Title: Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop
Author: Portia Macintosh
Publisher: HQ Digital
Date Published: October 8th 2018
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
(I was given an ARC copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thanks!) All opinions expressed here are voluntary, honest, and my own)
The Christmas Shop is a family run business open all year round. Ivy took over the ownership after her mother died. Her father died when she was a child. It’s December, and business is slow. This is due to the location of the shop now not being by the main road into town. Ivy is also worried because she’s in danger of eviction and her livelihood, and home, could be knocked down and replaced by holiday homes by businessman Sebastian. Who she happens to find rather attractive. Add to her worries her twin sister Holly is behaving out of character.
And so the story ensues where Ivy is trying to raise the money to buy the shop herself, and coming up with new ways to bring in customers, including a Santa. Santa is a tattooed man called Gaz, and I’m sure everyone knows a Gaz. The love and lies plays out between Sebastian and Ivy. I loved the interaction between the pair.
The one liners are funny ‘It’s true what they say: men are like buses. And, no, I don’t mean they’re dirty, unreliable, and will let just about anyone ride them. I mean you go from having none in your life, only for two to come along at once.’ 😂
I identified with Ivy completely as she’s a reader, especially with these lines ‘I do feel guilty, buying books when money isn’t exactly great, but the day I begrudge myself a £3.99 book (when reading is my favourite thing to do) is the day I really need to think about selling a kidney.’ There is a poignancy in the book, exploring grief and life too. Sebastian and Ivy bond over the fact that neither of them, really, have a life. They have both isolated themselves, and concentrated on their work. I loved the setting of Marram Bay.
Love and Lies is a compelling festive read. I can’t think of a reason not to give it five stars!