But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.
When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.
Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…
Title: A Bookshop Christmas
Author: Rachel Burton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published: September 2, 2021
My Rating: 4 stars
A Bookshop Christmas is a delightful story full of everything that I enjoy in a Christmas Romance… yet it goes beyond the holiday magic into the heartbreak of losing a loving husband to illness, the path of recovery and acceptance for a new widow, the heart-catching feeling of maybe falling in love again even if the man starts off as arrogant and rude. A bonus for me was some very hard-hitting situations with those who would put down the Romance book genre as “less than” other “more important” styles of writing. I absolutely loved those clapbacks because no one should ever put down a category of books simply because they have no real clue of what lies between the pages of those titles. So, yeah, a touch of fist pumps along the way for my favorite books.
Megan has retreated to the safety and comfort of her family’s home and bookshop in York after the death of her husband. While she might believe she’s coping with her loss, in reality, she’s hiding from the emotions that are brewing just beneath her surface. It was so easy to identify with Megan, she’s functioning, even making new friends among the customers and staff of the bookshop but she still is in a cocoon of sorts… until Xander arrives on the scene.
Xander made it very hard for me to even pretend to like him at first, but the guy grew on me as more of his past is revealed. Plus who can really dislike a guy who travels with his beloved little dog, right?
A Bookshop Christmas has layers to it, and I enjoyed unveiling each one along the way. We all deal with grief differently, there is no “right” way no matter what others may try to force on someone. Watching Megan, and eventually, Xander open up, let their real selves be shown, and do a bit of healing while dealing with an attraction neither wanted at first was an emotional journey. I enjoyed their story, loved the interactions among the book club members, and fell in love with a tiny dog.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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