Friday 13 November 2015

Reviewed: Winter's Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Winter's Fairytale was published by Carina on November 10, 2015.

Thanks to Cara for sending me a Netgalley copy of this book to review.

Winter’s Fairytale was the winning book in Carina’s Write Christmas competition and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s beautifully written and enchanting, combining two sweet love stories into one uplifting, festive bundle of joy. Wedding dress designer Izzy is all set to get married to Steven, until his best man Rob delivers the news that there will be no wedding – Izzy has been jilted at the altar. Izzy’s response was to plant a punch on Rob’s nose, promptly breaking it and leaving her in a state of embarrassment. She’s so embarrassed, she ignores any contact from Rob for the next six months until she’s stranded in a bad snowstorm, only for Rob to be the person who comes to her rescue. I loved the opening to this book – it was witty and set the scene perfectly, also instantly helping me connect with Izzy who thankfully wasn’t the kind of jilted bride who was going to whine throughout the rest of the book. Then there was Rob, who, I admit it, I fell swiftly in love with… He was kind and thoughtful but also pretty dreamy and there was so much glaringly obvious chemistry between the two of them that I found myself constantly willing them to just kiss already!

Izzy’s character was so likeable – I loved how she was feisty and ballsy and kept Rob on his toes. The moments where she tried to take charge showed off her inner bossiness and it made me smile – how she could really quite charmingly wrap anybody around her little finger. She felt like your typical down-to-earth girl but just don’t try to get in between Izzy and her five inch heels. Izzy was completely mortified at breaking Rob’s nose but secretly, he was pretty impressed that she managed to take down his six foot free, seventeen stone self with just one punch. After bad snowfall means Izzy really does have no way of getting home safely, he convinces her to stay with him until she can make other arrangements and that weekend was my favourite part of the book. I loved the banter between them and how they built up such a lovely, genuine friendship. Seeing them both gently come through the disastrous wedding day’s nose-breaking incident was really sweet and the bond between them grows so easily.

Rob’s trust in Izzy leads him to introducing her to his family, most importantly his sister Jenny, who is battling her own issues on the run up to her wedding day to the lovely Mike. Jenny has a lack of self-esteem and confidence, not helped by the accident which left her in a wheelchair. All she wants is her dream dress, to make her look beautiful and at her best for her wedding day. Jenny and Mike’s relationship was truly beautiful – there was so much love there and they were so evidently perfect for each other. I found it sad how Jenny was really relying on a wedding dress to make her feel good about herself when she was worth so much more than that. But the newfound friendship between Jenny and Izzy, as well as with Jenny and Rob’s mum, too, was lots of fun. Family and friendships were as much of a vital part to this novel as the romance was – and it was a really endearing and comforting aspect that made you feel involved in the story, almost part of the family yourself.

There were a few little twists and turns throughout Winter’s Fairytale, all leading up to an ending I loved. Though I was a big fan and cheerleader for the possibility of something happening between Izzy and Rob, I did find that later on in the book the pettiness between them dragged a tiny bit. But even before it got back on track, there was so much to enjoy about this Christmassy novel – not least the engaging writing style and the gorgeous imagery and description used throughout. Everything felt so natural and the writing flowed so well I couldn’t bring myself to put the book down once, so naturally I didn’t and read it all in one go. It’s such a cosy, heart-warming story which, alongside the adorable romance, also represented a proper family Christmas, something I love reading about because it brings back many happy memories. This book was a real wintry treat, with all the snow nicely contrasting with all the warmth the story exuded. I couldn’t help but find myself laughing away or sighing with happiness and I’m so excited to read more from Maxine if this is the kind of feel-good novel she’s capable of. I just want to read it all over again and probably will do in Christmases to come.

A truly lovely winter read

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