Category: Audiobook, Christmas Romance, Book Review
Christmas magic doesn’t really exist – does it?
When Annie Berry collides with Nik Knoll in a car park on the day of her sister’s wedding, it feels like all of Nik’s Christmases have come at once. Annie seems like just the sort of woman he’d like to get to know, and the chance nature of their encounter is almost like, well … Christmas magic.
Veterinary nurse Annie Berry has found the perfect dress for her younger sister’s wedding. Never mind that it was barely affordable, it was midnight blue, sophisticated and gorgeous.
Annie was beyond relieved, no-one would mistake her for the spinster sister in that dress. Now she could concentrate on making sure everything ran smoothly, up to and during the ceremony.
Nik Knoll runs a pre school nursery with petting animals for the children, and several larger animals (I loved Merlin, the little pony) and there’s even a reindeer. A pressing problem compounded by a sense of loneliness sends Nik into the world of online and speed dating as a last resort, unsuccessfully as it turns out. Shopping for groceries one day he notices a wedding party leaving the town hall. When a vision in midnight blue knocks him to the floor in the car park, he has no idea his single days are almost over.
‘Oh I am … so … sorry.” The vision screeched to a halt, and he looked up into a pair of eyes that matched the dress. ‘Can I help you up?’
That would have been funny if Nik had possessed enough breath left to laugh. The vision didn’t appear either big enough or strong enough to lift a teacup, in spite of appearing quite tall, she looked reed slender – especially in that dress.
He scrambled shakily to his feet, and gave her a smile. ‘It’s fine. I’m fine.’
She gestured across at the Disney bride. ‘My little sister’s just got married, Mum’s having a cry and nobody had the sense to bring any tissues.’
The narrative flows seamlessly, and there’s lots going on to keep up the pace. Annie and Nik are engaging and it’s a fun plot written well, sprinkled with humour. However, it’s not all hearts and flowers, there’s a very nasty streak in one of the characters which leads to a dramatic scene that very nearly has terrible consequences. And just who is the mysterious Harry, the little man keeps popping up randomly.
Even though it’s easy to guess Nik’s secret and the outcome, it doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a lovely, lighthearted listen. Suspend belief and let the Christmas magic take over.
Berni Stevens lives in a 400-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, with her husband, black cat, three goldfish who think they’re piranha, and occasionally her son when he needs feeding up! She trained in graphic design, and has worked as a book cover designer for over twenty-five years. Her love of paranormal fiction began at school when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and she’s been a dedicated fan of the fanged ever since. Berni is on the committee and book panel of The Dracula Society – a London-based literary society for fans of gothic literature, film and theatre. She also designs their quarterly newsletter.
Berni works as a freelance cover designer both for publishers and self-published authors. Any ‘spare’ time is taken up with jazz dance and Zumba, going to rock concerts and hiking canyons every year in the American deserts of Utah.
Dance Until Dawn, a paranormal romance, was Berni’s UK debut with award-winning publisher Choc Lit, and is available in paperback, eBook and audio. The sequel, Revenge is Sweet, is available in all digital formats. The third novel in the series is almost complete, featuring many of the same characters from the first two books, whilst concentrating on the trials and tribulations of a lovelorn werewolf.
Berni’s first RomCom, One Magical Christmas, is available in all digital formats and audio, from 30 October 2018 and will restore your belief in magic – especially at the wonderful time of Christmas.
Berni also has several short stories published in anthologies – romantic ones, gothic ones and sometimes simply fantasy!