a lovely cosy snow festive escape.
Christmas at Fireside Cabins by Jenny Hale
Out now from Bookouture.
Source: Review e-copy provided to me by Bookouture (thank you!) via Netgalley. All views are my own.
Category: Contemporary cosy snowy small townChristmas romance.