Book Review: How to Stuff up Christmas by Rosie Blake


How to Stuff Up Christmas
How to Stuff up Christmas by Rosie Blake
Release Date: 5th November 2015
Publisher: Corvus
Buy: Paperback | Kindle
Rating:
5PUD

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Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’ve found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance’s phone…

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.

But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?

A hilarious and heart-warming novel about Christmas, catastrophes and cooking, containing exclusive Christmas recipes, from the talented Rosie Blake.

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When Eve discovers a photo of another woman’s lady garden on her fiancé’s mobile she is certainly in no mood for celebrating Christmas. Her Mum is intent on her coming home and spending Christmas Day with all the family but last Christmas was when Liam proposed and Eve just can’t bear to face up to the memories.
Instead she decides to do something completely different and something that is just for her. She rents a houseboat in the gorgeous village of Pangbourne and enrols on a pottery course. With just her dog (he is most certainly NOT Liam’s dog), Marmite, for company, Eve uses her solitary break as a time to do things for herself – including learning to cook. The thing is Eve’s track record with cookery is not great (she is prone to giving her friends food poisoning) and therefore her attempts run anything but smoothly. However, when the mysterious local vet, Greg, comes on the scene – Eve suddenly finds herself being transformed into a kind-of Nigella Lawson (with Greg’s help, naturally)
Despite their ever-growing friendship, there’s still so much Eve doesn’t know about Greg (including his mobile number). He has a habit of mysteriously disappearing. However, he’s not the only one acting odd as Eve’s best friend Daisy seems to be hiding something too…On top of all this Eve has to learn how to battle with clay on her pottery course, keep turning down her mother’s constant insistence that she should return home for Christmas AND deal with angry geese. Phew. This Christmas is certainly going to be interesting…

Fan-girl confession. I love Rosie Blake. Her debut novel, How to Get a (Love) Life was simply fabulous (and also nearly TWO YEARS ago!) so I was very, VERY excited about getting my bookish mitts on How to Stuff Up Christmas. But with all of my exceedingly high expectations, was Rosie’s second novel worth the wait? HELL YES.
First up I need to talk about that cover. Isn’t it drool-some? Just looking at it makes me feel more festive than an elf listening to Wizard on repeat whilst wrapped in tinsel. It is absolutely gorgeous and I know for a fact that if I saw this sitting on a shelf somewhere I would not be able to resist grabbing it (and never letting go…)

Fan-girl confession number two: I also loved Eve. She is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters because she is just so normal (and I mean this in the nicest possible way.) She is someone you will have no trouble relating to – newly single and struggling to get on with her life when there are constant reminders of her former relationship. I was proud of Eve when she decided she was going to do something that was just for her – despite what her friends and family thought. You go girl! Her relationship with Daisy was classic BFF material. I loved the scenes when they were at work and getting up to things they shouldn’t have been…
The whole idea of Eve partaking in a pottery class was just brilliant. It was a unique and fun twist on the story and the blend of characters at the classes were quirky and completely fantastic. It was wonderful to see Eve grow in confidence, not only with her pottery but with regards to her life as well…
Now we need to talk about Greg. Just how gorgeous does this guy sound? Firstly he is a vet and therefore loves animals. Secondly he knows how to cook and thirdly he is such an all-round kind, thoughtful and caring guy. I may have fallen a little bit in love with Greg…
Whilst it was quite sweet watching Eve and Greg bumbling around one another when it was obvious they should get together, you will feel like banging their heads together at times. It’s your typical will-they-won’t-they situation and their relationship has more chemistry whizzing around than a high-school Science block.
I adore the wide range of characters that Rosie has created for this story. Besides Eve and Greg, one of my personal favourite’s was Eve’s Dad, David, who has a fondness for wearing yellow and sometimes resembles a ‘walking scrambled egg’. His fashion choices made me laugh and I loved both the humour and the warmth that he brought to the story.
Pangbourne was the perfect setting for such a cozy, heart-warming tale. Rosie brought Eve’s surroundings to life for me and I can picture the gorgeous village and Eve’s houseboat with no trouble at all. I only hope that maybe we get to return to Pangbourne again one day soon…?

I love how Rosie Blake has managed to capture Christmas spirit, friendship, family and romance all into one sparkly novel. She has a real talent for creating lovable characters and her style of writing is so down-to-earth and brimming with humour. If you like your romantic-comedies then be sure to check this out. It’s perfect for taking your mind off any last-minute festive panics and will leave you feeling jovial and rather gooey…

A huge thank you to Corvus books for sending me a copy of How to Stuff up Christmas to read and review.

 

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Rosie BlakeRosie is an author of comic commercial fiction. She spent her university years writing pantomimes based on old classics and has written features for Cosmopolitan, The Lady, The Sunday People, Reveal and Best Magazine. Her first rom com HOW TO GET A (LOVE) LIFE was published in 2014 and Corvus Books signed her for two more: HOW TO STUFF UP CHRISTMAS and HOW TO FIND YOUR (FIRST) HUSBAND.

Rosie likes baked items, taking long walks by the river and speaking about herself in the third person.

Rosie Blake | Website | Twitter | Goodreads |

 

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