It’s almost the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (Christmas, duh)! I’m a sucker for Christmas. I love the twinkling lights, the smell of fresh pine, wrapping presents, the cheery music, and all the dessert goodness. And, of course, I love binge-watching Hallmark Christmas movies every weekend. That’s why I was super excited to be an ARC reader for Rachael Bloome’s debut novel The Clause in Christmas.
A little sidenote. Rachael is not only an amazing writer, but she’s an awesome human. When I finally embraced my writer persona and joined the writing community via social media last year, Rachael was one of the first people I connected with via Instagram. She’s not only encouraging, but she’s been a good sounding board for ideas and lessons learned as we both navigate the crazy world of publishing.
That aside, her book hit all the high notes! Small town. Fun Christmas activities. Yummy recipes. Family connections. A sweet love interest.
Check. Check. Checkcheckcheck.
About The Clause in Christmas:
Pulled straight from the Amazon page (available in paperback and Kindle Unlimited).
Cassie Hayward hates Christmas. Especially this year.
No job. Flat broke. And an ex most definitely on the naughty list.
But the unexpected inheritance of a Victorian cottage in the idyllic town of Poppy Creek may be the miracle Cassie needs. Except for one problem: a clause in the will. Cassie must complete a series of festive tasks for each day in December leading up to Christmas. Overseen by the disarmingly handsome, Christmas-loving lawyer, Luke Davis.
Luke is as strong and steady as the bespoke furniture he crafts as a hobby. He has to be. Stepping into his late father’s shoes as the town lawyer comes with a sleigh full of responsibilities. Which means the alluring stranger collecting her inheritance is a distraction he can’t afford.
As the unlikely pair works together to complete the daily tasks, fighting their attraction becomes more futile than putting Ol' St. Nick on a diet. But when Cassie’s ex reappears with the offer of a lifetime, she’ll have to choose between love and the life she always wanted.
What I Loved About It
The Small Town Feel
Something about small towns during Christmastime always makes me happy (which is probably why I created the town of Fraser Hills for my Christmas romance too). The tight knit community, cute storefronts, town traditions, and overall feeling of being welcome is a perfect backdrop for a holiday-inspired story. Rachael delivered all of these things and more.
Through her beautiful writing, I was transported to this quaint town and found myself wishing I could visit someplace like it in real life!
(Anyone know of a place like this? I’m taking suggestions!)
The Character Growth
Cassie is at a crossroads in her life. She’s grown out of whatever situation she had back in San Francisco but isn’t quite sure what her next step is. I loved seeing her discover this throughout the story. Each little situation she finds herself in helps her feel more aligned with the new direction. It’s relatable.
We all go through these moments where we’re on the verge of change. We know we no longer fit in our old life but aren’t sure what happens next. Seeing her highs and lows throughout the story gave me a sense of hope for my own life changes.
The Possibility to Revisit Poppy Creek!
Main characters aside, Rachael introduced so many loveable, interesting, and fully-dimensional minor characters. She weaved these people throughout the story in such a solid way that I found myself invested in them too.
Luckily, I’ll be able to visit the small town of Poppy Creek again and again! As part of a series, Rachael’s readers will find out what happens next for the characters she introduced in this book.
If you’re guilty of watching endless hours of Hallmark Christmas movies like I am, check out The Clause in Christmas. This sweet, clean romance is bound to get you in the feel-good, holiday spirit!
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