15 December 2014

eBook Review: The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman

"Meet Britain's Worst Innkeeper

Single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie, has five days to become the ultimate B&B hostess to save her beloved Aunt Kate’s livelihood.

When Aunt Kate ends up in the hospital, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter are called to rural Wales to stand in at the B&B. Without the faintest idea how to run a hotel (she can barely run her own life), Lottie must impress the picky hotel reviewer and his dysfunctional family who are coming to stay over Christmas. Without the rating only he can bestow, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.

But will Danny, the local taxi driver who she hires to help her, really be Santa’s little helper, or the Grinch who stole Christmas? "

Festive Feeling Rating:

You can buy The Reluctant Elf as an eBook now.

Sometimes it is nice to pick a short story, and know that you can finish reading it pretty swiftly and you haven't got nights of reading ahead of you. I was really pleased to be sent a review copy of The Reluctant Elf which is Michele Gorman's latest festive short story. I loved her 2013 short story Christmas Carol so had high hopes for this one. Luckily, it didn't let me down.

Lottie is devastated when her beloved Aunt Kate is in an accident and ends up in hospital in a coma over the festive period. What makes it worse though is that her Aunt runs a B&B which is due to be inspected over Christmas by a special Christmas visitor... a hotel reviewer. Lottie has to make a dash to Wales to the B&B, and is shocked by the dilapidated state it's in. She recruits Danny, a local taxi driver to help her refurbish the outdated and rundown B&B, but the pair are really up against it. Lottie knows nothing about running the B&B, and wants her Aunt Kate to be okay more than anything. Is Lottie going to be able to make her 2 Christmas miracles come true?!

Knowing this is a short story means the pace moves quite quickly, and we are thrown straight into the story from the very beginning. We discover about Aunt Kate's accident, and are on the train to Wales with Lottie immediately, and this is how we get to find out about her and her family set-up. Apart from her daughter Mabel, Kate is the only family that Lottie has left, hence the connection the pair have. I really liked how it was written that Lottie discovered the state of the B&B, and you can't help but feel devastated along with her. The strange friendship she immediately strikes up with taxi driver Danny is odd, but somehow works for the story.

We read about how the pair work as quickly and frugally as they can to restore the B&B to its former glory, using the things in the house as they've been snowed in and can't get to the shops, never mind the fact it's nearly Christmas and most shops are closing, let alone living in the middle of nowhere! Reading some of the things they did put a smile on my face, and there were certainly some hilarious moments in there too. The arrival of the hotel inspector ensured more hilarity, and there were some real laugh-out-loud moments, I don't know how Lottie kept it together to be honest! It does feel very Christmassy though, with Lottie and Danny hurrying to decorate the B&B, and pull together a Christmas dinner with an unusual theme twist...

This was a really enjoyable and light-hearted read that left me with a smile on my face as I finished it. There's lots going on to keep your interest throughout the story, and you can't help but wonder how Lottie ever thinks she is going to be able to get a good rating for Aunt Kate's B&B as things swing from bad to worse! The arrival of the reviewer and his (awful) family allowed for some seriously funny moments, and really put the pressure on poor old Lottie and Danny too. I enjoyed reading this eBook from start to finish, it's the perfect thing to curl up with for a while and enjoy in one sitting, and it'll definitely leave you feeling warm and festive!

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