“Christmas with Hamish” by Sophie Penhaligon

“Christmas with Hamish” by Sophie Penhaligon is exactly the kind of story you’d want to read over Christmas time. It has it all to add to the general atmosphere of waiting for miracles to happen. A beautiful romance that will make your heart flutter deliciously, Christmas settings and activities you are supposed to experience during the festive season and two impossibly cute dogs. Hamish and Chunk definitely steal the show.

Christmas wedding, in Verity’s opinion, is an objectionable choice. The bride’s – her sister’s – obsession with Disney’s “Frozen” adds to Verity’s frustration for having to be here. Still, the reasons for her feeling neither comfortable nor happy run much deeper than her not appreciating weddings or cartoon motives.

Verity and Nikau meet at the wedding which they both didn’t want to attend. But what blossoms between them amidst the Frozen paraphernalia, the young bride’s tantrums, and Verity’s mother’s condemnation of her daughter’s choices, turns out to be so absolutely worth all the trouble they had to go through.

Verity’s visit to Vancouver from Toronto, the city she’d voluntarily exiled herself to, so she could be far from her family, turns her life upside down. But although Nikau seems perfect, her own demons threaten to take an upper hand in the couple’s quest for their happily ever after.

I like that the author didn’t make the drama of the main characters’ pasts the centre of the story. Both Verity and Nikau went through traumatic experiences when they were children. In my opinion, it adds depth to their love story and makes the reader sympathise with them more, wishing for them to be happy. At the same time, the book left a cosy magical Christmas aftertaste rather than a burden of heavy thoughts.

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