10 Dec Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas
A festive love story that’s funny and heartwarming
Festive shenanigans with a group of lively seniors sets the scene for this warm and funny Christmas romance from one of my favourite writers, Jo Thomas.
Connie is 41, divorced, and has had her fingers badly burned in the online dating game, losing all her life savings to a smooth-talking salesman. But she has not given up on love completely, and is willing to travel to Germany to meet up with Heinrich – the man she’s been set up with by Pearl, one of the seniors at the retirement complex where Connie delivers daily hot meals.
But Pearl doesn’t intend for Connie to go alone – she’s hatched a plan to celebrate her late neighbour Elsie’s life by scattering her ashes in her native Germany. And why not make a festive trip of it?
And so Connie finds herself driving a mini-bus of pensioners across Europe to a charming German market town. Pearl, Norman, Ron, Alice, Maeve, John, Di and Gordon are each lonely in their own way, but they’re determined Connie shouldn’t suffer the same fate, and dog her footsteps as she sets out to meet her date.
After a little confusion where tall, blond, efficient Heinrich appears to be short, dark, scatty and called William, Connie meets up with the right man – but is he really Mr Right? Determined not to get her fingers burned again, she has a long tick list of requirements – and so, it seems does he!
Against the background of their dating journey falls the story of the Christmas market – and a feud that has lasted decades. The old town, where William has his traditional baker’s shop, has lost out every year in the Christmas market stakes to the new town where Heinrich runs the sleek, efficient family bakery.
William needs to turn the old town’s fortunes round this year – but Heinrich is determined to stop him.
Caught between loyalty to Heinrich – who has so far ticked every box on her online dating list – and her growing bond with William, whose cosy bakery offers a refuge that takes Connie back to childhood days – whose side will Connie champion?
Meanwhile, the pensioners are determined to create their own Christmas memories, with heart-warming, sometimes hilarious results.
Frost, snow, skating rinks, Gluhwein, Lebkuchen, wooden chalets selling festive fare – you just can’t get more festive than this! It’s a gorgeous background for the romantic narrative centred around Connie, Heinrich and William.
The atmosphere crackles and the pace of the plot moves along perfectly as we get to know and love all the characters from Connie, with her natural wariness around men to grumpy Maeve who is wheelchair-bound but determined to join in all the winter activities with the others.
Do curl up by the fire with this one. You’ll almost smell the gingerbread and taste the hot chocolate as you lose yourself in a love story that’s funny, heart-warming and very, very festive indeed!
Oh, and don’t miss the recipes at the end to help you create your very own German Christmas market ambience.
Published by Corgi in paperback, RRP £7.99
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