Tuesday 21 July 2015

Reviewed: Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore.

Skating at Somerset House is book one in the #LoveLondon series. It was published by Harper Impulse on December 4, 2014.

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

I loved the idea of Nikki Moore’s #LoveLondon series and so straight after reading my copy of Skating at Somerset House, I headed to Amazon to order the rest of the books. Skating at Somerset House was a fun-filled short read, with a big festive feel to the story and a smile-inducing little romance. The first short story in the series is about the characters of Noel Summerford and Holly Winterlake, and now the Christmas theme to their names has only just this second dawned on me, I love them even more than I did before. Holly adores the festive season and can’t understand how anybody could not like Christmas. She loves the shopping, the turkey, the cards, the music and everything else and would be more than happy to celebrate Christmas every month. Which is why when she meets Noel at Somerset House, where she works as an Ice Marshall, he is a complete mystery to her. Noel, of course, hates Christmas. He detests it. In fact, he’s been dreaming of a summery escape for the next festive season. A hot, sunny beach with a book in hand would make the ideal Christmas for him. And definitely no ice skating. But Holly is a little drawn to his character and doesn’t look set to give in until she’s convinced him Christmas isn’t all that bad.

I loved the way this book started. The opening chapter where we learn everything Noel hates about Christmas followed by us learning everything Nikki adores about Christmas really set the scene. The contrast in their feelings on the festive season already had me wondering how things would work out when they inevitably met and I was well on the side of Holly and hoping she could win Noel over. I was also intrigued about why he disliked Christmas so much and in time, Nikki pieced this story together beautifully and I really, really enjoyed it. Holly’s enthusiasm and excitement for Christmas was catching and this book is a quick, delightful read to inject some festive spirit into you, especially if you’re not as tough to break down as Noel. Occasionally, I felt like the dialogue between Noel and Holly was a tiny bit forced but mostly, I liked the banter between them and they were screamingly obvious complete opposites but the sparks were there. Both Holly and Noel’s characters had surprising depth to them considering the length of this book but this helped me connect with them easily and I was keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending. I also loved the character of Jasper who was a chatty, excitable boy and the only reason Noel would ever step foot in Somerset House. Jasper was an energetic little character who tired me out every time he started speaking but he played his part in bringing Holly and Noel that little bit closer together…

Nikki’s building of the setting and festivities was so beautiful to read. The skating rink was brought to life with all the little details like the skating outfits and I giggled away at Noel’s skating attempts though perhaps a bit unfairly since I would have been no better! Skating at Somerset House felt complete which is something you don’t often get with short stories, though that’s not to say I haven’t missed Noel and Holly a little bit since I finished. Despite Noel’s grumpiness, it was an uplifting story – ideal for those who love Christmas but also those who aren’t so keen. The festivities are at a high but there’s also a heart-warming story perfect to be read at any time during the year. I loved Nikki’s style of writing and building of a romance and I’m excited to read more from her in the future.

Beautiful scene-setting and a sweet romance to put you in the Christmas spirit

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