Review of The Beachside Christmas


The Beachside Christmas

Karen Clarke

September 26, 2017


Snow is falling and there’s romance in the air. Curl up for a cosy Christmas by the fire at Seaview Cottage…

When thirty-year-old Lily Ambrose’s latest relationship ends in disaster, she remembers happy childhood holidays in the seaside town of Shipley and decides it’s the perfect place for a fresh start.

But when Lily arrives, the town’s spirits are as low as her own: the local celebrity due to turn on the Christmas lights has gone on a cruise instead. Keen to prove herself, she calls in a favour and secures gorgeous reality star Ollie.

Lily’s neighbours are initially thrilled, but Ollie is as uncontrollable as he is good-looking. He can’t remember the town’s name, calls the Christmas decorations tacky, and manages to offend everyone. And whilst handsome but stubborn cameraman Craig tries to help, even he can’t stop Ollie’s madcap plans to stage a romance with Lily…

Will Lily be able to keep Ollie under control and bring the Christmas cheer back to Shipley – and find herself a real kiss under the mistletoe?

An addictive, heart-warming and uplifting read about friendship, romance, and Christmas spirit. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Cathy Bramley and Debbie Johnson.


As I did last year, I’ll be reviewing some of the Christmas offerings that are going on sale soon. (Unfortunately somehow I missed Halloween 🙁 , but that’s been the theme this year…not Halloween, but missing things.) I have a feeling that like last year these novels are going to run the gamut from slapstick funny to charming and sweet. So here we go…

While it took me a few pages to get into Karen Clarke’s The Beachside Christmas, once I did I had a very enjoyable time reading about the eccentric characters of Shipley, a fictional seaside town in Dorset.

Lily leaves London for Shipley because of the wonderful holidays her family used to have there when she was young and because those memories involve her beloved Dad who died three years earlier. Also, as a result of a bad relationship and an embarrassing altercation, Lily feels like she needs to start over.

Because she wants to ingratiate herself to her neighbors, she volunteers to find a celebrity for the Christmas lights celebration. Her best friend, Erin, a talent agent, recommends Ollie, an actor who was made somewhat famous by a reality tv series, but who had gotten booted off when he hit someone. He’s hoping to redeem himself.

Ollie is handsome and charming and Lily is attracted until she gets to know Ollie better and realizes he’s a bit of a goof.

The Beachside Christmas is just the sort of book to start the holiday season with. It’s extremely funny, but sweet, a feel good romantic comedy.

Lily is a nice woman who goes out of her way to make people like her, which includes buying an odd assortment of expensive delicacies she doesn’t know what to do with when she’s told Ollie (rather posh and schooled at Eton) is going to be staying with her. Craig comes across as a tough nut at the beginning, but the reader soon realizes he’s a nice, sensible guy, loyal with good values, and steady. No characters are over-the-top mean and even the ones who seem a bit sharp initially are softened over time. Most are fully developed characters.

Even the magical, life-saving cat, Marmite, is a fully developed, if still enigmatic, character.

While I understand that this is part of a series, it wasn’t obvious. This can very much be read as a standalone novel.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

rating: 4-butterflies

4 out of 5 butterflies


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.