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I persevered with this book, though halfway through felt it was extremely boring. The plot was predictable, and I get tired of reading about emotional women , with tears sliding down their cheeks, as they push a lock of hair behind their ear. I don't know if the recipes were inserted to make the book more appealing, but they didn't work for me.
This book focuses on two characters, Eve and Greg. Each chapter changes between them both which I really love in a book. I found that some scenes are repeated but I really like to read both the female and male point of view.
I really liked the character Eve, who works at an Estate Agents with her best friend Daisy. Eve is heartbroken after finding out that her fiancé (Liam) cheated on her. After a messy breakup, arguing over the parental rights to their dog (Marmite) and it nearing Christmas (a year ago since Liam proposed, them wearing matching Christmas jumpers in their love bubble) she decides to put herself on a pottery course and take herself and Marmite to stay on a houseboat in Pangbourne for a few weeks in December.
You meet Greg who is the local Vet at Pangbourne, straight away he comes across as such a loveable male character. After coming to Eve's rescue on the boat they soon hit it off, I wanted to jump into the book give Eve a big hug and tell her to forget loser Liam and yay to Greg! Greg visits Eve many times on her boat, and after reading his side of a scene you know he deliberately goes her way on the off chance of running into her. (awwww!)
Eve is a terrible cook, usually letting Liam do all the cooking during dinner parties and after food poisoning her friends she decides to try again and learn how to cook on the houseboat, with Greg's help she becomes more confident, baking lots of Christmas goodies. I loved that some chapter's of the book started with a different recipe with all things Christmassy, Christmas cookies, fruit loaf and Christmas pudding! Yum!
Although some things aren't what they seem, Greg keeps having to disappear and Daisy is acting strange keeping something back from Eve. This book kept me guessing right until the end, I did try to guess a few times, convinced I knew the truth and getting it wrong, so the last few chapters I was gripped!
This is a must read whatever the season! I really hope Rosie Blake brings out a follow on from this one, would love to catch up with all the characters!
This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.com
One of the key ingredients to a successful chick-lit or woman's fiction story is an easy-to-relate-to main character, and it's a compliment (too?) easily given. Rosie Blake's heroine, however, was more than a familiar "best friend" sort of character. For some reason I just "clicked" with Eve. Maybe it's the way she decided to just up and leave for a little while. I loved how she made a brave decision like that. And starting up a completely new hobby, just because she can... Loved it! And it actually sounded really tempting - even the houseboat! Who would have thought...But it wasn't just Eve that felt so wonderfully familiar and "comfortable". Her relationship with Daisy, Greg or her sister felt just as easy and real. Rosie introduced some fun and interesting secondary characters. I'm not a fan of those characters taking away from the main story, but in this case I actually felt like they could have had a bit more of the limelight. (So maybe this book was a hundred pages too short for me, Rosie ;-) ) Even though this story is about a young woman recovering from a horrible break-up, Rosie managed to make this a fun, light and relaxing read. I laughed out loud quite a few times and finished the book with a smile on my face. Wonderful read - Christmastime or not.
I read this in two sittings, having been forced to put it down for a bit of babysitting. It's a brilliant book, addictive and interesting with characters you'll like instantly and start to care about.
Eve is our heroine, and the book starts with a rather hilarious exchange between her and her parents. Their presence continues throughout the book and never failed to make me smile. Getting back to Eve, she's a very likable character, and easy to relate to. She's also very funny - from her disastrous early attempts at cooking and getting to grips with her new living quarters. (Trying not to spoil anything here!)
Then we have Greg, our hero, who's just as lovely and likeable, and its fun to read things from his point of view, too, as it gives an insight into his side of the story.
There were parts I laughed aloud, and some scenes I got a bit teary eyed. And there's a twist, too, with something I thought I'd predicted, which was a fun surprise and put a different slant on things.
If you like good books that draw you in and don't let go, this is the one for you. And if it's not Christmas when you happen to be considering buying this book, don't let that put you off. It's festive but not enough to stop you from being able to enjoy it all year round.
Rosie Blake’s Christmas novel How to Stuff Up Christmas is delightful. Let me just get that out of the way. I. Loved. It!
The story is about Eve; a broken hearted woman who is facing her first Christmas alone since she found out that her ex-fiance had been cheating on her. It is difficult. Rather than facing Christmas head on she decides to run away; not literally, she is a grown woman after all. She decided to pretend Christmas isn’t happening and instead has started a course and moved onto a houseboat.
Some may think that this is a bit extreme but meh. We have all been there. I know that I have. You see, that is what is really great about How to Stuff Up Christmas; the situation and the heartache that Eve is facing is real. It feels real and most of us have been there.
Eve is essentially mending her broken heart. She has been scorned and has all this hatred for a faceless enemy and she cannot resolve her feelings. Enter Greg. Ahhh Greg. Everyone who has ever faced heartache should have a Greg. Greg is the local vet and quite by chance he and Eve develop a friendship.
All great love stories start there.
Essentially, Rosie Blake’s How to Stuff Up Christmas is about healing. It is about how the old adages ‘time is a great healer’ and ‘the best way to get over somebody is to…(well you get the picture)’ are true. You cannot help but fall in love with Blake’s cast of characters and her unfortunately well-to-known-in-real-life storyline.
How to Stuff Up Christmas is a warm, lovely festive read that will melt your frost tipped fingers. Buy it, read it and enjoy it. That is an order.
i really enjoyed this story. i was drawn into the whole world and circumstances and particularly liked the canalboat setting. it was cosy and comforting. some christmas comedy romances are too far fetched and you can see the ending coming a mile off. Nice with a hot chocolate