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A Bookshop Christmas–recovering from grief

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A Bookshop Christmas

by Rachel Burton

Although Christmas is an important part of the setting for A Bookshop Christmas, the story focuses on Megan, a young widow. When she loses her husband Joe to cancer, she retreats back to the bookshop where she grew up. She’s been hanging on emotionally for over three years with support from her mom and two friends, but the bookshop is floundering and her heart is just not in it. Is it time to reenter the world of publishing, to leave behind the security of York and her bookshop?

Xander, a swoon-worthy author, as emotionally damaged as Megan, is scheduled to introduce his newest book at her bookshop. He is rude and arrogant, but maybe those characteristics are just a coverup for his pain and shyness.

One of my favorite characters is Philomena Bloom, Xander’s agent. She is bigger than life and seems to have connections with everyone in the publishing world. My other favorite character is Gus, a dachshund, whose sweetness is woven all through the book.

Megan and Xander have deep, painful secrets that make it difficult for them to open up to others. All is not sweetness and light in this romance. Although you will want a happily ever after for these two, the road is rocky and there is sadness and misunderstanding as they struggle to get over the past and find a hopeful future.

I enjoyed A Bookshop Christmas for the way the characters support each other. They make mistakes but learn to recognize and admit their mistakes and apologize for them. There is humor sprinkled in the book that helps lighten the tough times Megan and Xander go through. It is a thought provoking book and I recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Publication: September 2, 2021—Aria

Memorable Lines:

“Reading is completely subjective and most readers read all kinds of different books. Being a snob about genre is like pretending that reading on e-readers or listening to audiobooks is somehow not proper reading. It’s ridiculous.”

Philomena Bloom burst into the bookshop at exactly three o’clock the next afternoon, leaving a wave of expensive perfume in her wake. The handful of customers browsing the shelves all looked up at the same time like meerkats.

The five stages of grief aren’t linear either—they all seem to exist together in one fiery hell ball of emotion that feels as though it will last forever. People will tell you that time heals but, in my experience, time just takes away the intensity.


  1. Nancy says:

    Sounds like a good one. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    I love books with dogs and I’m sure I would enjoy Gus. The book sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy. I’m adding this to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You had me at dachshund! I love books set around bookstores too, thank you Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gretchen says:

    I like the sound of this one! The quotes you shared show the depth in the story and characters. I love the first quote. I wholeheartedly agree!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I think it is about time we got over the idea that if you listened to the book you didn’t actually read it. Because hearing has been problematic for me, I haven’t gotten on the audio bandwagon. (But I just got new hearing aids and that is making such a difference for me.) I do prefer holding a book in my hand–the smell, the feel, the tactile and visual memories of where something was located in the book, but because of ARC’s I do a lot of reading on my iPad. As a retired teacher, I am a believer in helping those who have reading problems to enjoy books any way they can.


  5. Ahhhh Christmas and romance, it doesn’t get any better than that! Thank you for your review Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carla says:

    Wonderful review, Linda. I also loved Philomena, I thought she was funny, but caring. A bundle of energy for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a charming review. I’ve had this one waiting on my TBR pile, but I’m thinking I need to get around to it soon. A bookshop, Christmas, a bit of rockiness. What better time for it than now?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. deanne01 says:

    I have this one on my tbr list and need to get to it soon. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person

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