If you’re anything like me, you’d be happy to find a pile of books waiting under the tree this Christmas. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait until the big day to find a book in my possession, as a lovely (and, aptly, Christmassy) book found itself in my room last week.
In the lead up to Christmas, as is traditional, my sister has this advent calendar for me filled with chocolate, sweet notes and the occasional surprise. She knows I’m a grinch during the festive season (and afterwards) but – in an attempt to make me feel festive in amongst the panic of finding a job and trying to get some sort of routine beyond scrolling through the internet – she got me a Christmas book, Mistletoe & Mystery by Daisy James.
The third book in a trilogy sees Millie Harper, fresh off the successful opening of the Paradise Cookery School in St Lucia, heading to the Cotswolds to co-present a festive cookery course at Stonelea Manor. There, she reunites with handsome estate manager Zach Baker, and learns the manor is under threat. Will a Christmas miracle save Stonelea Manor?
My sister had no clue that the book was part of a trilogy but, honestly, it didn’t matter. Thankfully, Goodreads exists so I was able to get an idea of the plot of the previous two books so there was no major confusion! Saying that, James’s novel was so readable and enjoyable, it didn’t matter if I had little idea of some plot points.
At the helm is Millie Harper, an Anglo-French pastry chef who’s recovering from heartbreak. She is at once lovely and determined to succeed yet chaotic and insecure at times. Even though the fact I haven’t read the other two books meant I missed out on her backstory, it wasn’t long before I felt like I knew her. She was funny, romantic and incredibly talented and I loved seeing her interact with the other characters.
Another thing I liked was the relationship between Millie and Zach. Again, I obviously missed parts of their relationship from the other books but I loved them together. Zac was order whilst Millie was chaos but they gelled together so well it was a lovely read. It felt like it took a while for things to develop between them but, when it did, I felt as mushy as a marshmallow in the bottom of hot chocolate.
I loved that it was set in a beautiful sprawling manor, complete with gizmos and gadgets, and I was so jealous of all the characters getting to celebrate, fall in love and eat there. Plus, the setting was even more magical considering it was during the Christmas period.
So, if you’re looking for a festive read this Christmas I’d definitely suggest this one!
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