Saturday, February 11, 2023

Review: Christmas In London by Anita Hughes


Genre: Holiday Romance
Published: October 3, 2017
Pages: 282

Set during London's most festive time of year and filled with delicious food Anita Hughes' Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season's most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge's. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.

And then there’s Kate, the show's beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew's in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.

I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program, four and a half years ago. This is my honest review. 

I started this book before Christmas but did not manage to finish it in time for it to count for my 12 Books of Christmas reading challenge. Unfortunately I was not as drawn into the story as others I read in December, so it took me longer to finish. My copy being a paperback contributed to that some as well since I read more on my phone than anything anymore since it's so portable. 

This book features two romantic storylines, and the one I found more compelling and intriguing saw way less airtime in my opinion. The second chance romance between Kate and Trevor had so much more depth than what we saw between Louisa and Noah. The latter relationship was like watching teenagers who spend high school dating on and off again every other day. They were seriously so immature. 

There was some feel good Christmas romance magic, but I felt like the story would've mostly made just as much sense any other time of the year as well. Surely Easter at Claridge's could be a thing too, right? 

Overall I give this book 2.9 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch BeachMarket Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, Santorini SunsetsChristmas in ParisWhite Sand, Blue Sea, and Emerald Coast. She attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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