Reading is one of my greatest pleasures in life and the sole reason I love commuting to work by train – a dedicated hour each day that I can lose myself in a story. Usually my genre of choice is true crime and it’s rare I deviate from this, however from time to time I will opt to read a fiction story… about crime. It’s just my thing, I find it fascinating and desperately want to do a Criminology course one day!
A few weeks ago I was very kindly sent a pre-publication copy of Hope At Christmas by Keeley Holmes. Being much more of a modern romance story, it’s not my usual kind of read, but in the spirit of expanding my reading pool I decided to give it a go.
I won’t tell you too much about the story as I don’t want to issue any spoilers for anyone who wants to read it, but the basic storyline of the book follows the lead character – Hope – as she meets a man, initially hates him then begins to fall in love with him. There is a support cast of her three best friends as she traverses the cautious, nerve-wracking early days of a relationship with the dark cloud of something that occurred in her past hovering over her and holding her back.
Despite this being the polar opposite of the sort of book I would usually read, I didn’t hate it. I did, however, hate the male lead, Hope’s love interest, Dan. I mean, I intensely disliked him from pretty much the start. I consider myself a strong, independent woman and have zero time for men that are over-bearing or controlling, and that’s how I found Dan for most of the book. That said, towards the end I began to see another side to him and by the final pages I didn’t hate him completely… I just felt that he needed to try and think before he spoke and not be so demanding for things to always go his way.
In terms of the other characters you are given a clear idea of each of their personalities; I was easily able to picture in my mind what they looked like and felt I had an understanding of who they each were and how their friendship circle worked.
The story itself is a classic modern romance – girl meets boy, boy wants girl, girl hates boy, boy bothers girl, girl gives in and falls in love – but a love story isn’t a love story without a disaster or two thrown in and there’s a couple in this book that threaten to stop Hope and Dan having their happy ever after.
All in all, Hope At Christmas is well written and allows to reader to create their own visual of the world the characters live in. I’m not sure it’s enough to have me downloading more romance novels onto my Kindle – I’ll always be a true crime girl – but if modern romance is your kind of thing I 100% recommend it! You can pick it up on Amazon for just 99p on Kindle or £8.99 for a paperback.
In case you didn’t see, I set myself a list of things to do before my next birthday (33 Before 33) and although I haven’t ticked a huge amount of them off (money and time hasn’t been on my side!) I have been able to read quite a lot of books which was one thing I wanted to make more time for. Perhaps I need to concentrate more on ticking some other items off too… so far it’s not going brilliantly! Must try harder!