Friday, December 20, 2019

Notting Hill in the Snow

Notting Hill in the Snow. Jules Wake. 2019. 410 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: ‘Do you have to bring that thing on here at this time of day?’ snapped the woman, whipping round to look at me, her spiky, spider leg mascaraed eyes shooting sheer poison as everyone on the platform at Notting Hill Gate surged forward when the tube doors opened.

Premise/plot: Viola Smith (who plays the viola and works for the London Metropolitan Opera Company) finds herself falling hard and fast for a married man, Nate Williams, in Jules Wake's Notting Hill in the Snow. Williams' marriage is crumbling away; his wife has been gone almost a year leaving him to raise his little girl (Frozen-obsessed little girl), Grace, on his own. Viola steps in to help out. He needs it. She's got experience--plenty of it--with her cousins' children. She knows all the crafts and tools of the trade. She feels the attraction from the first; but doesn't really expect him to as well. And even if they're both attracted to the other--a bit--what could really happen between them? He's super-busy. She's super-busy. The only time they really see each other is when they're both with Grace. Sure she could close her eyes and imagine being with these two FOREVER AND EVER. But it's her imagination, nothing more. It will last a few weeks, until January, perhaps when he can get a full-time nanny. Then her life can return to normal...

My thoughts: Notting Hill In the Snow definitely has a Christmas movie vibe to it. In other words it's simply delightful and a bit predictable. If you've watched any Christmas romance in the last few decades, chances are you'll be able to spot what twists and turns are coming. But I don't mind predictable so long as I get my happily-ever-after.

I really loved this one. Not because he's married and this affair is near-adulterous. But because I loved seeing Viola interact with Grace. I loved Viola's understanding and compassionate heart. I loved how she opened up her heart to Grace and just welcomed her right in. I loved the family-type experiences they had together. Baking. Shopping. Decorating. I loved the writing, the dialogue. It's just a satisfying read.

Is it clean? Is it smutty? Well, there is the whole issue of his being married to someone else when there is a LOT of kissing involved. But. It really doesn't go much further then kissing. (Though there's plenty of wanting to take the next steps. Does lusty daydreaming count as smut if it's not graphic?)

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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