My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As the seasons turn and we enter the Winter quarter of the year, I always feel there’s magic in the air.
The veil between the here and the otherworld that our ancestors believed in gets thinner and you really can believe that anything can happen.
This is the feel which Annabelle Jacobs brings to this wonderful Christmas set romance between an unlikely pairing but two men who just get each other.
Dylan first bumps into Gareth when he’s in a cafe collecting coffees and his Achilles tendon pops. As he’s struggling, the older man comes to his rescue and offers to drive him to the hospital. There’s an instant attraction but the moment passes.
So it comes as a massive surprise to both when they meet again as Dylan heads down to Cornwall to rehabilitate from his injury with his best mate who’s heading to work at his uncle’s cottage.
From the off there’s something just a little bit magical about this part of the world, the small village on the coast has happily embraced Gareth, who is a veterinarian, and his next door neighbour Kitty has provided him with gossip, baked goods, and a bit of mothering since his arrival.
The sparks between them are just as strong when they meet again, there’s a brief moment of oh god you’re my best mate’s uncle/nephew’s best mate dithering before they settle into a friendship that isn’t looking like it’s going to go anywhere.
Until we get to that element of otherworldly I mentioned earlier in the form of Agatha, the sweet old lady who used to live in the cottage and who is still sticking around as an unseen ghostly presence to keep giving them the nudges they need!
It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but the ghostly interventions are some of the funniest parts of the book and also ones which bring a huge smile.
Dylan and Gareth are locked in the bathroom together, Agatha helps Dylan find an abandoned kitten, she repeatedly expresses her discontent that they’re not snogging by banging doors, moving things and rattling drawers.
As Gareth’s house renovations continue and the time that Dylan has to spend recovering from his injury grows shorter, they grow closer and it becomes increasingly clear they have the potential for something truly special.
I won’t give away any more of the moments which give this festive romance its wonderfully magical and somewhat spooky atmosphere except to say the scene on Christmas Eve is just utterly gorgeous and I can’t wait for everyone else to fall in love with the two men, the setting and their happy ever after.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review