Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan – who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable – her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…
That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.
When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.
If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…
One Kiss Before Christmas is such a sweet, light-hearted romance all about second chances and the will-they-won’t-they of life-long friends, Ashleigh and Olivier. Life has kept them apart for much longer than either wanted to happen, however, this Christmas, their hearts and minds are opening up further to new possibilities.
I absolutely loved Ashleigh, she was very relatable in the fact that she has such a high wall surrounding her heart and that she is always waiting for the worst to happen – you can’t help but root for her to finally get the happy ending and the man she deserves. Olivier was a delightfully handsome love interest for Ashleigh, and although him being a French man has a slight part in that, his optimistic personality and heart of gold is a wonderful addition. It’s hard to say a bad word about any of the characters in this book from Ashleigh’s best friends, Romesh and Beth, Ashleigh’s Nan, Olivier’s mamman, and all of the friends in between – everybody brought something magical to this story & I was so excited to see that this is the third book in a series for these characters. I can’t wait to go back & read more about the other characters I had the pleasure in meeting via this book.
Everything about this story was just so incredibly cosy – the Brighton sights, the Chocolate Shop, the Christmas Farm, the simple moments of Ashleigh and Olivier reconnecting in the comfort of their homes. It was enough to make you curl up on the sofa or in bed, hot drink by your side, entranced in the pages. It was most certainly enough as well, to get you in to the Christmas spirit. With Ashleigh’s Nan being quite a Grinch throughout the festive period, Ashleigh was determined to bring some of that back, in the hopes of her Nan accepting it (or not realising) and in the hopes of her famous mother making a return. I especially loved the scene where Ashleigh and Olivier were sneaking about to get the house looking festive outdoors and then having a walk around the village, treating everybody they came across with some delicious chocolates.
What I loved the most about this entire story, is that it was one, in which Ashleigh and Olivier had to face some hard truths about their lives and decide whether or not they wanted to let go of them, finally allowing themselves to live freely and happy. Ashleigh is an incredibly honest character, always trying to get Olivier to see how uncertain he is of the life he has currently created for himself, and Olivier only wanted to show Ashleigh that he wasn’t going anywhere, he wasn’t going to leave the way her family did. The two of them reconnecting showed one another that there was so much more of their life to open their eyes to, to experience, to enjoy and to love. The magic of Christmas most certainly gave them the nudge they both needed and my heart did little somersaults over the Christmas miracles that occurred, not only for Ashleigh and Olivier, but also for the loved ones surrounding them.