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It Started with Christmas

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Discover the joy of Christmas in this gorgeous novel, celebrating the importance of friendship, the magic of love, and finding happiness by being true to yourself.
Holly McAdams loves spending the Christmas holidays at her family's cozy cabin, with its little red door and twinkling lights, tucked in the snowy hills outside Nashville. But this year will be different. Someone
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Forever
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  710 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It Started With Christmas

Jenny Hale

IT STARTED WITH CHRISTMAS is the perfect way to spend the afternoon! All of the characters seem very genuine and relatable and I was emotionally invested in them all, right off the bat. Holly stole my heart as a woman with a broken heart with a second chance at love. The story shows how a broken heart not only effects Holly but those around her. Especially Joseph Barnes and the chemistry between the two is not something the reader can ignore. Hang on people!
Nicola Clough
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many books by this author and now want to as the book was really good and great characters and the plot is so good so realistic. Full of Christmas and moving forward after loss and romantic and heartbreaking while heartwarming to. Very well written and so true to life can make you think. Brilliant book.
Holly lives with her nana abs is worried about her as she lost her husband over a year ago and she just can't live with him and Hly misses her papa so much to. She's booked extra
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't think I've ever read a book set in Nashville so was very much looking forward to being transported to a new part of the world to me. It's hard not to fall in love with the idyllic setting of a cabin at winter time. I was very envious of Holly and her Nana getting to spend Christmas there, especially as it comes with an unexpected guest.

There are some wonderfully touching moments to do with Nana and her dear departed husband. I could feel my eyes filling up more than a few times and I
Rachel Gilbey
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of Christmas charm and magic, this is such a heartwarming story that had me enchanted from the first few pages.

I've no idea why but I always seem to be really attracted to books with a Nashville connection, so one set in a cozy cabin just outside Nashville was always going to be of interest, especially when the book is written by an author that I know write a fabulous Christmas book.

I loved everything about this book, from the small town community where the cabin is, to seeing Nana really
This delightful festive romance is by the inimitable Jenny Hale ....that should be enough to tell go grab yourself a copy as soon as you can - you know you'll be in for a real treat!

Finding a stranger, Joe, in residence, was a surprise for this grandmother and granddaughter, Holly, returning to their isolated cabin to celebrate Christmas. Mind you, the heavy snowfalls had made their journey treacherous so it wasn't any wonder he'd decided not to risk the journey and stayed on after his rental
Robin Loves Reading
My rating: 4.5 Stars

Holly McAdams is looking forward to spending some time to during the Christmas holidays with her Nana at their family cabin. When they get there, not only do they discover that someone else is already there, Joseph Barnes, who was previously renting the cabin, but who has been snowed in. The three have no choice but to spend some time together. The best they can do is to make it work.

Holly learns that Joseph is engaged, an ultra millionaire, and ridiculously attractive. Of
2.5 Stars

I'm sure that this has an audience out there that would love this, but it's just not me.
I am bit undecided about this book and I am not sure how to rate it.

I really enjoyed the snowy and christmassy atmosphere at the cabin. It felt cosy and homely to me but I couldn't really connect with neither the characters nor the story itself. Everything felt kind of distant to me and I couldn't dive into the story.

Holly was an ok character but to me she was kind of shallow and not a person I could easily imagine being friends with. Joe was a nice guy but also rather shallow. Rhett was
Terri Wino
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-2018
I'm going to round this one up to 3 stars.

As with most of this author's books that I've read, you need to check your common sense at the door and just go with the flow while reading it or else you will find yourself picking everything apart and listing all the implausible, eye-rolling things.

This is definitely much like the cheesy Hallmark holiday movies that have that life altering romance that takes place in the space of two hours and would never occur in real circumstances. Fortunately, I
Jacqueline Francis
This is an adorable Christmas story with lots of charm. It is DEFINITELY a Hallmark movie waiting to happen. I love the snowbound cabin and the two unattainable (or...???) love interests! So so sweet and another great story by Jenny Hale!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Holly is spending Christmas at her family’s cabin with her lovely Nana. This is the first Christmas they’ve spent there since Holly’s Papa died so it’s a difficult time for them and then when they arrive they discover a man there! Joe has been renting the cabin and due to the snow has had to stay on a bit longer. Holly and Joe are attracted to each other and the Holly’s old friend, the singer Rhett turns up and declares he still had feelings for her!

I’m going to be honest and say that this novel
Holly has spent the time since her grandfather’s death looking out for her grandmother. Nana is still grieving from her husband’s death, and looking for a way to make her smile, Holly thinks it’s the perfect time to head to the cabin north of Nashville for the holiday. While the cabin has been rented out since she redecorated, her grandmother had cleared the reservations, and the cabin is empty: Holly is hoping to recapture some of the magic from the family Christmases of past and off they go. ...more
Oh my gods, Jenny has done it again, another amazing delightful and heartfelt story that I just fell in love with and completely got lost in. The fact that it was based around Christmas time was an absolute bonus, all that festive cheer and families coming together.

The story itself was a delight to read from start to finish, loved seeing the interaction and chemistry between Holly and Joe, and seeing how they overcome their own obstacles happening in their personal lives and how they come
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's my second book by this author and it does not matter if the setting is a bitter cold or scalding hot one, she always makes you feel warm inside.

If you are a fan of feel good books, you know from the beginning that the author will take you on a trip towards a happy ending, but often it's a bumpy one and sometimes it even feels like the happy ever after is not on the horizon.

That adds to the reading pleasure, because you feel a slight panic, but then there is the relief. It's almost like
Joee (booksandacupofjoee)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sally Coles
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holly is looking forward to Christmas this year and going back to her Nana's log cabin for the first time since her beloved grandfather died. They are in for a surprise though when they arrive in the middle of a snowstorm and find that the man who had been renting the cabin has been snowed in as the airport has closed. Making the most of or they tell Joseph that he can stay and start the Christmas preparations. Then there is another surprise for Holly her teenage best friend Rhett, now a big ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, net-galley
This was such a magical christmas book. It had everything- festive weather, handsome strangers needing a home, family warmth and heartwarming relationships tinged with sadness and bittersweet memories.
Holly takes her nan to their family cabin where the snow is trying to battle against them and discover the previous guest still in situ. They make the best of the situation and Christmas magic settles all around them. I loved every page.
Katherine Coble
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing I like most about Hale’s Christmas novels is that they don’t all take place on one Christmas season. I am very tired of books where people meet and have a connection and sexy time in the two week time period around Christmas. It’s not really romantic to me.
Hale has a genuinely sweet romance in each book, but sets them in an extended time, usually the course of a year, sometimes more. These feel like true romance to me, as opposed to episodes of The Love Boat.
Best Crime Books & More
Jenny Hale rarely fails to deliver and once again she has produced an easy to read Christmas book. Sadly I didn’t get time to read it in the lead up to Christmas, so had to take myself back a few months. The main character Holly is likeable and he Nana is one of the most important people so she decides that her Nana and her will spend Christmas at their family cabin in Nashville.

As usual Hale manages to perfectly set the scene of the cabin and I could imagine it in my mind clearly. However,
Lisa Houston
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started off just perfect. The setting for every festive read. Snowed in for Xmas. And to top it off Holly isn’t alone with her nana like they had planned. Joe the last visitor to the cabin is still snowed in too. Instant attraction for Holly and on there 1st night in the cabin they fall asleep together m on the couch and caught by nana in the morning.

The book was lovely. Perfect for the festive season
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know how there are super awful made-for-TV Christmas movies, but there are also ones that are cheesy but enjoyable? This book resembles the former. It’s trite and full of holiday tropes. It’s badly acted with terrible dialogue. It goes on a lot longer than it should. It has a “one year later” epilogue because it didn’t know how to wrap up the action without a hokey ploy. I don’t know how many times the author mentioned the leading man’s “spicy scent.” Gag. Like eating straight corn syrup. ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Reading It Started With Christmas is like watching any Hallmark channel Christmas movie: saccharine and undeniably cheesy yet somehow heartwarming. This story hits the notes, but Hale's telling-not-showing style of writing put me off.

Holly and Joe's meet-cute is at Holly's family cabin. Joe's stuck up there in a snowstorm, and Holly has taken her grandmother there for the first time since her grandfather died a few years ago. They hit it off right away, and just when Holly finds herself falling
Emma Star Crossed Reviews
This review was originally posted on Star Crossed Reviews I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Thank you to Bookouture for my copy of this book and for letting me take part in this tour. I have been a big fan of Jenny's books for many years and I always know Christmas is coming when I hear about her latest Christmas story. It's like my version of the Coca-cola advert!

This book made
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holly McAdams has recently lost her grandfather and the grief she feels is all encompassing. Her parents and sister live abroad and she is determined her lovely Nana will not be alone and will have a traditional Christmas with all the festive joy that had always been a part of Christmas with her husband and their family. Holly has been to their holiday cabin high up in the mountains of Nashville and remodelled it completely, removing items that may upset Nana and storing them. It’s snowing as ...more
Kristin's Novel Cafe
My Review: 5/5

Jenny Hale is my go to author for romance. Her books are light yet filled with emotion. I always fall in love with the characters. It Started with Christmas did not disappoint.

The lead character, Holly, lives with her Nana in Nashville. On an unexpected whim, Nana decides to spend Christmas at their old cabin…and it’s the first time since her husband passed.

Holly, thinking it is a terrific idea, loads them up and they head out. Holly is a great character. She’s in her twenties and
Lauren R.
I'm bummed I didn't really like this one! I'm not a love triangle hater, but I guess I just don't like them in my Christmas books? There were too many barriers for the "main couple" and therefore I never really shipped them. It felt a bit more cheesy than her other Christmas books at times too. I don't know why. The Christmas feels were okay; I liked the actual celebration on Christmas Eve/Day, but wish there was more about decorating. This sounds stupid, but I love Hale's other books where the ...more
Tracy  C
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time with this book. I felt like it was having an identity crisis! Almost like the author didn't really plot anything and just kept writing, For example; Holly was a waitress, apparently a phenomenal one! But she was also an interior designer. And a wedding planner, AND rehabbed old furniture! All so amazingly well. Joe felt flat to me. They had no connection in my opinion. And then we had Rhett, who just sort off popped in. I think he was supposed to be part of a "triangle" but ...more
It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale was essentially a marshmallow dream to read. This is exactly the kind of book that needs a Hallmark movie. Which makes sense, because Jenny Hale has like two Hallmark movies based on her Christmas books already AND I CAN SEE WHY. This is a book to soothe your soul with its gentleness. Read my full review here Link goes live December 11, 2019.
Dawn McGill Dalrymple
So I'm definitely not a big Christmas book/movie fan but was excited that Readforever publishing sent this to me to read and review. First it's such an easy, fast, fun read I finished it in 24 hours. Loved the chemistry between Holly and Joe. And how they met was straight up adorable. Throw in a fiancee and long lost boyfriend now big time star and you've got a great read.
Liz Norell
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahhhhh!!!!! I fell in love!!

I read this book in a single day because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! Holly is such a relatable, likable character, and I found myself both applauding and cringing at Joe and Rhett. I adore this story! <3
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Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children,
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