The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans
Publisher: ‎HQ Digital
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.

But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.

He’s been running a Lapland style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she’s never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.

Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.

When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.

With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?

This is the most romantic book I’ve read all year!

Where do I find the words to explain the wonder I found within this book’s pages? This novel makes me want to put sparkling fairy lights all over the house, both inside and out. The Post Box at the North Pole has inspired me to decorate for Christmas like I’ve never done before. If I could hug the author for writing this story, I would. It’s incredibly happy and filled with the wonder of the Northern Lights. I adored this book!!

Can you tell I’m excited? This is only the second story I’ve read by this author and I’m a fan. I guarantee it won’t be the last and in fact, I crave more. If script writers wouldn’t mess this up, it truly would make a marvelous movie. Not Hallmark – this is better than that!

If you read the blurb/synopsis, then you know the basic gist of the plot. What it doesn’t convey is the heart and soul of what a reader will find within. Taavi Salvesen is the gruff backwoods handyman who knows his way around reindeers more than people. Sasha Hansley hasn’t liked Christmas in what feels like forever. The heroine’s father is an eccentric adventurer who doesn’t ever slow down. These three main characters are the core of the story. Their relationships change during the course of the novel and seeing it happen is like seeing a flower unfurl in slow motion. It’s beautiful, breathtaking and I’m watching it with rapt attention. So rapt in fact, it was almost 1:30 a.m. when I finished. I truly could not stop reading. The house was quiet, I’m alone and The Post Box at the North Pole transported me to a magical place of snow, hope and dreams.

The story is told in first person POV from Sasha’s perspective. The author is incredibly talented in that regard. At no time did the writing stumble. The thing with first person points of views is that not all authors can pull it off. Usually, when I see that style, I am hesitant. It can take me a while to feel comfortable with it. Not so with Ms. Admans’ writing. It’s seamless, flawless and easy to believe. Everything flows naturally and I feel like I am with a friend, watching her fall in love with the land, the man and one special reindeer.

What made this story work for me was the pacing of the romance. The way the author described how Taavi looked at Sasha and vice versa. The way she notices him noticing her. The blushes, the sassiness and funny puns and growing respect for the other. The biggest milestone moments are when either Taavi or Sasha let things slip the more they trust each other. They both have had pain in their lives and it’s molded them into the people I meet in the beginning. The people they become by the end is what matters. It’s why the romance works, why it’s believable and why I adore this book so very much. The chemistry is sizzling between them and the kisses, when they happen, are perfectly timed and ooh la la!. There is one scene where the author leaves it up to a reader’s imagination as to what went on. No matter what a reader envisions, it has the same result – it’s a turning point in their relationship in all the best ways.

Now, I know I’m being overly gushy and it may make you think there’s no plot conflict. There is. A couple of them, in fact. They are definitely character based and quite effective but nothing over-the-top. Again, it’s matters of the heart: it’s trust and healing of past hurts, to recapture the good memories of the past while moving beyond its negative parts’ hold on the present, it’s learning the truth about who they are rather than who they believe themselves to be. It’s about the healing of a family with love, in all its tears and joy. All of it embraces the Christmas spirit, but not one that happens once a year, but in every moment of every day in every year of your life. Its message is timeless. The Post Box at the North Pole is rich in so many ways, I can’t even begin to express everything I want to without delving into spoilers.

For me, The Post Box at the North Pole is sheer perfection. The talent of Ms. Admans to capture in words, both in description and dialogue, a romance story so heartwarming and real, that giving it a Best Book rating is the easiest decision I’ve made in a long, long time.

Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans

Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans
Publisher: HQ Digital
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

All she wants for Christmas…

Leah Griffiths has woken up after a few too many glasses of Prosecco with a hangover – and discovers she’s accidentally bought a little Christmas tree farm in Scotland!

At first she’s horrified, but perhaps it’s the perfect way to forget all about her cheating ex.

And when she meets grumpy (but ridiculously gorgeous) pumpkin farmer Noel underneath the mistletoe, Leah begins to believe that at Christmas time, anything can happen…

I’ve heard of drunk dialing but never drunk auctioning. In this case the heroine wins an auction and buys her very own Christmas Tree farm! What could go wrong?

What does happen is a lot of heartwarming moments, awesome pop culture references and jokes (many I got) and a romance that is as adorable as a puppy. Or in this case, a chihuahua named Gizmo. There is so much to like about this novel, I’m not sure where to start.

First, I thought the name of the farm was genius and perfect: Peppermint Branches Christmas Tree Farm. Isn’t that delightful? Thing is, that’s the only thing sweet about the farm itself. Leah, the heroine, is about to change her life’s journey in a big way. You know the saying, when one door closes, another is opened? Leah’s ‘door’ is an enormous gateway into the unknown and it looks like she’s about to fall through it flat on her face. I guarantee you that by the end of the book she’ll have muscles upon muscles. Being a Christmas tree farmer isn’t just the selling of trees; there is a ginormous amount of behind the scenes work and Ms. Admans must have done extensive research to describe in vivid detail the challenges, skill and dedication one has to have in order to succeed. I enjoyed watching the heroine reach deep inside herself for a strength she didn’t realize she was capable of.

The strength doesn’t come only from within. No, the hero, a long-haired hunky Scot with a heart of gold and an endearing propensity to blush called Noel, ends up being the best thing to ever cross Leah’s path. Well, eventually she’ll feel that way. Their initial meeting was unorthodox to say the least. She was more impressed with his dog – although Noel was certainly easy on the eyes. I actually liked the hero. There are many aspects to his personality that are impressive, not to mention HIS muscles. The heroine was especially fond of gazing at his arms while in action. The author did a wonderful job of giving the reader flutters in the tummy just from her descriptions.

The novel is told in first person POV and it works wonderfully. It was smooth, consistent and I felt I got to know Leah quite well as the story progressed. As for knowing Noel, that happens via conversations with his mom, Leah, and the varied and colorful residents of the community called Elffield.

While I was learning along with Leah in how to be a Christmas tree farmer, the romance between her and Noel was mostly sweet, but sometimes sensual (like when they kiss). The sparks between them flittered and fluttered as they were fanned throughout the novel. When those sparks turned to flame and they finally, FINALLY kiss, it was as romantic as I could wish. At one point, I think there was mud involved.

The drama is purely character based and the suspense comes from Mother Nature. I liked the heroic and valiant crusade on Leah’s part to save the charm and beauty of Elffield and its country market. At some points, every one of the heroine’s ideas all seemed to work wonders in one fashion or another, and it felt too perfect or easy, but there is no doubt those same elements provided the story with its charm, optimism, uplifted emotions and joy. Those positive aspects are the reason why I’ll say that this is a novel that embraces the spirit of the Christmas season and is a picture-perfect holiday read.

If a reader is looking for a solid plot, a sweet and satisfying romance, a story that is happy, and a hero and heroine whose onscreen chemistry are a true delight to witness, then Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm is a novel not to miss. I truly enjoyed myself and hope that other readers will feel the same way once they read it, too.