Ok, it might be a bit obvious, but nothing makes me want to pick up a book more than it being both Christmassy AND bookish! I jumped at the chance to review Rachel Burton’s A Bookshop Christmas when I spotted it on NetGalley.
What is Rachel Burton’s A Bookshop Christmas about?
A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.
But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.
When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.
Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…
My review of A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton
A Bookshop Christmas was a sweet and Christmassy story. I really enjoyed getting to know the ladies in Megan’s book club, and the Renaissance Christmas event they organised was so fun! I think my favourite thing about the book was the nods to romance books – the characters do a lot of talking about their favourite (and least favourite!) tropes, and there are a few cute moments where the characters acknowledge that they seem to be living some of those tropes which I found quite charming.
Megan’s story is deeply rooted in the grief of losing her husband to leukaemia, and this is persistently on the page throughout the whole book. The book opens with Megan at the hospital, returning to her husband’s room top learn that he had passed away while she went to get a coffee, and this scene is recalled numerous times through out the book. I actually found the continued references back to the loss of her husband, and this scene in particular, a bit too much. I appreciate that in real life grief would be persistent, but for the purpose of a book I really felt like I kept being told something I already knew and it started to pull me out of the story a bit.
I thought the Christmassy-ness of the book was great. The wintry setting really added to the cosiness of the story, and the bookshop made for a great setting. While, as I’ve mentioned above, there was a lot about grief in the book, I did think that Megan’s emergence from that worked really well. I thought Xander Stone was a great character too, and the way his story complemented and contrasted with Megan’s worked really well.
I also wanted to mention this was my first time reviewing an audiobook through NetGalley – previously I have only had ebooks from there. I really enjoyed listening to it, and will certainly be requesting more audiobooks for review.
Overall this was a sweet read, although I feel like readers should be aware that this one isn’t quite as light as some might expect from a Christmas romcom (not a criticism, I just think it’s good to be aware).
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read this one, or plan to!
A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton.
Audiobook out 1 September from Saga Egmont Audio.
(ebook edition was released in 2021)
Source: I received a free audiobook copy from Saga Egmont Audio (via NetGalley).
Category: Cosy Christmassy romance.