My Thoughts On… The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm by Erin Green
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm and I am here today with a review of this fantastic book and an extract for you all!
Author: Erin Green
Published: 4th September 2018
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK
From the author of the bestselling A Christmas Wish comes a new festive romance to warm your heart. Choosing the perfect Christmas tree is hard, but finding love at Christmas is even harder…
The scent of pine fills the crisp air as local villagers select their perfect tree. Picking the tree is the easy bit, creating a perfect Christmas is a bit trickier . . .
Nina has the most magical job in the world, matching customers with their perfect Christmas tree. Working at Christmas Tree Farm is always fun and full of laughter but the weight of past tragedy bears down on her. Her admirer is a great distraction, but is he the right man for her? Holly is just trying to be a normal teenager, having to deal with the mean girls in her class. But then the most handsome boy at school takes an interest in her. Have all her Christmases come at once? Angie is trying to bring her family together and save her broken marriage. It’s not something she can force, but it’s the only gift she craves. Will her Christmas wish come true? It’s the season of goodwill, and at Christmas Tree Farm anything could happen . . .
This is one of those books that really brings the spirit of Christmas alive. With multiple POVs, it was very interesting to see how everything tied together. It was a very cute story that brought about a smile on my face and one that I would recommend to those who want a lovely cute family and romance oriented book. It covers a broad variety of different relationships, from the teenage lovers all the way to the middle age relationships. It’s a heart-warming read that I am very glad I read.
My favourite character by far was Nina. She was such a warrior and I felt for her a lot. I wanted the best for her and I just loved reading about her journey in the book and seeing where it all ended up. It was just lovely. On the other hand, I really struggled with Angie. I both understood her and found her infuriating. I feel she is a little bit like marmite and will probably split readers’ opinions on whether she’s a good character or not! I also really liked Holly and Alfie. I thought they were really sweet and lovely to read about and I wanted to wish them all good things for the future.
The most important part of this book by far was Christmas Tree Farm, how it brought people together so well. I loved it as a setting so much. I loved how much the family loved it, loved how much the staff treasured working there and just got a lovely homey feeling from the place – a Christmassy feel, if you will! At one point I started crying in the book because of something that happened to the farm – it didn’t even truly affect the characters but I was lost in my own emotions for the place. This to me is a very good sign of an author creating such a wonderful and moving setting for the book.
Overall this is a lovely book to read. It will make your heart sing by the end of it. I felt a little disconnected from some of the characters and plot points but generally I really loved it and the characters I did like and felt connected to, definitely made it worthwhile. I would have liked a little more of some of the little mini stories in the book and for some of the other parts to be tied up a little more but these are just niggling issues I had that fortunately didn’t affect how much I really enjoyed reading this book. So, if you’re looking for a book that will lift your spirits and make you wish it was already Christmas, give this book a read!
The farm’s yard spreads before me. Lit by overhead floodlights, it’s a vast open space dedicated to spruce sales. Already ‘Little Drummer Boy’ is festively par-rum-pum-pum-pumming through the tinny speakers conveniently positioned out of reach of disgruntled staff. I haven’t heard the tracks for an entire year, but I can recall the sequence of twenty songs from previous years.
‘Nina!’ cries Bram, dressed in his thermal coat and steel-toe-capped boots, as I turn the corner of the first log cabin, affectionately known as the cashier’s cabin. ‘Have I got a treat for you!’
I smile as his deep voice greets me. Bram, the eldest of the boss’s identical twins, thinks that every time he asks me out on a date it will be the time I accept. What he fails to remember is that we are close friends. We’ve been best friends for life since our year seven maths class. A tight friendship, which includes his younger twin Zach. Their characters are like chalk and cheese, or rather a Blue spruce compared to a Norway spruce. Both are strong, sturdy specimens, well nurtured and in their prime.
The transition towards dating either of them feels a bit icky; the anomaly of mixing business with pleasure doesn’t feel right. The twins have grown up on the farm, amongst the vast fields located on the north, south and east side of their sturdy farmhouse.
‘Morning, Bram, let’s hear it!’ I drag my beanie off my head, ruffle my mousy-brown locks and watch as his animated features deliver yet another exaggerated plan, probably concocted last night after four pints of Stella in The Rose, the village’s only pub.
‘Nina… don’t give me that look… I was thinking we could…’
I don’t hear his suggestion. His grey eyes dance with excitement, long blond lashes flutter like butterfly wings and his mouth, well, it doesn’t stop moving. His dad, Boss Fielding, calls him Motor-mouth behind his back and the work force laugh at the age-old joke. Abraham loves being the noisy, over-the-top, competitive twin. ‘It’s better than being Zach!’ is his usual comeback.
‘So, what do you think?’ He falls silent and waits, pushing his blond fringe back and into shape. My answer will be the same as it always is.
‘Oh, Bram… what can I say?’ I whisper, flattered that he still finds the energy to chase me after so many rejections. He’s offered me numerous dates: candlelit dinners, hikes up Snowdon, a weekend at V Festival, breaks in Barcelona and even skiing in Austria. Funnily enough the weekend spent fly fishing was an easy ‘no’.
I head towards the snug, our designated staffroom, another log cabin positioned alongside the cashier’s cabin.
‘Come on, Nina.’ He strides after me; he knows my routine. ‘I promise, I’ll be a true gent… treat you like a lady.’
I dash up the wooden steps, push open the heavy door and am greeted by the warmth of the snug’s wood-burning stove. An eclectic mix of donated sofas, armchairs and coffee tables make for a cosy room.
‘You’ll wine and dine me, you say?’ I ask, unzipping my jacket.
‘I swear, I’ll treat you like a lady!’
‘Abraham! You amaze me…’ I say, a coy smile escaping my pretence. I can’t pretend I’m not flattered and I admire his determination.
‘So, what’s it to be, Nina?’ he asks, giving a cheeky wink.
‘Bram… we’d ruin what we have.’ I cross to the coat racks and remove my jacket. Bram follows me.
‘We won’t. What do you say?’
I hang my jacket on my named peg, decorated with a carved plaque; an honour only bestowed upon permanent staff members. Some staff have already arrived and changed into their work scruffs but Shazza’s peg is empty – she’ll arrive with seconds to spare. Kitty’s quilted mac is already hung up. Beneath each peg sits the owner’s plastic box of clothing, personal items brought from home in which to dress and build layers against the cold.
‘I say, we’ve been mates for thirteen years and I value our friendship!’
‘I don’t. You’re the crappiest friend a guy could have… you don’t do drinking games, you hate football and you never agree to my plans.’
‘Just think what a nightmare I’d be as a girlfriend, then. I’d be complaining all the time, texting around the clock and demanding to know your whereabouts on the hour every hour. There, does that feel better?’
‘No! It feels like a sodding rejection again…’
Bram shakes his head, leans against the old battered couch, as I grab my designated storage box to dress in my additional layers.
We’ve been through this same routine a million times since day one. He’s not leching – that’s not his style. We never feel uncomfortable around each other. Bram and Zach are my best friends, and that’s how it’s going to stay.
I snap closed the press studs on my red tabard, rummage in the large front pocket to ensure no one has nicked my marker pen, notepad or woollen gloves. Today, I’m in luck.
‘Nina Salloway… you’ll be the death of me.’
‘Let’s hope so,’ I jibe, grabbing my thermal coat complete with the company logo and my Christian name embroidered across the back, and pull it on. ‘Come on, race you to clock on.’
‘Stop it, Bram. The conversation is over.’ I head towards the door as Shazza hastily enters like a blonde whirlwind, muttering a greeting plus a brief excuse about younger siblings hogging the bathroom. ‘Morning, Shaz. Anyway, Bram, I bet you “White Christmas” starts playing after this track.’
Bram shakes his head, purses his lips and follows me from the snug. ‘You love me really.’
‘With all my heart.’