If you received a mysterious invitation for a fun-filled festive train ride the week before Christmas, would you go?
When teacher Dee Nicholls receives her invitation, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Surely it’s some kind of joke to get her out of bed early on a weekend? Perhaps a clever festive marketing ploy?
But as the Christmas countdown begins, it becomes clear that Dee isn’t the only “Jingle Bells Express” invitee. There are other people out there who have received the same invitation: Tom the intern, Rachel the aspiring writer, Dylan the musician, and his dog Muttley – and they’re not the only ones!
Could the unusual festive journey they eventually take together show them all the true meaning of Christmas, and also that happiness is sometimes right in front of you – if you just take the time to look?
Title: Laughing All The Way on the Jingle Bells Express
Author: Berni Stevens
Genre: Christmas Romance
Published: November 30, 2021
Publisher: Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Laughing All The Way on the Jingle Bells Express was everything I expect in a story from Berni Stevens – funny, entertaining, uplifting, and leaving me with a good feeling as the final page slips past me. This might be novella length, but it certainly packed a whole lot into those pages!
Frankly, I’m sort of struggling to come up with a way to rave about Laughing All The Way on the Jingle Bells Express without saying too much… and I’ve not come up with an acceptable solution. So.
I enjoyed the multiple points of view, explaining most of the invitee’s reactions as they take this unexpected journey. It might sound like too much to keep track of, but that’s the opposite of what I found as I got to know each “speaker” a bit more and enjoyed their contribution to the overall surprise experience. It’s full of laughter, feel-good moments that definitely put the reader in a festive, holiday mood. Yet, there are also a few life lessons to be learned along the way, subtle but there if we open our eyes and hearts to hear them.
I will always, always adore animals in a story, and Muttley was perfect (and Dylan wasn’t too bad either) *wink*. As a group of strangers experienced a surprise train trip, lives will be enhanced, friendships formed, and perhaps some personal issues faced from a different viewpoint. Laughing All The Way on the Jingle Bells Express is a delightful Christmas/Holiday experience, the type of story that you can enjoy over a lunch break or in front of a cozy roaring fireplace. I had fun, always enjoy anything that this author brings us, and would definitely recommend it. This one will be an annual re-read for me… and that didn’t surprise me one bit.
If you love your Christmas season served with a bit of a mystery, lots of laughter, and good friends then this is a story you’ll fall in love with. And that cover! Adored it, light-hearted, whimsical with just enough things in the book to make me want to grab it and start reading.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, ChocLit/Ruby Fiction. 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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