11 November 2013

Book Review: Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews

"Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born.

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients.

When Carter asks Cassie to join them on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go. As much as tries, Cassie can't deny how drawn she is to Carter and everything he has to offer, but she still loves her warm-hearted Jim. Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life."

Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy Calling Mrs Christmas as a paperback or an eBook now.

Carole Matthews has been releasing a Christmas book for a couple of years now, and luckily for all of her fans, she has carried on that tradition this year! Calling Mrs Christmas, complete with gorgeously festive book cover, is the 2013 release. I've really enjoyed reading Carole's latest books, and I was quietly confident that this would be one that I would love too.

Cassie is out of work, and fed up of relying on her lovely boyfriend Jim to bring home the bacon for the pair of them - he's a prison warden but doesn't earn a lot, and the job seems to take a lot out of him personally too. Cassie thinks up her own business, helping people organise their own Christmas, from writing cards and wrapping presents to throwing Christmas parties. Soon, 'Calling Mrs Christmas' takes off and Cassie is inundated with people wanting to utilise her services, leading to her roping in Jim and her sister to help as well. When a rather rich client, Carter, comes along, she's offered the opportunity of a lifetime but it means possibly upsetting Jim and their relationship. Will Cassie go with what is best for business or with what her heart knows is the right decision...

This book was really fun and festive, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's jam packed with festive fun, from christmas parties and trees, to a wonderful winter escape to Lapland and more. Matthews really layers it on in the book, and I really did love it, it made me feel so festive and wanting to put up my own Christmas tree and write my cards too! My only problem with the book was Cassie! I found her to be quite self-centred, and her lack of appreciation towards her lovely boyfriend Jim, my favourite character in the whole book, made me a bit cross in parts and I wished that she would be a bit more grateful to all of those who were helping her. Her idea for her business was a good one though, and it makes you realise just how much people put into making Christmas for their loved ones.

While the story of Cassie and her new business, it oddly wasn't my favourite part of the book. This accolade more than deservedly belonged to Jim and his job at the local prison, where he is a prison warden at a young offenders institute. Here, we meet two of Jim's charges, Rozzer and Smudge who are due to be released soon. Both have a very sad back story, and I was totally emotionally invested in their story and wanting a nice ending for the pair of them. Smudge in particular had me in tears in several parts throughout the book, and I loved how Jim saw through their pasts and that their hearts were good and they needed just a helping hand. It was so touching, I loved Jim and the boys and I would have loved more of the story to be about them, - although it wasn't obviously festive, it has the message of having faith in someone, and helping others in their time of need, something we should all do not just at Christmas but all year round.

This was a superbly written book full of festive cheer, and I really loved it. I loved its journey to Lapland, an absolutely magical trip that I would love to take Harry on one day, and viewing it through a child's eyes was even better, it was just full of magic and Cassie seemed like Mother Christmas for making it all happen. Her struggle to make the right decisions ran all the way through the book, and her struggle to keep things together as her business took off was a realistic one, and I hoped that she would do the right thing in the end. Jim was by far and away my favourite thing about the book, and I urge you to read it to read Jim's story, a very emotional and touching addition to this brilliant festive read. Brilliant!


  1. I loved the journey to Lapland too! Enjoyed this one!


    I cannot wait to read this after my exams! Think it would be a lovely treat! x x

  3. I've read this a couple of weeks ago and it really put me in the festive mood. I enjoyed the prison bit myself too, and found it interesting reading about the problems these lads face. We must share the same taste in books as I'm starting step back in time tonight.