Title: The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 371 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
An uplifting novel of friendship, the festive season, and risking everything for the biggest gift of all…
It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?
There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.
As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?
The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan is a heartwarming novel with a magical setting.
Christy Sullivan is planning the perfect Christmas for her husband Seb and their four-year-old daughter Holly. They, along with best friends Alix and Zac, are traveling to Lapland, Sweden where Christy will also meet her estranged Aunt Robyn. But Christy’s world begins to fall apart when doubts begin to creep in about Seb. She is also frustrated with ongoing problems with their cottage. When Seb finally opens up to her, Christy realizes she needs to focus on her marriage. So, she asks her best friend Alix to take Holly to Lapland while she remains home with Seb. But unknown to Alix, Christy has also asked Zac to accompany them. Alix is less than thrilled at the news, but she will do anything to for her best friend. And anyway, she won’t actually have to spend time with him, will she?
Christy and Seb’s whirlwind romance quickly ended in marriage and a dream cottage in the country. She has always envisioned the life she wants for herself and her family. She works hard to keep everything on track which is not always easy and her effort to keep everything perfect is sometimes exhausting. Christy and Seb spend a lot of time with their energetic and highly curious daughter and it takes an unexpected crisis to make Christy realize her priorities need to change.
Alix is a highly successful career woman who loves her job which also provides the opportunity to travel. Due to her dysfunctional childhood, she has her emotional barriers in place. Alix dates but she has never had a relationship beyond her close friendship with Christy. But because of something she said to Christy before her friend’s wedding, they have not been quite as close. Although Alix feels like her friend is keeping something from her, she does not hesitate to agree to take Holly to Lapland on her own.
While Aunt Robyn’s Lapland resort is stunning, tension underlies the visit. Alix cannot avoid Zac who wants to talk about the last time they were together. She wants nothing to do with that emotional time but their close contact makes it impossible to ignore. Once Christy arrives, the simmering undercurrents in their friendship make their time together extremely awkward. Christy is an expert at ignoring difficult things so she first spends time with Aunt Robyn who reveals stunning information about the family’s past. Her next meeting with Alix does not go as planned once Christy heatedly tells her friends exactly what has been bothering her. With Christmas right around the corner, will Christy and Alix mend their tattered friendship? And will Alix give her fragile relationship with Zac a chance to grown into more than a holiday fling?
The Christmas Escape is a beautiful holiday novel that tugs on the heartstrings. Christy’s crisis with Seb provides them much needed time to remember why they fell in love. She also learns a lot about herself and decides to make much needed changes going forward. Alix comes to surprising realizations that give her a better understanding of how much her past is still affecting her. Under the glow of the Northern Lights, Sarah Morgan brings this heartfelt novel of healing to a deeply affecting conclusion.