Blog Tour and Book Review: Christmas in Chamonix by Sasha Wagstaff
When life goes downhill... head to the snow-capped Alps for roaring fires, apres-ski and festive romance.
Lily Jackson loves Christmas. She also loves her childhood friend Jamie, but when her plan to kick-start their romance goes drastically wrong and her job gets her down, Lily decides it’s time to make changes. A job opens up in snowy Chamonix and egged on by her best friend Imogen, Lily decides to go for it.
As Lily settles in with the eccentric Devereux family at their gorgeous boutique ski hotel, she starts to confront her past. But when she meets handsome ski instructor Luc, who hates Christmas, Lily might have taken on more than she can handle.
Can Lily make a new life – with or without skis? And can she get Luc to see how truly romantic Christmas can be?
A heart-warming, feel-good romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Carole Matthews and Tilly Tennant.
Bored in her job and reeling from the revelation that the best friend she’s developed romantic feelings for is dating her beloved sister, the offer of a job in swanky Swiss ski resort Chamonix is a lifeline for Lily. Soon she’s caught up in the world of après-ski and chalet staff intrigues, a new potential love interest in sexy ski instructor Luc appears on the scene, and Lily has to try and sort out her complicated feelings… all while trying not to break her neck as she learns to ski and conquer her crippling fear of heights.
This is a fun glimpse into a racy, privileged world - yes, Lily and most of those she’s interacting with are the staff rather than the guests at the hotel in Chamonix, but they’re still living a very glamorous life. I have to admit there were several times I thought Lily was very immature and naive. For a woman supposedly in her thirties, she acted like a teenager a lot of the time, especially with her crush on Jamie and her failure to see him as he really was.
As a romance, the biggest flaw here is that there’s too much exposition before it gets started. Luc isn’t even introduced until about 30% of the way into the book; up until that point I actually thought Jamie was the romance end game, and indeed it’s not made clear that it’s Luc until way too late on. We really didn’t need to see all Lily’s angst about moving to Chamonix; the book should have started a whole lot later on with the reason for her big move being revealed as backstory.
There are some really good parts to this story; Chamonix is beautifully brought to life by the author’s descriptions, Lily’s heights phobia and Luc’s loss of a family member and associated grief were realistically and sensitively handled. I do think it needed a firm content editor to cut the exposition at the beginning and centre the romance in the story more firmly, but I did enjoy the read. Four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources.
Author Bio –
Sasha Wagstaff learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Sasha started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer. She also writes under the pseudonym of Ella Harper.
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