Deck the Halls by Emily Harvale

I absolutely loved this book! I admit, when I first started reading it I was a little jolted by the use of present tense. It’s not something I’ve come across often, but I quickly adjusted to it. In fact, because of the use of present tense and first person, it really felt as if I was right there with Harriet, and I actually really enjoyed reading a book written in this fashion for a change.
I liked every character in the story (except for Art’s family, who were all completely hideous!). It was a pleasure – especially at this time of year – to read about a family that is so loving and affectionate. Even more so when the family is a blended family. Harriet gets on equally well with her half-siblings and step-siblings and is genuinely fond of her step-mother, which is so refreshing.
The Hall itself is another character, and I loved the description of the Tudor house, and the way it clearly means so much to the family, even if it is falling down around their ears.
Enter Lance, friend of the family and hero of the holidays. He’s definitely the sort of man you’d want close by when your stately home is crumbling to bits, you have your prospective in-laws coming to visit, and you may have misled them – just a teensy bit – about how grand your house is. Lance is kind, capable, and distinctly gorgeous. And there’s an instant spark between him and Harriet that almost the entire family recognises, even before Harriet herself is ready to acknowledge it.
There’s a lot of humour in this book. At times I actually laughed out loud. I loved Harriet. She’s a girl after my own heart. I especially loved the way her heartbreak wasn’t helped by copious helpings of Christmas comfort food. I mean, she really tried to cheer herself up! The twins and their fabulous aim when throwing snowballs really amused me, as did her stepbrother’s penchant for blowing things up while conducting scientific experiments. Aunt Vicki is also a great character, and I could just picture her in my mind – all-seeing and all-knowing.
This is a real festive treat, with a beautiful old house, Christmas lights, a wonderful family, and a lovely romance to enjoy. I so loved meeting the Halls, and I really hope there’s more to come from them. Wonderful. 5/5

You can buy Deck the Halls here.

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