The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

the-christmas-promise

I love Sue Moorcroft’s books and I also love Christmas so I was absolutely thrilled to get my hands on an advanced copy of her latest creation. Just check out that beautiful cover. Pretty irresistible right? But things are not as cosy as they may at first appear…

So what’s it about?

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

In this story Sue Moorcroft shows herself yet again to be a master at drawing and exploring the different kinds of relationships between people. Here we are thrust in between mother and son, aunt and nephew, mother and daughter, father and daughter as well as getting involved in a whole host of friendships and work relationships with varying degrees of trust and sympathy. Each character is realistically and sympathetically portrayed so that their relationships too are wholly believable and in no way clichéd. You can’t help but be there with Ava, every step of the way.

The story is undoubtedly satisfying – when you finish it, you’ll probably realise there’s a smile on your face and you’re feeling nicely warm and fuzzy – it’s that kind of read. It’s probably only on reflection that you’ll realise that Moorcroft has actually managed to get you thinking about some pretty heavy subjects – rape and the strains of serious illness both on the patient and those around them for example, in addition to shining a light on the extremely topical subject of Revenge Porn. She shows just how easily this situation can come about and how incredibly difficult it can be to deal with it in a way that doesn’t cause further hurt somewhere along the line. Obviously heavily researched and carefully planned, that part of the storyline is very sympathetically written.

Talking of research, I would never have believed I could get so caught up in the subject of hat making! Ava is a couture milliner and makes bespoke hats for private clients. I became fascinated with the descriptions of the materials she was using, the little decorations she added and the process she went through to find the perfect hat for each customer, make it and then to fit it. The descriptions were so rich I could clearly see the hats in all the different colours and textures. Incredible writing.

Oh, and if you’re not even a tiny bit in love with Sam by the end of the story…

I devoured the book in two sittings – highly recommended – and at 99p for the kindle pre-order, (it will arrive on the 6th October) it’s an absolute bargain. Go on, treat yourself!

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