It’s the most magical time of year, and anything can happen… Nia Maddison has always believed that wishes come true on Nutcracker Lane. So, when she gets the opportunity to run her own Christmas gift shop on the most magical street in town, it feels like her wishes have been finally granted.
But working late one night, Nia discovers yet another boyfriend has cheated on her. As she trudges home – alone, again – she passes the (supposedly) magical nutcracker and half-joking thinks a wish can’t hurt. Cracking a nut in its mouth, she wishes to find Prince Charming.
The next day Nia gets to work to find another decoration shop has opened directly across the lane from her own, and she can’t resist having a nose around.
Whilst there, she accidentally backs into a human-sized Nutcracker, knocking it over and breaking it. Mortified, she flees from the store but when she gathers her resolve to go back and apologise, she stumbles across the gorgeous shop owner James, who looks exactly like Prince Charming…
Could her Christmas wish from the night before really be coming true?
Ok. I know what you’re thinking. It’s August. I felt like I was pushing things when I posted about Christmas in late September last year. But today’s the 25th, and unless I have a calendar in front of me I am honestly having trouble helping track of what month it is, so I’m putting it out there. Welcome to my first Christmas review of 2021.
I started reading The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane last year, and to be honest I put it aside because it was one of several cosy Christmas reads I picked up in a row that started with the protagonist finding out her boyfriend was cheating on her, and that just wasn’t the festival vibe I was trying to manifest for Christmas 2020 – or anytime really.
The good news is Nia dumps the guy and basically moves on – she isn’t trying to win him back, or show him what he’s missing, or turning herself inside out trying to figure out what’s “wrong with her”. So once we got over that little hiccup at the start this was a pretty enjoyable read.
It’s definitely festive and fun, and I loved the idea of the setting being in a Christmas market. There were some kind of zany bits with Nia maybe thinking James was a wooden Nutcracker come to life (and maybe he was – I couldn’t possibly tell you in a review), but I kind of liked how this showed her belief in Christmas magic.
The relationship that built between Nia and James was sweet, although maybe a bit rushed/intense at times, and while I’ve read/seen enough cosy Christmas romance books/movies to have been pretty sure where the story was headed I still enjoyed seeing it unfold. I actually think this would make a pretty cute movie.
Overall, this wasn’t my favourite cosy Christmas romance ever, but is still a sweet festive comfort read as long as you can get over the gross cheating ex and a bit of potentially magical stuff.
The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane by Jaimie Admans
Out now from Bookouture.
Source: Free ecopy kindly provided by Bookouture via Netgalley (thank you!). All views are my own