The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan Contemporary #RomanticFiction @susan_buchanan

Author: Susan Buchanan

Published: November 2013 by Susan Buchanan

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Book Review

Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?

Natalie Hope’s job only lasts a month each year, beginning on the 1st December and ending on the 24th. This year she is in Scotland and has chosen to help four people who are not looking forward to Christmas for one reason and another. 

Stanley’s wife of sixty-five years had eventually succumbed to the cancer she’d battled on and off for five years and since her death is unable to summon up the enthusiasm to do much of anything. He is finding it hard to cope and can’t even face the thought of Christmas, a season his wife loved.

Meredith’s life consists of work, work and more work with little or no thought for those who work for her, expecting them to be as dedicated and hard working as she is herself. Sophie, Meredith’s PA, bears the brunt of her boss’ high expectations. Having once been married and let down badly, Meredith keeps her emotions under tight control.

Jacob is the product of absentee parents who, although extremely wealthy, believe their children should make their own way without and financial help. Jacob is finding it impossible to get a decent job since leaving university. He’d been on countless interviews without success and is now reduced to signing on.

Rebecca has a horrible shock when she’s dumped by her boyfriend, which means she’s facing a seven hour train journey to spend Christmas with her parents, a prospect she’s not looking forward to. Added to that she has no idea if she’ll be able to afford to keep her flat.

Every year on this day, December 1st, her raison d’être and her job, as such, began. it only lasted a month, but her personal deadline was always twenty-four days. The other week was to ensure there was no unfinished business. 

Natalie hoped this Christmas would be a good one for everyone. If she had anything to do with it, as in the past, those she chose would have a Christmas to remember. 

Natalie takes over the Sugar  and Spice bakery while the proprietor, Mrs Williams, recovers from surgery and soon charms the patrons with her friendliness and baking skills. 

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get round to this book! Susan Buchanan has created a cast of well developed, realistic and mostly engaging characters, I had a soft spot for Stanley and loved the way he’s coaxed into enjoying life again. Each of them had life changing issues of one sort or another to deal with during the run up to Christmas. The Sugar and Spice bakery is the one thing they all have in common, with  Natalie becoming friend and supporter, her gentle touch working wonders. Her willingness to listen and interact with the customers showing how a little thought and kindness makes a huge difference in people’s lives. A really lovely story of friendship and the opportunity to take second chances, with a touch of magic. I’m happy to see there’s another story featuring Natalie.

About the Author

Susan Buchanan lives in Central Scotland with her partner, Tony, and their two children. She is the author of four novels: Return of the Christmas Spirit, The Christmas Spirit, The Dating Game and Sign of the Times. She is currently working on her fifth novel.
Susan is also a proofreader, editor and translator, and when not working, writing or caring for her two delightful cherubs, loves reading, the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook

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