Today, I’m honoured to be taking part in the blog tour for Love, Secret Santa. Thank you so much to Becci Mansell and Hachette Children’s Group for including me and sending me a copy of this heart-warming romance in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve also got the privilege of having Sareeta guest-write her advice for what the perfect ingredients for a romance are in this post, alongside my review. So, I’ll let her wonderful advice speak for herself below!
The Perfect Ingredients for Making a Romance
The key ingredient for making a romance is to have two people who you really believe in and want to see make it to that happily-ever-after moment! Both Angel and Casper have their own unique charm that hopefully really will make readers want to see them get together.
But, another very important ingredient is tension and obstacles – the course of true love never runs smooth, so ensuring that things aren’t too easy for your romantic leads is also crucial! Angel has some really hurt feelings after her earlier friendship with Casper had drifted apart at a very key time in her life. So seeing the possibility for love with someone that may seem unlikely is a factor running through the story of Love, Secret Santa.
And the final, vital ingredient is to show the love! The chemistry and sweep of romance between the characters really needs to come across on the page, and hopefully by the end of this story, the reader will be caught up in the romantic relationship between these two festive lovebirds.
Trigger warnings: grief and chronic illness
All I want for Christmas is . . . you! A festive clean teen romance that could melt even Scrooge’s heart!
It’s nearly Christmas, but Angel Green isn’t celebrating – she’s too busy studying for a scholarship exam. On top of that, she’s organising her school’s charity fundraising campaign to help a local hospice. Unfortunately, her fundraising partner is Caspar Johnson: handsome, creative and fun, but TOTALLY unreliable.
Thank goodness for her Secret Santa who keeps leaving her amazing presents, including an intriguing hand-made advent calendar! Angel is dying to find out who her secret admirer is . . .
As they spend time together planning festive events, Angel realises that Caspar has hidden depths – and a secret that he’s hiding behind his easy-going facade. Her advent calendar encourages Angel to take risks and open her heart – but has she left it too late to tell Caspar how she really feels?
This is the perfect read to get you in the Christmassy mood and as a self-confessed Grinch until December arrives, it definitely helped me feel that festive spirit.
As Sareeta describes above, good characters and chemistry are essential for a romance to work. Luckily Angel and Caspar made my heart melt. I liked how it didn’t fall into the trop of instalove, instead it felt like a natural progression, especially with the cute chemistry between them. In fact, every romance that developed over the course of the book just felt sweet and never forced.
The book just gave me such lovely feel-good Christmas romcom vibes that reminded me of time spent with my family and friends.
It does deal with some tough issues, but always with emotional sensitivity and delicate writing. Also, I loved how nearly every character was a person of colour and this, along with the gay romance that’s part of the side characters, was so normalised, which is how it should be.
Love, Secret Santa is an adorable, heart-warming contemporary YA romance that’s akin to a hot chocolate – making you feel warm and cosy inside, while also getting you into the mood of the most wonderful time of the year!
Thank you again to Hachette Children’s Group and Becci Mansell for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review and please check out the other amazing posts on this blog tour!