Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews

"If anyone should try to call Mrs Christmas now, I'm afraid that they'll find her otherwise engaged."

The blurb

Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born. 

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients. 

When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go...
Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life. 

Becca's thoughts

Calling Mrs Christmas is a beautiful, festive story, full of warmth and joy and everything that Christmas entails! From the moment you open the book and turn to the first page, you are dropped into the ultimate Christmas story, and you will not want to leave, I can assure you. 

I'm not going to lie to you. The cover for Calling Mrs Christmas was what caught my eye. I didn't even read the blurb until it came to reviewing the book. That's naughty of me, I know, but sometimes you just can't help it, and when a cover is this gorgeous it doesn't even matter. It's festive, it's emotive, drawing from you every feeling associated with the Christmas season! Absolutely fabulous!

I found Calling Mrs Christmas rather like a big, Christmas adventure. You're alongside Cassie as she starts her business up, and you get to join her as she visits her clients and gets her jobs done, with a flair for Christmas creativity. She decorates trees, wraps presents, writes cards and even puts together Christmas events for local businesses and companies. It really is the ULTIMATE Christmas story, bringing together all the excitement and merriment that's included with this time of year. It's impossible to not get the Christmas bug after reading this book. 

The characters that you get to meet in Calling Mrs Christmas are all wonderful fictional creations. Cassie Smith is the main character, and you meet her first! Cassie was made redundant from her previous job, and since then she's became a bit of a slob. Lying around on the sofa whilst her boyfriend Jim works full time at Bovingdale Young Offenders Unit. Cassie lives for Jim's phone calls during the day, it gives her something to look forward to, and is basically the highlight of her long, repetitive days spent at home in front of the TV. When her idea for Calling Mrs Christmas pops into her head, she suddenly realises that this is her perfect job. An avid lover of all things Christmassy, Cassie gets right to it. She's creative, she's enthusiastic and she is perfect for the founder of Calling Mrs Christmas. She hopes that thinking up her dream job is going to end her and Jim's days of worrying about and struggling with money. 

What I really loved about Cassie was her flair for Calling Mrs Christmas. Turns out she is a dab hand and making things look beautiful and magical and extremely festive. She even learns to write in calligraphy, to give her customers who want her to write out their Christmas cards the ultimate professional look.She ends up watching tons of YouTube videos and learning how to wrap up presents like Santa's elves. It's wonderful watching her get into her new job role and you suddenly feel the urge to get your presents wrapped, write out Christmas cards and swing around the tops of your Christmas trees! (If they're big enough of course! Mine would crumble underneath me unfortunately. But it sounds like a fantastic idea!)

Jim, Cassie's partner, is an absolute sweetheart. There are many moments in the story where you will want to cuddle him up and just give him some snuggles. He's a very hard-working man, working full-time with "lads" who are took to the Young Offenders Unit because they've stole, attacked someone or are just plain pains in the arses. Day in, day out, he puts up with fights, cleaning out cells and doing routine checks to make sure there are no sharp objects hidden in pillows and mattresses. He goes home each night to Cassie, but never speaks about what his day involved. He likes to keep this to himself as his job also entails rather dirty work and it's not exactly the perfect conversation starter. Jim is so, soo lovely! I know lovely isn't a great word to use in a review but it describes this guy perfectly. He's loyal, he does everything to make Cassie happy, and he wants to put a ring on her finger and start a family as soon as they are financially able to. That's his ultimate dream. He's Cassie's biggest supporter, always behind her, and completely in awe of her when Calling Mrs Christmas really begins to get going. He helps her with wrapping presents, writing cards out and even dresses up as Father Christmas himself on a few occasions just to make sure everything goes smoothly for her. He is the ultimate gentleman, one of those nice guys who you know you can always depend on. 

From reading the blurb, you may have also noticed that a millionaire is involved in this story too. That's right. Carter Randall is an affluent, swanky attractive man who happens to bump into Cassie at one of her functions and manages to get covered in a drink by her. After finding out that the function has actually been put together by Cassie herself, and that she is the one and only Calling Mrs Christmas, he decides to put her in charge of turning his home into a Christmas palace. With his no-limit budget, Cassie can hardly contain her excitement in getting started on his huge, million pound mansion and acre long gardens. Carter himself is an okay guy. He is drenched with money and nothing is beyond his reach. He is in the middle of a separation with his ex-wife, Tamara, and his two children, Max and Eve are caught up in the middle of it all. After Carter is allowed to have his two children for the Christmas period, he puts Cassie in charge of arranging a once in a lifetime holiday for him and his children. He's got money coming from everywhere, and he doesn't care about going over the top. In fact, the house on the front cover is meant to depict Carter's abode. Pretty nice eh? ;) Carter holds more in store for Cassie than just a fat paycheck. 

There are many more characters for you to feast your imagination on, all full of surprises and fantastic personalities. The characters and the settings definitely made the story what it is. With the point of view switching between Cassie and her partner Jim, it makes for a very entertaining read. There's also a sort of contrast between each character's part in the story. I found Cassie's viewpoints are always upbeat and full of excitement, whereas Jim's are more grey, constantly working and slogging away. The two of them make the perfect Christmas fictional couple, and I loved every single little bit! 

It's emotional, full of ups and downs, but with the ultimate message hidden within. That Christmas is just about the presents under the tree or the money that's been spent. It's about being with your loved ones, sitting around the dinner table, and just basking in the glow of love that radiates between everyone, because that's all that really matters. 

Overall, I'm giving Calling Mrs Christmas a well deserved rating of 10/10. 
Giving this book anything less than that would be rather silly. 
If you haven't found a book that throws you into the Christmas spirit, then read this. 
You will NOT be disappointed, I promise you!

Buying links

Thanks for reading lovely book lovers! 
I'll be back again soon. 

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