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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Audible Book Review: We'll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale

This is a mostly charming, Hallmark style Christmas romance.
We'll Always Have Christmas
By: Jenny Hale
Narrated by: Helene Maksoud

Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-29-17
Language: English
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Holiday Romance, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0, Story, Narration and Overall.

Publisher's Summary
An enchanting story about the magic of Christmas, the importance of family, and the joy of falling in love during the most romantic season of the year....
Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family's cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing....
The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.
Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.
As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson - the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington...
In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?
Unwrap the feeling of Christmas in this beautiful novel celebrating friendship, family and love that lasts a lifetime. We'll Always Have Christmas is the perfect treat for fans of Karen Swan, Susan Mallery, and Sue Moorcroft.
©2017 Jenny Hale (P)2017 Bookouture

Noelle has come home with her young son, Lucas, after being laid off from her city job. She is ready to take over the family bakery, Hope and Sugar Bakery, as she promised her beloved grandmother. Unfortunately, Noelle is told by her family that the bakery is in financial difficulty and they can’t even give her a paying position.

Instead, she takes a job to help as a caregiver to a wealthy man who is losing his sight. The senior Mr. Harrington, William, isn’t initially thrilled that his handsome grandson, Alexander, has hired Noelle. Noelle’s family isn’t happy about the job either as they are claiming that Alexander Harrington, as the store landlord, has raised the building rent and has plans to move in a newer business.

Noelle and Lucas move into a suite in the huge mansion. Alexander is kind to Lucas, remembering how important it was for him as a young boy to have someone pay attention. He and Noelle develop a friendship too but they are both reluctant to allow feelings to grow. Alex is planning to move to New York to pursue his business. Noelle is focused on protecting herself and her son while struggling to save the bakery. Alex is estranged from his cantankerous grandfather, William Harrington, and Noelle wants to find a way to bring them together before Christmas.

Of course, the plot is a perfect situation in the style of a Hallmark Christmas romance. Sadly, Noelle’s character made me a bit nuts. She jumps to conclusions without getting facts and then she rushes off with inaccurate assumptions. Alex is a lovely character with more depth than expected. And of course, Lucas and William add more cuteness and conflict.

The writing is easy, almost simplistic. The romance is sweet but I felt it had a strange combination of forced and rushed. Through my frustration, I still enjoyed the light entertainment and overall story. I recommend this to fans of Hallmark Christmas style romance.

Audio Notes: Helene Maksoud did a nice job with the narration. She shares the feel of the story: melancholy, frustrated, nostalgic and sometimes wondrous. I am glad that I listened to the story.

Source: September 2017 Credit Purchase. This qualifies for 2018 TBR and Audiobook Challenge.

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