Friday, October 29, 2021

Blog Tour: Flora's Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

I noticed this week that Christmas ads have started on TV here. Normally I would be horrified that they have started before the end of October. The only thing is that, this year at least, my indignation would be misplaced because I have already read a Christmas book! I know....I am surprised too!

Flora is a bit of a disaster. She can’t keep a job, and she falls in love too easily with men who then turn out not to appreciate her uniqueness. 

One thing about Flora is that she loves Christmas. Maybe I should have says LOVES instead of loves! When she is fired from her dream job in a Christmas shop, breaks up with her boyfriend and is told that she needs to find somewhere else to live, it is clear something needs to change. Her best friend Lyvvie comes up with the idea that, really, what Flora needs is a job where she is her own boss! Then she can’t get fired. What would be the ideal business for someone who loves every little thing about Christmas? A shop of course. And where would be the best place for this shop? Lapland!! And if it is a shop in a van then she has somewhere to live too. It's the perfect solution.

Before Flora can sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, she finds herself the owner of a van in Lapland, with a Christmas stock supplier lined up and a place at a market! It's not all smooth sailing though. The first van that she looked at was a bomb, but luckily she finds another which is perfect for the job. Well, almost. The van breaks down on the way to the market site. Flora, who is dressed in a Christmas onesie, is assisted by a passing stranger who helps her get back on the road. It is only when she gets to the market that she finds out that Connor is the manager of the market site, and therefore someone that Flora needs to stay on the good side of.


It's a steep learning curve in van life and business for Flora. There are rules and safety regulations that have to be adhered to, new friends to be made, as well as rival's for Connor's attention. 

Connor is the festive antithesis of Flora. He's a bit of a drifter, moving from one place to the next whenever the mood strikes. As much as Flora loves Christmas, Connor does not. He doesn't like the commercialism and consumerism, the waste, the plastic. Any of it. Can Flora convince him that Christmas isn't all bad?

I have read several books by Rebecca Raisin now, including other van life books, which are connected in that they are about van life, but there is otherwise very little connection. I love the way that she writes about food, books, about place and, yes, about Christmas. I also loved the way that Raisin is happy to poke fun at the story. For example, Lyvvie is chasing her own dream in the US, but she never misses an opportunity to encourage Flora to live her best Hallmark movie life, which is a lot of fun. The gorgeous hero, the big misunderstanding, the grand gestures - all the tropes are here.

I loved the Lapland setting. I can't imagine I will ever end up in Lapland, but I would love to see the Northern Lights one day. And there was a scene involving a sleigh ride through the snow that bought back memories of my trip to Austria back in the early 1990's when I got to do the same thing. If I remember correctly it was an excursion when we visited Innsbruck. I will say that if I ever do make it to Stockholm, I do want to stay in the hotel that was described in the book, which is a hotel set up inside of a jumbo jet. I told my husband that this is where we would stay and he is up for it!

On a scale of Flora to Connor, I am on the Connor end of the loving Christmas scale, but I think that I am slowly but surely sliding more towards Flora's end. Last year I watched more Christmas movies than I ever had before, and now I have started reading Christmas novels in September and I have a couple more to read too! Maybe in 5 years time I too will be obsessed with Christmas.

Rating 4/5

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Netgalley

About the book

‘Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…

Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?

Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.

Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?

Purchase Links

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Amazon UK:

Amazon AUS:

About the Author

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

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