Monday, 24 November 2014


Title: The Christmas Spirit
Author: Susan Buchanan
Release Date: 27th November 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it. 

Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.

Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her? 

Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.

Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?


Approaching this one I was hoping for a "feel good" Christmas themed read, hoping it wasn't too sickly sweet or predictable. I was looking forward to reading it, even though my mum was reading it and finding it slow moving for her tastes.

I received a free e-copy of this one in exchange for reading and reviewing and posting as part of the blog tour. 
The cover is bright and cheery looking with the Christmas Tree, the four silhouettes around the tree. I like the font style and colour effect on the title. 
So would I pick this book up from a shelf in a book store? Yes, I think I would
The main character in this book is a female called Natalie Hope. Natalie has arrived in Scotland to supply temporary cover whilst the older lady that owns the bakery called Sugar & Spice has an operation. Natalie is there to do a special job starting 1st December and ending the 24th December. Natalie is renting a cottage from the owner of the Sugar & Spice. Natalie gets to "help" just four people, to bring them some Christmas cheer. Though by the time I finished reading this book, I think she actually brought hope and Christmas cheer to a lot more than just four people.
The other main characters in the book are Stanley, Meredith, Jacob and Rebecca. Stanley is an elderly gentleman who lost the love of his life, and is definitely not looking forward to Christmas. He is naturally missing her beloved wife Edith, whom he had been married to for 65 years. I have to admit to immediately loving this character and his wife Edith, they so reminded me of my own grandparents, I certainly had tears in my eyes at a few points within the book that were about Stanley. The next character is Meredith, who is basically a workaholic, she has a PA who she runs ragged and expects a lot from. Things change when she is forced to slow down due to her health. She rediscovers her family love as her sister takes her in and she spend Christmas with her family and see that there is more to life than work. I also believe that through "helping Meredith, that Natalie actually helps Sophie too.
The third main character is Jacob, who has been unemployed and is very disheartened as he is sending out numerous job applications and receiving no replies or even acknowledgments back. Jacobs family are stinking rich, yet offer no help financially or in gaining employment. Jacob ends up being in the right place at the right time, so gains a job, and becomes a popular member of the community. Along with Jacob being "helped" he is then in a position to help his sister Tabitha, when she needs a supportive shoulder.
The final and fourth person is Rebecca, she is depressed at having split from the man she thought she would marry. She is going through the whole tug of war over possessions and the home they have shared. Things do get a little worse before they improve for her.
So I've introduced you to the main characters, hopefully without giving away too much about them. 
This book gives you a serious case of the "warm and fuzzies".  It's heart warming, uplifting book which I really enjoyed a lot. I highly recommend reading this one. it'll put you into the Christmassy mood! I also like the end of the book, when you really realise who/what Natalie Hope is.
So did I enjoy the book? I really did love it!
Would I recommend the book? Yes, a perfect read for by the warm fireside when its cold and wintery outside!
Would I like to read more about the characters in this book? Yes, I think I would, perhaps another holiday, like Easter or something just a novella maybe to catch up with the characters. Then again this book does end really well anyway.
Would I like to read other books by this author? Ooo yes please!


What is your favourite Christmas Tradition?
I always watch Christmas movies on Christmas Eve, although to be honest now that I work from home, I try to watch them as much as possible throughout Dec. Since I was small and school would finish at lunchtime on Christmas Eve, I would rush home, have a bowl of soup (winters were bad then) and watch Christmas movies with my parents and siblings. Now it’s my turn to keep the tradition going with my daughter who is 19 months old.  Very much looking forward to Christmas this year.

Have you ever had a Christmas romance?
No, but I did meet my other half on New Year’s Eve in the Scottish Highlands, so surely that’s the next best thing.

What is the best romantic Christmas gift you've ever received?
 I’d love to say tickets to somewhere exotic abroad, but since we used to always go a long-haul holiday in January anyway, that kind of put paid to that as a Christmas present idea. It’s going to have to be jewellery, I think. I’d hinted at a necklace I might like for Christmas many years ago, but instead of the silver one I’d been asking for, I got the solid gold version, which was very unexpected.

Do you stay home and do Christmas, or do you go to someone else for Christmas?
Since we moved into this house four years ago, Christmas is here. Previously I always went to my parents. Instead we go there on Boxing Day (26th Dec for non-UK readers!) and celebrate with the whole family then. Plus now that we have a child of our own, I wanted her to be able to celebrate it in her own house, instead of dragging her around the country on Christmas Day!

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