Blog Tour and Book Review: One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson
A gorgeously romantic festive read from the author of A Mistletoe Miracle, guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas!
Could it be the start of her happy ever after? Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She's still living in Brighton with her Nan -- who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable -- her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa's elves, and not even the prospect of a friend's winter wedding can cheer her up... That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door. When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every other Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash's neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.
If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash's life, it's Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas... Feel-good and festive, this is the perfect romance to curl up with this winter!
This is a feel-good romance between two characters who have both come to crossroads in their lives. Ashleigh is at a standstill between dead-end jobs, the latest one working as an elf at a Christmas village. Olivier, working as a patissier chef in his father’s restaurant, is wondering whether he wants to accept the promotion he has just been offered and indeed whether he even still wants to work in a restaurant at all.
The two have known each other for years as Olivier’s mother lives next door to Ashleigh and her grandmother in Brighton. Olivier has mostly only spent Christmases there and Ash has nursed a crush on him for years but never done anything about it. This year, though, things are different as both of them are doing some introspective examining of their lives. They’re also aided and abetted by a fun side cast of friends and family (Ash’s best friend Romesh and his husband James are particularly delightful) who are well aware Ash and Olivier have been pining over each other in silence for years.
One thing I loved about this is that Olivier is a beta hero. He’s gentle and in touch with his feelings; he’s actually pushed around by his bossy father and has to make the decision to stand up to him and take charge of his own life. Ash is in a slightly different situation but also has to renegotiate boundaries in family relationships as the story progresses.
This is something of a coming of age story for both Olivier and Ash as they both reach significant turning points in their lives and make the decision to move forward together. There was a lot to like about it and I didn’t have any significant nitpicks to make (except Ash making a wedding dress the bride didn’t try on until the day before the wedding, which, yikes for no backup plan). It’s a fun and charming read with some very relatable characters and I’m happy to give it five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
Author Bio – Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Her latest romantic comedy, SUMMER IN THE CITY, was released in June 2020. Emma also writes historical and fantasy fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL'S BRIDE was published by DarkStroke in February 2020. You can find out news about Emma via her website, by signing up to her newsletter at www.esjackson.co.uk or on: Twitter: @ESJackson1