The Art of Christmas by Jane Lovering

What if the memories of Christmas past were getting in the way of Christmas future?

It’s been nearly two years since Harriet lost Jonno, but she’s finally decided that it’s time to celebrate Christmas again.

Then she finds a stash of graphic novels belonging to her comic book-loving husband in the attic, and suddenly her world is turned upside down once more.

With the help of eccentric comic book dealer Kell Foxton, she discovers that the comics collected by Jonno are not only extremely valuable, but also hold the key to his secret life – a life that throws Harriet’s entire marriage and every memory she has of her husband into question.

As Harriet grows closer to Kell, she begins to feel like she could learn to love Christmas again – but first, she needs to know the truth.

Stand Alone Title

Title:  The Art of Christmas
Series:
Author:  Jane Lovering
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  November 13, 2015
Publisher:  Choc Lit
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley

The Art of Christmas is a tender and emotional story of loss, discovery and acceptance.  As Harriet faces another Christmas without her beloved husband, Jonno she is struggling with more than just the stubborn Christmas tree in the corner of the attic.  Last Christmas passed with no celebrations and as her grief has not passed but at least settled a bit Harriet is making an effort to celebrate this year.  In her effort to wrestle the slightly bedraggled tree out of its corner she stumbles over plastic bags full of the graphic novels that Jonno had loved and collected.  She had never truly shared his love of these graphic novels, but today she picks up a copy to take downstairs and begins to glance through it.  Harriet has already sold off some of Jonno’s collection, and was quite surprised at the amount that she was offered for them.  Apparently graphic novels are quite popular to a certain group of readers.  In an effort to somehow be in touch with her husband through his love of these novels, Harriet actually begins to read the one she’s brought down from the attic.  What she discovered is a  fascinating story with a woman who is facing difficulties much like her own.  Oh, not the exact same but she can identify with this story.

Eventually she makes the phone call to Kell, the owner of a shop that had bought the last bundle of Jonno’s collection to see if he had any interest in more.  Funds were extremely tight now and any financial windfall from her husband’s obsession with these novels would be helpful in keeping their home for another year.  Kell is a young man who has also known loss.  And if he is a bit of a geek, immersed in a universe that Harriet has little knowledge of, he is still a man who gets what she is going through right now.  His tentative offer of friendship is as welcome to Harriet as a cool drink on a steaming hot day.

When it’s discovered that the graphic novels that Harriet is willing to sell are actually collector items and worth quite a bit of money, to say Harriet was a bit stunnid is an understatement.  While casually talking at Harriet’s home, Kell makes a comment that will shake Harriet’s world to its core.  Now Harriet and Kell are looking for answers to Jonno’s secret life and what they discover will change everything.

The Art of Christmas is a story that needs to be on your Christmas reading list this year and beyond.  It is sad on several levels, but it is also empowering as a once strong woman discovers how to get her strength back once again.  And it’s a story of two people who might not appear to belong together on the surface find that they have an attraction that may work for them.  A roller coaster of emotions, The Art of Christmas will capture your attention and your heart.

This review first appeared on my book blog Keeper Bookshelf.

Available for the Kindle

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