Blog Tour and Book Review: One Week 'Til Christmas by Belinda Missen
Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.
Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.
Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…
When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.
It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.
There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?
For fans of Josie Silver, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes, this is one Christmas romance you don’t want to miss!
If, like me, you enjoy fanfiction as well as original fiction, you're going to recognise a lot of things about this story, because it's basically a Famous Actor/Mary-Sue OC (original character) Meet-Cute. Tom is a Famous Englishman who could be Tom Hiddleston (definitely my first pick for the role) or maybe Benedict Cumberbatch or Kit Harington or Richard Madden, and Isobel, the story's first person narrator, is very much a blank slate for the reader to project themselves onto. There's almost no physical description of her at all - I think 'tawny hair' is mentioned once and that's it. So honestly if you've ever wished someone to write a story featuring yourself and your favourite hot British actor, this is as close as you're going to get. It's fluffy, delightful, and stuffed more full of Christmas spirit than a brandy plum pudding.
And yet. Buried in amongst the wish fulfillment of being romanced by a star and the twee charm of a London Christmas, there's some powerful messages we could all take to heart. Yes, Isobel is living what for many of us would be a dream job as a travel writer, but she's honest about the less than glamorous aspects of her job. She has friends in every corner of the globe but dreams of greater purpose, of being able to pick her own assignments, and in the course of the story makes a decision to take a chance and chase her dream. Her romance with Tom is something of a fairy tale… but there are powerful messages there too, about compromises and family, about how sometimes you have to put yourself first or live forever with might-have-beens.
Does this read absolutely like a script for a British-set Hallmark Christmas movie? Absolutely. Did I love every fluffy, fan-fiction-y wish-fulfilling page? Darn right I did, and so will you. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley and Rachel's Random Resources.
Author Bio –
Author and sometimes foodie, Belinda is a ridiculous romantic who met her husband after being set up by a friend two states away.
Residing in country Victoria, surrounded by books, cat-fur, and half-eaten cake, Belinda divides her days between writing rom-coms, baking, and indulging her love of comic books.
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