Book Review

Book Review: All I Want for Christmas by Esme Taylor.

AIWFCSometimes the best gifts are unwrapped…

Ella is dreading Christmas. She vowed to change her life this year, and although breaking up with her boring boyfriend was the first step, she’s been too scared to take the next, and her life has become small.

But then, when working at a Christmas party, Ella meets Joe. The attraction is instant and convenient: neither is interested in more than a fling. While Ella’s been stuck, Joe’s been running. He’s been travelling for a year and has no plans to stop, but he’s home to spend Christmas with his huge, loud family. His father wants him to stay and join the family business, but Joe’s not yet ready for that kind of commitment and isn’t sure he’ll ever be. But as the snow and the presents pile up – and Ella and Joe’s clothes come off – Ella realises she needs to start living again. And that maybe all she wants for Christmas is Joe…

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is part of Hot Key Books’ exclusive new novella list, and one of a series of five available this Christmas. Unlock your naughty side!

25% Christmas, 50% Romance, 25% sexual content.

Hot Key Unlocked is the new digital first imprint from Hot Key Books, publishing stories aimed at readers aged over 16. They’re publishing books in batches, with books written by both experienced and new writers each time. The launch batch was a collection of 5 festive romance novellas, All I Want for Christmas grabbed my attention as it is written by YA author Keris Stainton, using a pseudonym as the content of this book is a little more grown up than her already published novels.

It’s no secret that I love a good romance, when I’m reading one I want to identify with the characters, swoon over the leading man and feel entirely invested in the central relationship. I can very happily say this this story ticks all of those boxes really well. As the book is aimed at the older end of the YA audience there is some steamier content, I was pleased to see that this is well written and makes excellent use of well placed scene changes – the more explicit stuff all happens off page.

Within the first chapter I was completely and utterly hooked, the very mention of Joe sporting a Santa hat like a beanie (you can read this bit in the excerpt available on the Hot Key Unlocked site here) was enough for me to know I’d fallen for both him and the book.

My love only grew as I progressed through the book, the characters are the sorts of people you’d like to spend some time with – there are scenes described where a group of them are sitting drinking and chatting, I felt like I was sitting there with them. I think anyone reading this book will find they identify with more than one character, their feelings and where they are in their lives easily transported me back to my time just out of university.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was its setting. I always love to see books set outside of London or “the countryside” so the North West of England setting of this book was a real delight.

This book is novella length so it’s a fairly quick read. It’s perfect for curling up with a mug of tea or glass of wine and ignoring the weather and seasonal stresses!

All I Want for Christmas is published by Hot Key Unlocked.

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