Christmas Ever After by Sarah Morgan
As soon as I'd finished 'Some Kind of Wonderful', I knew I wanted to go straight into the next book of the Puffin Island series. Well hello there Christmas Ever After! The Puffin Island series are a collection of novels set in Puffin Island in Maine and follow 3 friends; Emily, Brittany and Skylar who met at college. 'Christmas Ever After' is Skylar's story, but you will be pleased to know that Emily, Brittany, Ryan, Zach and other members of the community all make an appearance which is like being re-united with old friends.
The novel starts with Skylar at the launch of her jewellery exhibition in London with her politician boyfriend, Richard, who is a complete weasel. We have had hints in the previous novels that Richard is abusive and controlling, and wanting Skylar to give up her creativity to become the politician trophy wife. Sniffing out a PR stunt to increase his polls, Richard proposes to a horrified Skylar at the exhibition and becomes aggressive when she hesitates to provide a response. Things quickly escalate and leaving her unconscious, she is discovered by Alex. Alex has also appeared in the previous 2 novels, and he and Skylar have had quite the combative relationship.
Alex scoops Alex up and after acquiring medical help takes her to his family home in the Cotswolds where Skylar finds the family she always dreamed of, and develops a strong attraction for Alex. Alex is damaged by a failed first marriage but he too finds himself attracted to Skylar. Skylar will eventually learn to accept who she is and follow her dreams, while Alex will heal his damaged heart.
Of course, the couple have to end their story where it all began in Puffin Island. Skylar is reunited with Brittany and Emily. It's a very fitting end to a lovely set of novels.
This is a sweet Christmassy book and can be read as a stand alone novel (you can always read my reviews of the previous two novels for a quick catch up if you fancy), but I would say go ahead and read all 3 starting with Emily's story in First Time in Forever. This is a perfect Christmas novel and like the others are a light, cosy read. I loved the descriptions of Puffin Island so much so, that I found myself looking up Puffin Island on Google Maps. Maine in winter sounds awesome but brutal. Skylar is a great character, defying expectations and proving that if you don't fit in, then find your own way.
This has been the perfect Christmas escapist novel, and I would recommend enjoying the parts set in the Cotswolds with a hot chocolate and a mince pie with a teeny bit of brandy butter. After all you have to keep yourself well fed for Puffin Island!