Saturday 4 July 2015

Reviewed: Christmas is Cancelled by Aurelia B. Rowl.

Christmas is Cancelled was published by Carina on December 1, 2014.

Thanks to Carina for auto-approving me for a copy of this title on Netgalley.

Christmas is Cancelled is Aurelia B. Rowl’s debut novel, which has since been re-released by Carina. Having already read and enjoyed both of Aurelia’s young adult/new adult books in her Facing the Music series, I was looking forward to reading her first contemporary romance novella. Christmas is Cancelled introduces us to Tilly who is in a bad way. As if being newly single, homeless and jobless wasn’t enough, her Christmas Eve train is cancelled and so she won’t even make it to her brother’s home in time for the festive season. Her Christmas cancelled, Tilly is in a desperate rush to leave the station only to quickly find herself face to face with Dean, a guy she hasn’t seen for almost nine years, a guy who broke her heart…

I liked Tilly straight away. She was a bit all over the place, one second feisty and the next a bit of a wreck, but she was quite endearing. There was a lot of chemistry between her and Dean, it kind of oozed off the pages a little but even though Dean found Tilly hard to resist, there was something holding him back, something to do with a promise he once made.

I had mixed feelings about Dean. I liked him, I really did and I found his story to be interesting but at times I found him to be over-sensitive and it made me cringe a little how soppy he could be. It just ended up feeling a bit weird to me and I don’t really know how to explain that without going into spoiler territory but I just wasn’t quite sure how I felt about him as a character. He did make me smile when he was trying to find a suitable nickname for Tilly – and you just knew he wasn’t going to settle until he found one that worked, even though it did make me wince a little when he used it so often. Dean was the fascinating part of this novella though because there are things nobody knows about him and I was really intrigued, wondering what they could be and wondering how they would affect the dynamics between him and Tilly.

I expected Dean’s secrets to be quite straight-forward and not as dramatic as they were. Though I loved the start to Christmas is Cancelled, I felt like it went off on one in the middle and lost its way. There was a bit of a drama overload for me and I found both Dean and Tilly annoying at this point, never mind the introduction of another character who frustrated me so much. The story seemed to go from having likeable characters with tons of sexual tension to characters who just kept blowing hot and cold and who came to the most ridiculous of assumptions without any sense whatsoever.

Though I felt like this book went off on a tangent, I did think it got brought nicely back together towards the end with a surprise or two. I was impressed by how much Aurelia fit into this novella and the book developed at a whirlwind pace. Even though Christmas wasn’t really on the agenda for Tilly or Dean, I liked the fun festivities we did see in the story, especially all the snow which as it does in real life, brought chaos and fun all at the same time. Overall Christmas is Cancelled was a heart-warming story, a nice little read for that day you’re sat in front of the fire and in need of something to lift your spirits. The ending was something a bit different and I thought it was a touching way to end the story.

Became a bit too dramatic for my liking but overall it was a quick, fun read with lots of chemistry and sexual tension.

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