‘To A Blissful Christmas Reunion’ by Joanna Maitland

I meant to post a review of To A Blissful Christmas Reunion some time ago, but I was struck down by a horrible bug before I could do it. I spent so much time coughing, writing a review was the last thing on my mind!

To A Blissful Christmas Reunion is the first timeslip romance I’ve read for a long time. I had assumed that it was always the woman who goes back in time. It came as a nice surprise to find that in this story it’s the hero, Gabriel Bliss, who gets a taste of Victorian life. I also liked the way that the story revolves around Christmas trees, rather than cupcakes.

Both Gabe and Lucy Cairns, his heroine, are likeable, well rounded characters. Gabe’s concerns about being a manual labourer while Lucy is the boss’s daughter means he tries to keep her at arms’ length. Lucy’s sad memories of a bereavement one Christmas Eve long ago and a guilty secret she is keeping from her father mean she finds this time of year a trial. That makes for extra tension between her and Gabe.

There’s lots of realistic detail in this story. Anyone who has laboured long and hard over planting only to have a hunt smash through the whole lot without so much as a by-your-leave will sympathise with Gabe. Lucy’s confession that she lost her mother’s wedding ring after trying to impress school bullies will chime with anyone who has ever had to make a painful confession to a parent.

As with all romances, the reader knows the hero and heroine will end up living happily ever after. The enjoyment comes from how Gabe and Lucy’s individual journeys will map out before bringing them together at the end of the book.

Joanna Maitland achieves this with warmth, charm, forty Christmas trees, and a long-lost wedding ring in this thoroughly enjoyable book.

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