Publishing Date: 29th October 2020
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 368
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance
What if the love of your life was your best friend’s girlfriend, and you were the one that set them up?
When Nick loses his job and is dumped by his glamorous but demanding girlfriend, he is forced to grudgingly accept work as a Santa at a local Christmas grotto. As his friends are getting married or promoted, Nick spends his days being terrorised by unfriendly elves and cried on by snotty, spoiled children.
Then he meets 4-year-old Alfie. All Alfie wants for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy again. Moved by the boy’s selfless wish, Nick arranges a date between Sarah and his best friend, Matt. But as Sarah and Alfie become part of all their lives, Nick realises that happiness for Sarah and Matt might mean heartbreak for himself.
A hilarious and heartwarming Christmas romance for fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Marian Keyes’ Grown Ups.
Nick not only loses his job but is then also dumped by his glamorous and very demanding girlfriend. He’s down on his luck when it comes to finding another job but as money is short he’s forced to accept work as Santa Claus at the local Christmas grotto. Nothing is as he’s planned it – his friends are getting: married, babies, promoted, in love… And he has to spend his days surrounded by spoiled children and an angry elf. Until one day he meets 4 – year – old Alfie. Alfie doesn’t want a Christmas present, he only wants his mum to be happy again after his father’s death. This chance encounter will change Nick’s world – dramatically.
Joanna Bolouri’s characters are true to life, full of flaws but also, and this is so important, and not always so easy to capture, real, genuine and reletable and it’s so easy to get immersed in their lives and feel a part of their world. She can, in a great way, write about friendship and relationship, and her descriptions of adulthood and settling down, then getting married and having kids are so spot on and realistically written. I also liked Nick’s journey throughout the book, from this man – child person to a more responsible adult who hasn’t lost his sense of humour and stayed true to himself. I loved Sarah. I loved her chutzpah and self – confidence, her humour and one – liners, she made me laugh and I wanted to cheer on her and say you go, girl! Matt was the perfect completion to this story.
And nobody can swear as good as Joanna Bolouri’s characters! I wouldn’t go into this topic at all however I’ve seen some reviewers complaining about the language and I think, what’s the problem? Who doesn’t swear? The story is about adult people, told from a male character’s point of view so I think it’s absolutely natural that there is a sweary banter. It didn’t bother me at all, and frankly, it you’ve read the author before you know what you’re into, and because it’s a Christmassy book? The closer to Christmas, the more I swear. The f – bombs made for much more realistic dialogues in fact.
It was, I would say, a bit milder and gentler read from Joanna Bolouri, yet still full of her hallmark humour, charm and fun. Uniquely, it was told from a male character’s point of view but I think that the author has pulled it off really, really well. There was an unusual love triangle in this story that kept me on my tenterhooks all the time as I was desperate to know how it’s going to end – I was even afraid that Ms Bolouri is going to murder one of the characters to be honest. I loved what she did here, Nick’s conflict was so easy to feel and understand, it was really well handled. The friendship between Nick and Matt was absolutely brilliant, honest, genuine and absolutely not forced, they were close and their banter flew so natural, and it was also lovely to see how much Matt’s family doted on Nick, it made my heart grow.
The other highlight was Nick’s relationship with Alfie, the way he was around him – it was so unforced, natural and real, Nick was so, so good with the little boy.
It may not be a book that takes place strictly at Christmas but it didn’t bother me at all as it’s not this kind of read that should put you in festive mood and decorate your Christmas tree pronto – but if you keep Alfie’s wish in mind it will be festive enough. And my, Nick as Santa Claus was enough for me, really *smirk*. The writing style is brilliant, so easy to connect with, filled with catchy and hilarious one – liners and light banter. The story is full of funny and embarassing scenes.
„All I Want for Christmas“ was witty and sharp, full of heart and humour, the first book since a long time that made me truly want to turn the pages – I absolutely enjoyed this delightful Christmassy romance. It’s sharp – observed with so incredibly down to earth will they/won’t they, a book that will leave you with a smile on your face. Very highly recommended, I’ll be coming back to this book for sure!
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