Book Review: Christmas with Hamish by Sophie Penhaligon

Format: Digital
Release Date: October 27th, 2021

Rating: 3/5 Stars

This one was okay, sitting firmly in ‘middling’ for books for me. It’s another of my 2021 festive reads, and I picked this up almost immediately after Humbug (which I loved), which was always going to be a tough act to follow!

Verity’s sister is a bit much, with every minor inconvenience being a crisis. Including losing her dog sitter when she’s about to go on her honeymoon. Luckily, Verity is right there, and is strong armed by her family into dog sitting, when she should be off skiing with her friends. But it does mean getting to know her sexy neighbour, Nikau, that little bit better.

There are some things in Romance that when done well, I really like. A darker edge to the characters, a bit of mystery in their past. This had that sort of darker edge, but overall it wasn’t handled too well and left me feeling disappointed. The ‘twist’ about why Verity doesn’t get along with her family fell kind of flat and wasn’t given the attention that sort of thing requires, especially coupled with her mother’s abuse. The characters were all just a little flat – Verity is a bit too perfect, except for apparently not knowing dogs can’t eat chocolate? Which is something almost everyone knows, right? Nikau was…Nikau didn’t interest me at all.

Again, as a character, he’s just too perfect. I liked some of the sweet moments between them, but their whole relationship just felt too easy. Honestly, I definitely prefer books where the characters have to work towards a relationship, or when it feels like they’ve kind of earned that HEA.

Admittedly, Hamish and Nikau’s dog often stole the show when they were on page, and they were super cute, especially with how their friendship almost mirrored Verity and Nikau’s. But other characters were too starkly written, with a lack of nuance to them, becoming too cartoonish and over the top compared to the saintly, angelic couple.

The book had some interesting ideas and a few adorable scenes, which were enjoyable to read, but overall the characters were a bit too flat for my liking.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley. Reviews remain my own.

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