When Ivy Starforth is recruited by her best friend’s family to chronicle their photogenic holiday for Instagram, she jumps at the chance. A decked out Cornish castle by the sea? There are definitely worse places to spend Christmas. All that stands in the way of a great time is the grumpy owner, Bill Markham, who—as handsome and charming as he is—seems more interested in counting his rental fee than spreading cheer. As Ivy kicks her decorating and planning into high gear, though, she just might find herself hoping to catch a certain scrooge under the mistletoe.
Beneath the tinkle of tinsel and colored lights, Jane Linfoot has managed the perfect wintery read. There are few canvases like a castle by the sea and she masterfully paints each section, decking the halls while building up a sense of the season and a bit of romance, until a buzzing Christmas practically pops from the pages.
That’s not to suggest everything is rosy and bright. At the helm of the action is Ivy, a bustling people-pleaser who worries too much about others. Yet Linfoot carefully unravels clues to her background, piecing together why a job on Christmas is actually the distraction she needs this year. At the beginning, she’s at her most vulnerable and matters are complicated by Ben, a minor grouch who has his own problem-filled past. However, it’s pure joy as the two of them form a complicated working relationship that also forces them both to confront their issues.
Rounding out the cast are Ivy’s best friend Fliss and the extended gallery of guests, along with a cadre of Bill’s father’s pals and coworkers. It’s a packed house and a lot of characters, but Linfoot keeps them sorted as they dole out their individual brands of chaos. Their shenanigans are occasionally frustrating while also providing plenty of laughs. And whether because of Ivy’s own ingenuity or festive magic or some combination, it’s always obvious a cozy Christmas is imminent.
For a snowy romance with heart, it’s hard to beat A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall.
Title: A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall
Author: Jane Linfoot
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: October 19, 2019
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.