Title: Christmas Island
Author: Natalie Normann
Publication Date: Nov. 30, 2020
Publisher: One More Chapter
Synopsis: Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!
In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable
After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.
Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.
Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.
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Christmas Island is a lovely contemporary romance that proves that, even in the middle of a cold and dark winter, romance is alive. Set on an island off the coast of Norway, the story is immersive and rich in Nordic traditions and culture. I enjoyed learning more about how they celebrate the holidays and appreciated all the vivid imagery. The author really brought the island, the culture, and the holiday spirit to life. The food, in particular, is described in mouth-watering and vivid detail. I felt like I could smell the delicious pastries and cookies that were prepared and eaten throughout the story, and you can imagine how delighted I was to see some of the recipes at the end of the book!
Another great aspect of the novel is the characters. Holly is a funny and quirky protagonist who is a bit out of her element on this isolated island. Tor, the hunky hermit and Holly’s love interest, is the strong, silent, and brooding type. The slow-building romance between Holly and Tor is also wonderful. They complement each other well, and they have great chemistry. I like that, though both seemed to be hiding from their realities back home, they found each other on the island. Other characters, like the local teacher and business owners, as well as Tor’s cat, have fantastic personalities and highlight the charm of the island.
Another aspect of the story that I really liked was the way in which the author told Holly and Tor’s backstories. We know that they are both on the island because they are trying to get away, but it is unclear what they are getting away from. An incident at work has out Holly’s career in jeopardy, and it appears that Tor is still healing from a romantic wound. Their stories slowly unfold as they get to know each other, which I enjoyed. Slowly revealing their lives created well-developed characters and an interesting story.
A great contemporary romance set on a secluded Norwegian island, Christmas Island is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Thanks so much to One More Chapter and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course! Holly and Tor have a lovely, slow-building romance that I loved!
- The setting. The Norwegian island during the holidays is absolutely charming.
- The food!! There are so many delicious sounding meals and desserts that I just wanted to jump into the pages and eat with the characters.
This is a great story for readers who like contemporary romance with great characters and a wonderful setting!