Friday 10 November 2023

Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello Blog Tour

 I am a huge fan of Abiola Bello. I loved her novel Love in Winter Wonderland and her contribution to the Very Merry Murder Club Anthology and now she's back with another wintery delight, Only For the Holidays.


City girl Tia Solank√© is dreading the festive period. She’s on a break with her boyfriend and the last thing she wants to do is spend Christmas away from London. Arriving at Saiyan Hedge Farm, Tia takes an instant disliking to it. She falls in horse manure, is chased by sheep and the Wi-Fi sucks. How is she meant to stalk her ex now and concoct a foolproof plan to win him back?

Country boy Quincy Parker and his family run the farm, and this year they’ve been selected to host the biggest event in the town's calendar – the Winter Ball. Preparations are underway, and Quincy is working around the clock to make it a success. The only problem is, he’s told everyone he has a date to the ball, when in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.

At first, Tia and Quincy don’t see eye to eye, until they realise they both have something to gain by pretending to be a couple. But when a snowstorm threatens to cancel the Winter Ball, their fake relationship is put to the test. Will Tia and Quincy be able to keep up the pretence and save the day, or will real feelings get in the way?

Now before I get into my review for this exceptional novel, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to ask Abiola a question and I'd like to share with you what she thought:

I had the pleasure of reading Love in Winter Wonderland and I'm pleased to say I also rather enjoyed your contribution in the Very Merry Murder Club Anthology. Both equally entertaining but also very different. Do you have a preference when it comes to which genre you are writing?

If you asked me this a few years ago I would have said yes and it was middle-grade preferably fantasy but I feel like I've been stretched in terms of writing different genres and age groups so now I'm up for anything. I was so nervous to write a love story and a mystery but I enjoyed both a lot and I'm always keen to do more of it.

On to my thoughts on Bello's latest book . . . 

Described as The Spanish Love Deception meets The Holiday, this is your classic fake dating YA romance filled with entertaining characters and a good dose of drama to boot.

Told from two points of view.

We get to know both Tia and Quincy. Two young adults that aren't having a the best time when it comes to love.

Tia has just been told by her boyfriend that he 'needs space' and it just so happens her mum has surprised Tia and her sisters with a surprise holiday to Saiyan Hedge Farm, so Mike's going to get a lot of distance.

And then there's Quincy, his family own Saiyan Hedge Farm, he's just had his girlfriend cheat on him with his best friend and is now left without a date to the all important Winter Ball.

Seems like fate right?

It really felt like opposites attract.

But we all know that the course of true love never comes without its ups and downs.

With a good pace right from the beginning, I read this book in less than 3 hours and was left with a lovely warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

From the cast and the ongoing relationships, to the added drama and secondary storylines. I loved it all. 

What stood out the most for me was the family dynamics.

Their interactions felt believable, honest and I guess comforting. It was lovely to see that even in difficult and unfortunate times, they were able to come together and support each other. I especially loved all of their adoration for Banks (the youngest solanke sibling).

I'd describe Only For the Holidays as ideal festive escapism.

Super cute!

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