Friday, 6 December 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Happy Christmas Eve by Jackie Ladbury

Happy Christmas Eve by Jackie Ladbury

A heart-warming Christmas story to put you in the mood for the festive season.

All I want for Christmas is you … or you?
Eve Halligan is back in her hometown for Christmas after a whirlwind few years touring with her band, the Molotovs. A lot has changed since she left, but two things have stayed the same. One: Eve is head-over-heels in love with Lucien Malikov, the Molotovs’ bad boy lead singer. Two: Lucien is completely indifferent to her.
Still, Eve dreams that this could be the Christmas where she convinces Lucien that they’re made for each other. But when childhood friend and local caterer Theo Wright comes back into her life bringing with him festive cupcake and sausage roll conundrums, Eve begins to question whether her Christmas dreams have been wasted on the wrong man …

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It's a Christmas filled with cupcakes, a boy band against the glamorous mansion backdrop of Holly Grange! 

Eve Halligan is back home for Christmas after touring with The Molotovs but with a fund-raising concert held in the grounds of lead singer, Lucian Malikov's family home, there's still plenty to do. As a singer-songwriter, she's disappointed her work with the band more backstage rather than frontstage. Even more, disheartened by Lucian's indifference to her as a person. So, when she meets up with her old friend, Theo Wright, she begins to question her decisions from the past and wonders where her future lies? 

I particularly enjoyed the contrast in personalities between the two main men in Eve's life. Lucian, the self-assured teen idol and Theo, the caring baker. They share a common link and that's Eve but for very different reasons. When the two of them are together, the jealous tension between them is palpable. Both want lovely Eve's attention, but one craves her affection. 

With a cosy atmosphere and short timeline, there's plenty to keep the attention of the reader. I particularly enjoyed the numerous references to seasonal foods and treats. 

The author has written a fascinating festive story full of hope. With unrequited love and deception, I rooted for Eve as she faces the consequences of previous actions. I like how others are supportive of her at her time of need, even though it takes time for her to realise how she's exploited. With both a hero and a villain close to her, it's heart-warming when devious actions are exposed and Eve's dreams are about to come true... professionally and romantically.

Overall, a very satisfying happy ending with likeable characters, best served with marshmallow-topped cocoa.

***arc generously received courtesy of Ruby Fiction via Netgalley***

Jackie Ladbury writes heart-warming contemporary and historical women's fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying as she now lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats, spending her days making up stories and finding excuses not to go to the gym.

To find out more about Jackie Ladbury, check out these pages: