BOOK REVIEW: How The Grump Saved Christmas by Claire Kingsley

BOOK REVIEW: How The Grump Saved Christmas by Claire KingsleyHow The Grump Saved Christmas by Claire Kingsley
Purchase on: Amazon
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Hardworking Isabelle Cook has a serious problem. Her family farm, site of Tilikum’s Christmas Village, is in trouble. Big trouble. And worst of all? The man trying to buy it is none other than the grumpiest, grinchiest man of them all—Elias Stoneheart.

That’s a big nope. She’s not letting him get involved. Not with his heart made of coal.

Elias Stoneheart is in the business of making money, not friends. Especially when his boss is promising a long-awaited promotion. All he has to do is convince one struggling family to sell their farm.

The problem? It’s Cook Family Farm. And Isabelle Cook is his ex.

He might have history with Isabelle, but this is just business. A Christmas-loving farm girl is not going to come between him and his ambition.

And Christmas? He hates it. Christmas Village needs to go.

But as Elias spends time in the small town, holiday spirit—and Isabelle—get under his skin. And she might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Author’s Note: a sassy farm girl takes on a grumpy businessman in this stand-alone small-town Christmas romance. Saucy banter, a guard donkey, plenty of holiday cheer, and a heartwarming happily ever after that will make you believe in the magic of Christmas.


How the Grump Saved Christmas was a second chance, grumpy sunshine adult romance that was a lot of fun! With a Christmas tree farm, snow, hot cocoa with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles and lots of holiday cheer, this romance book was the perfect book to read in December!

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…
No, I wasn’t. I was dreaming of a cup of dark roast— the coffee here was exceptional— and the shot of Irish whiskey I was going to add to it that were going to get me through the rest of this nightmare of an afternoon.

Elias was such a cynic and a complete grump.  In that first chapter alone he showed us what a jerk he could be.  Especially when he took on the job to convince his ex’s family to sell their land so his company could build a data center.  Not only would he get a promotion if the sale went through, but that ex wasn’t just any old ex.  She was the woman he had wanted to marry.  So I tried to find little clues here and there that he had a heart.  You could see them if you looked closely….like when he threatened Damien that he would kill him if he bothered his assistant again haha.  So when he came face to face with Isabelle again, I loved how she affected him.  And how she slowly started to change him too!

My heart tried to do something. Start beating again, maybe. Whatever it was, it hurt and I did not like it.
Straightening my shoulders, I swallowed back the sensation. Forced it behind a wall of ice where it wouldn’t get in the way.
When she turned to face me, her eyes widening with surprise, I didn’t even flinch.
Despite the fact that she was still the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

This story alternated between the two of them and I adored Isabelle!  She had a strong work ethic, loved her family, and adored the tiny town she lived in.  Yet her parents’ farm was struggling.  They were in so much debt, and while selling financially made sense, it hurt Isabelle’s heart to think about it.  But thankfully she was surrounded by a strong community and the most amazing best friends.  And an ex that was starting to remind her why she fell in love with him years ago in the first place.

There was no slow-motion retreat filled with angst. His cold eyes left mine and he turned around and walked away.

When we got to hear Elais’ backstory, oh my Santa, I hurt for his 11 year old self.  I understood how he turned into what he was.  But I still wanted to see him become the man I knew he could be!  So I was elated that we still had so many moments of happiness with Elias.  I was screaming during some of the moments with Isabelle’s parents.  This story was so much fun while also touching on the emotional side!

“How do I look at her?”
She wiggled her eyebrows. “Like you want to jingle her bells.”
I groaned.

Small town romance, friendship and love made this Christmas story shine brightly!  While there was steam on the pages, it wasn’t detailed.  And the side characters could have easily held their own book.  Cole was a farmhand who was such a good friend!  And I adored Alice and her daughter Maddie!  Their endings made me shed happy tears!  I also Isabelle’s parents too!  So with moments that will not only warm your heart but make you laugh out loud too, this book was a blast!  This is my first book by Claire Kingsley, and I am looking forward to discovering more of her backlist books!

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa+Mandina+(Lisa+Loves+Literature)

    This one is on my TBR for next holiday season! Glad to hear it was good! I ended up doing one big post with all my holiday reads this past year, and I might do it again next year. If you want to check it out, here it is:

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