It wouldn’t be Christmas unless I read Christmas books from certain authors – and a Cathy Bramley one is always near the top of the pile. I do not even read the synopsis, I just plunged right in. And as I did I was back in familiar territory as it is a book that follows on from The Merry Christmas Project. You can read as a standalone with enough back story to get you through, but why would you want to when you can completely indulge in all things Christmassy and read them both.
Here Merry, is happily settled with Cole and a surprise proposal and a very quickly planned wedding for Christmas Eve, sees Merry in a complete spin. How can she find the time to organise everything and have the wedding she wants whilst also bonding with Cole’s two children when it is clear they have other ideas about their young lives. On top of all that, Merry’s candle business is taking off and the orders are outstripping the manpower, she is relying too much on one person who should be taking it easy. Help is there but will Merry accept it?
Not one to shy away from the realities of life, we are introduced to Emily, struggling to cope with her previous work due to her fathers decline into dementia she takes a less stressful job, but even that now is beginning to become too much. With no one to discuss the decision about what to do with her father with her, her boyfriend has upped and left, her best friend is far away and her mother is no longer married to him, she make the decision that for his own safety he must go in a home.
When moving her father, she discovers a photograph of him at Christmas, it gladdens her heart. But the photograph is bringing stress to him and when Emily shows her mother, she seems to harden her heart to what she sees? Is there something Emily doesn’t know?
Although having never met, Merry and Emily cross paths over a few weeks at some interesting points within both their storylines. Of course there is a reason for this, and whilst it adds to the romance of the novel, the realities of finding out about your past and dealing with a relative who is ill is all consuming. Cathy Bramley handles it with such care that my heart was bursting with joy as much as my eyes were filling with tears because of the situations.
It was great to be back with these characters and I hope we go back again as the community feel, the settings and the plot devices are so wonderful that this book was just like a big Christmas hug!
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Merrily Ever After is out now.