Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Release Day Book Review: Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

Another heartfelt and delightful Christmas tale from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas on the Island.

New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan returns to the setting of Christmas on the Island and Endless Beach for a heartwarming new novel celebrating the season, and Scotland.

On the tiny, beautiful, and remote island of Mure, halfway between Scotland and Norway, a new hotel opening is a big event. New mother Flora MacKenzie and her brother Fintan are working themselves half to death to get it ready in time for Christmas.

The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island's cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel's kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before.

As the island’s residents and special VIP guests gather for the hotel’s grand opening gala, Christmas is in the air. But so are more than a few small-town secrets…


Want to spend Christmas on an Island situated midway between Scotland and Norway? This is the novel for you, so snuggle up with a mug of cocoa or glass of mulled wine and soak in island life as everyone prepares for Christmas. 

The biggest surprise to me is the fact this is book four in the Mure series. Drawn into the blurb I didn't notice… however, don't despair because Christmas at the Island Hotel can read and enjoyed as standalone… I can attest to that and reassure you, Ms Colgan introduces each character at a comfortable pace, so my easily overloaded brain could comfortably cope with it. 

Whether you're familiar with the series or not, get ready for an action-packed narrative. It's full steam ahead as Fintan, with the assistance of his sister, Flora, push ahead to open the Rock hotel and fulfil Colton's legacy and dream. To assist with the preparations, there's a temperamental French chef, a clueless Norwegian playboy and a dog called Bj√•rk. Those familiar with the folk on Mure will enjoy getting reacquainted with favourite quirky characters as Christmas approaches and chaos ensues. There's plenty going on but somehow it all gels together in a fun and entertaining way. 

Overall, it's an eclectic blend of warm and fuzzy interludes with romance and happy endings, high tensions, and an overwhelming hint of more to come? 

***arc generously received courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss+***