by Sue Watson
Heart-warming and hilarious, a story that will make you laugh, cry and bring a smile to your face. Get ready for another deliciously amazing Christmas treat from Sue Watson….
As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose. But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection. Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.
A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.
When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.
As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?
I'm going to be honest with you, dear reader. I'm a bit on the fence about this one. If I had to give it stars - I'd give it 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5. That's not a horrible evaluation - but I can't decide if I liked it enough. I wouldn't re-read it - which is unfortunate for a Christmas read, but I don't regret reading it. There will be some spoilers.
Jen is on the cusp of her 40th birthday on Christmas (her favorite holiday), and she's expecting her boyfriend of nearly a decade to propose to her. With the champagne going at a nice restaurant, she thinks they're on the right track - only to realize that her boyfriend is breaking up with her. There starts the story - a tale of reflection, learning to let go, and love. Most of all, the acceptance that life is not perfect - and neither are we. This is the message I truly loved about this book. We so often expect life has to be perfect, or nearly so, and when it isn't, we are disappointed and unhappy.
With a little push from her half-sister, Jody, Jen decides to join her in Switzerland on a working holiday. Together with two of Jody's closest friends, they embark on an adventure of skiing woes, and nights of partying. Jen meets a lovely man named Jon, who seems to be just as interested in her as she is in him. And here's where we encounter my problem with the book.
Jon is a really nice male character - but by the time "things happen", I know far more about Jen than Jon. Which isn't a horrible thing, except I'm supposed accept that these two meet, talk, and fall hopelessly in love. Again - it happens, but all Jen does is talk about herself! Things get a bit better when we do learn more about Jon, and I think his "secret" is dealt with in a very responsible way. But throughout the story, I couldn't shake the feeling that this story went from being a Christmas romance to being...something else. Something I didn't think I was signing on for. I appreciated that Jen was able to work through her demons from her father leaving when she was younger, and from trying to make things fit into a perfect mold instead of just letting things happen. But at about half way through the book, I just wanted to know what happened. I can't say I was enjoying the journey. It was funny in parts, but to describe it as a "funny, feel good Christmas read" is misleading.
If you like deep reads like this whenever, including Christmas - this is your story.