Cover detail of Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber

Welcome to Day 1 of #12booksofchristmas. Woohoo!!! Over the month of December, I will be bringing you 12 festive books to get you in the mood for this festive time of year.

Read all about Books for Christmas

All being well it is Monday, but I am actually writing this on the Friday before and excitingly we have snow and freezing fog. The fairy lights are twinkling. Tonight we will be decorating the rest of our home, welcoming some friends tomorrow and then we are on with the serious business of card-writing and gift buying.

But in the meantime, let us get started with the first selection for #12booksofchristmas. It's a book from the Queen of Christmas, Debbie Macomber.

The Plot

When the opportunity arises for work-obsessed Everly Lancaster to take the whole of December off, she decides it’s time to go on the holiday of a lifetime. Little does she know there’s mote than one surprise in store for her this Christmas.
Hoping to escape a snowstorm, Everly prepares for a sunny, relaxing cruise - until a mix-up with her booking lands her somewhere she never expected. At first not even the handsome tour guide Asher can improve her mood, but soon the spectacular sights open Everly’s eyes to all she’s been missing out on.
As Christmas approaches and the tour comes to an end, will Everly finally realise there’s more to life than work? And could Asher be the person to help her see it?

My Thoughts

Christmas is exactly the time of year when it is perfectly acceptable for a bit of schmaltz. I’m thinking of the Hallmark Channel, Channel 5 movies and lots of lovely romance books set in snowy climes with every Christmas tradition you can think of. Reading a Debbie Macomber book is like taking a sip of Peppermint Hot Chocolate by a cosy fire with your favourite jammies on.

This one starts in a surprising way, with an unexpected location. But do not panic, it’s warm and snuggly and the story does transfer to a Christmas scene. Workaholic Everly is burdened with a personal assistant who is a bit of a disaster, getting things wrong, losing important documents etc. Everly’s business partner, Jack, insists that Everly takes December off and asks her PA to book a sunny, relaxing holiday. However on arrival at her cruise ship, instead of drinks with umbrellas in, Everly discovers she is to sail down the Amazon with no internet. Disaster!

But then she meets handsome tour guide Asher, and with a few adventures and mishaps along the way realises there is much more to life than her business and working all the hours. Asher though is scared to commit, the life of a tour director is hardly a 9-5, he prefers being in nature than in a bustling city like Chicago and the pair part after agreeing it was only a holiday romance.

Here the action moves to Indiana, and Everly reconnects with her family, having always felt the odd one out, enjoys many Christmassy days and starts to think about what she really wants from her life. But can she forget Asher and can he forget her?

When I read this, I didn’t realise how much I needed this book. I was feeling a little frazzled myself, and whilst I am not contemplating a cruise down the Amazon, I did need a comforting balm of a read which this exactly is. As always with any Debbie Macomber novel, there is a lovely message from Debbie herself, which made me laugh out loud as she explained her husband likes to take her to exotic locations that do not take credit cards! And indeed, Debbie’s message adds to the cosy, family feel of the novel.

This is perfect for Christmas when you are feeling that bit frazzled, working too hard or putting too much pressure on yourself. Stop, breath, make a cup of coffee and read this. I hope it will be a balm for your soul too.

I will be back tomorrow with the second of our #12booksofchristmas