Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Christmas
A heartwarming Christmas story about family, friendship and finding love in unexpected places.
Joy Holbrook might be all work and no play, but that changes when her Aunt Ruby takes a fall that lands her in a rehabilitation center before the holidays. Joy takes a leave of absence from her job as a market researcher to run the family farm, even though the timing may hinder her chance at garnering the promotion of her dreams.Ben Andrews isn’t your average accountant. He also happens to be the handiest man in Crystal Falls. He’s helped his elderly neighbor, Ruby Johnson, decorate for the annual Christmas Home Tour—and win—the last several years. He’s not about to let some drop-in niece break their winning streak.Ruby seems overly concerned about Joy being able to handle Molly. Under the impression she’s referring Molly the bunny that is one of the menagerie of animals, Joy’s not worried at all until the next morning when a little girl named Molly shows up. For the sake of her aunt, Joy is forced to partner with Ben while Ruby is on the mend to help with preparation for the Christmas tour and, in the process finds her career-focused heart dreaming of a family.Will the magic of Christmas help her to open her heart and find her everlasting joy?
Christmas Joy was such a fun read and it’s the book which has gotten me most into the Christmas spirit with the house decorating contest for the house tours and for the whole small-town festive spirit. It was just a plain old cute read and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those books that may not have the greatest of substance but what it does have it does well.
What I loved about this book is that it was set in a small town with a fish out of water woman who is used to being successful. The fact that the woman is called Joy just makes it even better. I loved the fact this career driven woman was forced back to a town she grew up in to help out an elderly aunt who helped raised her. That kind of story gives me the warm and fuzzies for illogical reasons.
I think the fact that I liked Joy probably helped with this book as it is a bit cheesy. I mean, the entire story line is obvious but I didn’t care because Joy was this woman who has focused way too much on her career to bring her happiness because she is scared of emotional connections after the death of her mother. She doesn’t want to risk being hurt again, going so far as to have a boyfriend she doesn’t particularly care about or even like, avoiding the town she grew up in and distancing herself from the aunt she adored when she was younger. She doesn’t even truly celebrate Christmas, not decorating her home, because she sees Christmas all day at work in her market research and because it is a holiday so closely linked to her mother. The fact that she has shunned all these things and is forced to confront them when staying at her aunt's to look after these animals is awesome.
I have to say, the romance definitely wasn’t fast. If you’re expecting an instant connection that is not this. I mean, the romance almost felt forced to me. The couple can’t get each other out of their heads even though they’ve only met once? That seems a bit far-fetched. I do wish the romance seemed a bit more logical, but once it got going it was pretty darn cute. I couldn’t resist them together becoming this team to do the ultimate house decorating. They worked well together, most of the time anyway.
When the only flaw you can think of is the romance was a bit slow then you know you’ve a good fun book on your hands. For me, this was a book that completely encapsulates the Christmas season. It is the kind of book you would want to escape into over the Christmas period to help remind yourself why we put ourselves through the stress of Christmas and it’s all because of family and friends. I really loved this book. This is the heart-warming Christmas movie of festive reads and it wasn’t ashamed of that fact. It embraced all the Christmas goodness into this festive little package. It is flawed but you just kind of don’t care. We all know Christmas movies are bad and cheesy but you love when they start coming back on TV, don’t you?
This is the book for those wanting to get a tooth pain from the sugary cute confection that is Christmas Joy. Do you like fluffy festive reads/films? And what is your favourite Christmas movie?