Title: Christmas Ever After (Puffin Island Trilogy Book 3)
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: 8 October 2015
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The most wonderful time of the year?
Jewellery designer Skylar isn’t so sure. Especially if she has to spend it with cynical, aloof Alec. So what if he’s a famous historian? He‘s also determined to think the worst of her and when a twist of fate means they’re stuck together, she‘s expecting disaster!
But as they flee snowy London on a winter adventure that takes them from his family’s festive Cotswold chaos to her native Puffin Island, she realises that she may have misjudged him.
As glittering Christmas nights draw in, the sparks between Alec and Skylar glow ever brighter. Could they find their own Christmas Ever After?
Thanks to Mira Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.
Skylar Tempest is an artist. “In a world that often presented its ugly side, Skylar looked for the beauty and captured it in her art”. She is clever and kind, yet she remains a disappointment to her parents who are disappointed in hercareer choice. Fortunately, she has somewhat redeemed herself in their eyes by her relationship with Richard Everson and his promising political career.
Alec Hunter is a maritime historian, but he certainly doesn’t look like any old academic. Known as the ‘Shipwreck Hunter‘, he is the guy who manages to ‘make history sexy’! Having just been through an acrimonious divorce, he has been left emotionally battered and bruised after having to deal with an ex-wife, Selina,who disliked his family, resented his job and questioned his love.
Skylar Tempest and Alec Hunter have met on a number of occasions through mutual friends and quite simply do not get on, in fact they can barely tolerate each other and that is only for the sake of their friendship group. She thinks he is hardened and cynical, he thinks she is shallow and ‘a princess’.
First, Alec saves Skylar following a confrontation with her boyfriend, then she accidentally runs into him naked, following which theyend up being thrown together for Christmas, a situation that neither of them is happy about it. As Skylar and Alec get used to their enforced proximity and a tentative friendship arises, they realise that they may have to rethink their initial opinions of each other. Alec tried to help Skylar to realise her self-worth, whilst Skylar tries to persuade Alex not to give up on love. As Skylar tells Alec – “When you’re in love with someone you should be their biggest fan. You celebrate each little success, and feel proud of everything they achieve. You encourage them and cheer them on“.
I thought the characterisation was very good. Morgan captured their thoughts and emotions in a way that rendered them both likeable and real. I believed in the characters and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and change throughout the book.
The supporting characters (some of whom we have already read in the earlier books in the Puffin Island series) – Emily, Brittany, Ryan, Zach, Lily, Nik, Olivia, Simon,Suzanne Granny and of course, not to forget the dogs, Churchill and Nelson – are all likeable and relatable and provide a great backdrop for Alec and Skylar’s burgeoning friendship.
The setting of the book moves from London to Brockburn-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds and then on to Puffin Island in Maine, each being a delightful and idyllic setting. Morgan really has created a beautifully idyllicworld for Skylar and Alec to begin their friendship.
Christmas is a difficult time to hold grudges, the holiday sentiment and festivities will help melt the hardest of hearts. “….love is honest and unselfish. Any it isn’t demanding…..It’s a cup of tea in bed on a cold day, it‘s a foot rub when you’ve walked for hours, it‘s a listening ear and an encougaging word.” I love a good romance and how could I not love a story which describes true love in such perfect terms?! Christmas Ever After sweeps the reader into an idyllic, cosy bundle of friendship, lust, romance and Christmas festivities. It is a beautifully crafted love story, filled to the brim with sparkle and joy, which will warm the frosiest of hearts! A perfect book to curl up with on a cold and rainy day.
About the Author
Sarah Morgan writes warm contemporary romantic fiction with her trademark humour which has gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘full of sparkle’ by Lovereading, she has been nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 and 2013.