‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’ by Abby Clements – Book Review

This post is a review about a Christmassy book with what is probably the prettiest festive covers you will ever see…

Blurb from Goodreads

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel’s lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together.

Laurie is living in London and dedicated to her career, keeping track of her friends on Facebook.

Rachel is seemingly living the family idyll in a cottage in Yorkshire – except she worries her marriage is starting to show cracks.

When Rachel’s mother in law falls ill and needs treatment in London, and Laurie decides she needs to get away for a break, a house swap falls into place.

Soon Rachel is braving the mean streets of London while trying to keep her family together, while Laurie tries to figure out how to work an Aga and befriend the locals – and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart.

Will their relationships survive this test?

And will they make it home in time for Christmas?

My Review

First things first, I absolutely LOVED the cover of this book. It was just so pretty; all pink and glittered, and lovely and festive looking.

This book is about two women who swap houses in the weeks coming up to Christmas starting in late November. The real Christmassy feel of the book didn’t really kick in until almost half way through the book but when it did it was lovely.

The two main characters are childhood friends who now as adults have grown apart over the course of time and lead very different lives.

  • Laurie is single, career driven and lives in London.
  • Rachel is a wife and mother to two children who lives in a small village in the middle of the countryside.

The story starts in London with Laurie where she is a high powered fashion designer-cum-executive. She has recently been promoted and is responsible for the design and launch of a new range of handbags for her company. When the newly designed handbags are shipped from the manufacturer they all contain the same design flaw and hence are unsaleable. This puts the release of the new Christmas line on hold and as Laurie is held responsible for the error (due to distractions and stress she was suffering because of a recent heartbreak with her downstairs neighbour) she is sent on two months leave from the company.

Meanwhile in the Yorkshire village of Skipley, Bea, Rachel’s mother-in-law begins to suffer from dizzy spells, weakness and hearing loss and her doctor recommends that she be checked into hospital in London for tests to determine the cause. As her husband Aiden, who runs his own business and has a long daily commute for his work, cannot afford to take time off work Rachel has to accompany Bea to London. This means that Rachel has to take her two children out of school for the few weeks while she is away as there is no one else to look after them. Due to the expense of staying in a hotel Rachel emails her old friend Laurie and the two decide to swap houses (with Aiden alternating his time between staying in his mother’s house and in London).

Both of the women’s subsequent storylines are fish-out-of-water type stories with both women trying to settle and blend into their new surroundings.

Laurie has to learn how to relax and to not put work first in her life as it has been detrimental to her previous romantic relationships and to the relationship she has with her mother. The story deals with her learning how to be part of a community and appreciating her free time way from work all while nursing her broken heart.

Rachel meanwhile has to deal with stress in her marriage because with his mother’s illness and problems at work due to the downturn her husband has become more distant. She also has to deal with the stress and strain of a teenage daughter who wants nothing to do with her (as teenage daughters are inclined to be with their mothers).

This was a pretty much run-of-the-mill light fiction.

It held no surprises for me, I knew exactly how the book was going to turn out. It was all perfectly nice and made for very easy and quick reading.

So I was just a little bored by it all though. I would have liked a little more tension or drama but unfortunately from the start I just knew how everything would work out in the end which I know is what I always like in my light fiction reads!

I guess I would have liked to have laughed or cried along the way; felt some sort of emotional up and/or down… just something to make this book stand out from the crowd of contemporary light fiction novels but it just wasn’t to be.

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10 thoughts on “‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’ by Abby Clements – Book Review

  1. Sounds like an interesting premise! Kind of reminds me a little bit of The Holiday but local life swaps, not international 😝 Sometimes it’s great to read a predictable story but it does pay to have a little bit of drama to it — even just a little bit! Lol great review, Emer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m such a fan of christmassy fiction but I still need the emotional connection as well. I tried to start one yesterday and gave up after a third of the book when I got bored 😛 I’m hoping to find one in blogger book reviews that really really good ❤ Fab post! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 10 blind dates is pretty cute! It’s been my fav Christmas book this year.
      An older Christmas book I adore is Sarah Morgan’s Christmas Ever After. It’s just got the perfect amount of snow, family, festivities, tree decorating plus a swoonworthy sizzling romance.
      But those would be the ones I rec. or if you want to read a super cute kids book then Matt Haig’s A Boy Called Christmas is really sweet. Tells the story of how Santa Claus came to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the recommendations!! 😀 😀 I’ve just purchased Christmas Ever After on my kindle and am reserving 10 blind dates from the library. I’ve been in to MG books quite recently too so A Boy Called Christmas has been added to my TBR. I love children’s Christmas movies so I’m sure that one will be a hit too! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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