It is almost a year since Sean and Thea met and it's been a roller-coaster ride: they're getting married on Christmas Day!
Neither Thea or Sean want a big fuss - a simple wedding, with Christmas lights and just a few sprigs of mistletoe for decoration is all they need.
But before they know it, things begin to get complicated.
Trying to manage a long-distance relationship in the build-up to their Christmas wedding is one thing, but as one challenge after another comes their way, the happy couple begin to wonder if they'll ever make it down the aisle . . .
A Merry Mistletoe Wedding by Judy Astley is published by Black Swan on 3 December 2015, and I am delighted to be a host on the Blog Tour for this really wonderful seasonal read.
I don't usually read Christmas books, but last year I made an exception and hosted the Blog Tour for It Must Have Been The Mistletoe by Judy Astley, and this year I am thrilled to return to the characters we met in that book, one year later ... for us, and for them.
Thea and Sean are planning their wedding. They are going to get married in Cornwall, where they
met a year ago. They want a simple ceremony, with a beach BBQ wedding breakfast and no frills. So very different to the wedding that Thea almost had; the wedding where her fiance got cold feet at the last minute, with a meringue dress bought and ready and the invitations almost ready to be sent out. Thea would love for her whole family to join them on their big day, but her sister Emily is proving to be a problem. Emily recently gave birth and her behaviour has been strange to say the least since little Ned arrived. Emily is also terrified that it may snow. It snowed last year in Cornwall and the family were trapped in their holiday home ... Emily has never quite got over that.
These characters are truly wonderfully drawn. A big, bustling family with lots of members, but each one is finely created, with their own individual features and characteristic. Anna and Mick; the ageing hippy parents. Rosie; the 'speak first, think later' sister-in-law. Alfie and Millie, the two youngest members of the family and of course, Charlotte; not really a blood relation, but someone who becomes the lynch pin, the saviour of them all.
Amongst the Christmas and wedding preparations, Judy Astley also deals with some more serious issues, especially around Emily and her sudden change in character. This is done sensitively and will compassion, and just a little humour, and Emily, who could quite easily have been an annoying, hateful character who spoils the whole show, becomes one who probably has the most depth.
I have been reading Judy Astley's books for many years now, and she has never disappointed. Her writing is warm and witty. Her characters are life like and her Cornish settings are enough to make anyone pack their bag and make their way down there immediately. A real treat.
Born In Lancashire, Judy Astley has lived for most of her life in Twickenham, and was a dress designer and painter before writing her first novel, Just for the Summer,in 1994.
She has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in Twickenham and Cornwall.
For more information on Judy Astley and her books, see her website at www.judyastley.com
Follow her on Twitter @Judyastley