How the Grump Saved Christmas: A Small Town Romance by Claire Kingsley
11/17/2022 – Self Published
Review by Angela
I’m not a holiday romance reader at heart. I don’t jump all over the holiday releases at the end of the year and if I DO pick one up it’s because something in the title or blurb caught my eye, or the cover was appealing. In this case, I was intrigued by the title of this romance.
How the Grump Saved Christmas is basically a romantic, small-town retelling of A Christmas Carol. This will be your jam if you are a fan of Hallmark movies and Christmas romances. The grump in this book is Elias Stoneheart, a workaholic, Christmas-hating grinch who is forced back to the town where he grew up in order to close a deal on some property his company is looking at for the building of a data center. The fact that his ex’s family owns that property and doesn’t intend to sell is of no consequence, he’ll do his best to convince them that this is what’s best for their failing Christmas tree farm and village.
Isabelle Cook is also a workaholic, but her long days are spent at her family’s tree farm and setting up the streets of the Christmas village. She knows her family’s property is in dire financial trouble, but she is intent on finding a way to keep it. Selling is not an option in her mind, especially when the man trying his damnedest to talk her into it is also the man who broke her heart years ago.
As one might expect, Elias is super grouchy and kind of a dick at first. I didn’t like him, and to be honest I didn’t love the other main protagonist, Isabelle, at the beginning either. They are both addicted to work and their jobs, but at least Isabelle works night and day because she is determined to find a way to keep her family’s business afloat. Readers soon learn that this trip back to town is the first he’s taken since leaving right after graduation and THE BIG THING that happened between him and Isabelle. But something, ahem, starts leading him to think about his past, his present, and his future. And what he really wants in life.
The pacing was a bit slow, so it took me a while to really get into the story, but I kept on reading, simply because I wanted to find out how this grump saves Christmas and Isabelle’s farm. And of course to see them reconnect and fall back in love. In the end, it was an enjoyable, if totally predictable, read. Fans of holiday romances will enjoy.
Final grade- B-