2017 Reviews · Australian · chick lit · contemporary fiction · romance · rural fiction · small town

Book Review: Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas by Laura Greaves

Title: Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas two weeks til xmasa small.jpg

Author:  Laura Greaves

Published: November 13th 2017

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 288

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Romance, Rural

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3.5

Claire Thorne never expected to be heading home for Christmas in Bindallarah – the small country town she left behind thirteen years ago and spends every day trying to forget. But then again she never expected fate to bring Scotty, her oldest friend and first love back into her life. Or for Scotty to tell her that he’s about to get married – to a girl he barely knows.

With only two weeks until Scotty’s big day on Christmas Eve, Claire’s determined to make up for lost time and help plan his wedding. And while she’s at it, she can make sure he’s not making a life-changing mistake. After all, it’s what any good friend would do.

But is two weeks enough time for Claire to find the answers she needs? And will she be brave enough to question her own heart and the choices she’s made along the way?

My review:

Laura Greaves is an Australian writer who wears a couple of hats. She has penned two non-fiction collections of dog stories. She is also the author of two chick lit style romance novels. Her latest novel, Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas, is a rural romance read, with a festive Christmas backdrop, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Bindallarah is home to city based veterinarian Claire Thorne. Over thirteen years ago, Claire left Bindallarah after her teenage love and best friend Scotty Shannon tried to cement their love in the form of a proposal. It sent Claire flying and now, after many years apart, Claire has decided she wishes to reconnect with Scotty via social media. The two reignite their friendship and eventually it comes to light that Scott is set marry a girl he met only a month ago. Claire is concerned her oldest friend is making the biggest mistake of his life, jumping into a marriage all too quickly. Claire decides to head back home to Bindallarah, to the place she thought she left behind, where Scotty’s wedding is due to take place. Claire hopes to repair her friendship with Scotty and help him organise his shot-gun wedding. With only two weeks on the clock until the big Christmas Eve wedding, as Claire supports Scotty on his path to marriage, she realises she made a huge mistake and it may be too late to rectify it.

After a heavy weekend filled with Christmas preparations, Laura Greaves’ new novel was just what I needed to curl up with at the end of a busy few days. At this time of year, with all the commitments, events and shopping expeditions, a romantic Christmas themed second chance love story is exactly what I needed. Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas is a light, fluffy and quick read. It is a book that I guarantee will appeal to the hearts of romance readers and those who appreciate a good Aussie setting.

The lead in this novel, Claire Thorne, was completely agreeable and relatable, it was easy to get lost in her story. Claire does not have a straightforward background history and I enjoyed the process of discovering her life story. I liked that Greaves gave Claire the occupation of a veterinarian, as her compassion and huge heart shone through. Claire is paired well against the hero of the novel, Scotty. Scotty also has his own issues and secrets, which Greaves handled well. Supporting Claire and Scotty are a solid crew of secondary characters, who add much colour to this compelling love story.

Animals play a significant role in Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas. Greaves’ background in writing non-fiction based animal true tales, provides her with the right skills set to write the sections in this novel involving both horses and dogs. It is hard not to develop affection for two of the main animal players in this book. I cared very much about Autumn, the pregnant mare who suffers more than one medical crisis. I also developed a soft spot for Scotty’s loyal dog companion Tank, his three-legged pal.

Greaves has a good handle on the small town rural backdrop of her novel. The town of Bindallarah is depicted well by Greaves. I enjoyed my stay with the townsfolk of Bindallarah very much, especially when there is a crisis or a celebration in the air, the sense of community was infectious.

Romance lovers will not be disappointed by Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas. As this is a second chance love story, there are plenty of twists, secrets and hiccups for our couple to overcome. There are also plenty of romantic moments and situations where the heat is turned up, but Greaves handles this is a perfectly tasteful way. Although slightly formulaic and it a little on the short side length wise, I still very much enjoyed my journey with Claire and Scotty. The happily ever after was a joy to read!

Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas is the ideal read for the festive period. It offers readers pure romantic escapism, all wrapped up in a rich Aussie rural setting, complete with some wonderful characters, animals included! I’m keen to explore more of Greaves’ work after reading this sweet new rural romance novel.

Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas by Laura Greaves was published on November 13th 2017 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas, Laura Greaves, visit here.

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