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The Christmas Countdown

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  72 reviews
It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…

Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her
...more
Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published October 7th 2019 by Bookouture
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  72 reviews


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Berit☀️✨
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arc, blog-tour
Fun, flirty, and festive! This was a delightful Christmas romance with a bit of a unique twist. Holly is devastated after the two people she trusts the most betray her. Devastated she retreats to the home of her beloved Aunt Clara. Aunt Clara and her fab friends create an advent calendar for Holly to cheer her up and to build her confidence. One of the items on the calendar was to ask out a stranger...enter Finn. This book just put a huge smile on my face! It was so much more than just a ...more
Shalini
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, light read which kept the spirit of Christmas shining bright right from September.

Having been hurt by her loved ones, Holly rushed to her Aunt Clara in order to get over the hurt and to find herself. Clara and her gang of girls made her a calendar of tasks to complete until Christmas. Some were quite funny, but each came from a place of love.

Donna Ashcroft's book was warm and kind. It enveloped me into its loving arms, making me smile and laugh. The characters had me closely
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Karschtl
Holly seeks refuge from her cheating boyfriend (with her twin sister!) at her aunts house in the middle of the night. The next morning, on the 1st of December, she is presented with an advent calendar made by her aunt and her gin loving girlfriends. They decided that Holly needs to find herself again and have given her 25 tasks to help her along the way.

I really liked the premise of the book, it reminded me of "PS I love you" a little bit, and the protagonist is even called Holly as well! But
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Lisa M
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been trying to whittle down the number of books I request for review as my list of books owned, but unread, was getting too high for my comfort levels!

However...I simply couldn't resist a Donna Ashcroft book, I have read all of her other works and she hasn't let me down yet and the success train continues as this was a blissfully sweet story.

I'm a huge fan of the characters on the whole and there are hidden messages throughout that I can resonate with. We also got snippets of some
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Nicola Clough
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved Donna's books and this one didn't disappoint me at all its full of Christmas and counting down in a fun way. To move forward and forget the past and find yourself but also to forge a new future and forgive people. Plenty of romance to and a great festive read which will make you laugh and cry. It's got great characters and well worth a read you will be hooked from the first page.
Holly has been hurt by her boyfriend and her sister badly and she feels she needs to get away so
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Robin Loves Reading
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Holly Devine is beside herself. She was at a Christmas party and when she saw her twin sister kissing her boyfriend, she all but lost it. Holly flew to her aunt Clara’s cottage planning to spend time with her in order to deal with the angst.

Not only is Holly’s aunt more than supportive, everyone else in the town is just as encouraging. One person in particular, Finn Jackson, might be just the man that Holly might need. She initially thinks that a single date with him, among
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☣Lynn☣
This was ok. Nothing really special. It started out really cute, but started to drag halfway through. I wasn't a fan of how quickly the ending was.
Ppcfransen
Sep 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley, xr, chicklit
Dull story. There is no tension.

The plot is fine: girl runs away to her aunt on idillic island to get away from cheating boyfriend. Aunt thinks of a way to give girl back her self-confidence (through an advent calendar filled with tasks).

But there was no build up; all the plot points were quickly resolved. From one conversation to the next the characters saw what they had been doing wrong. That made for a rather boring read and made it hard to engage with any of the characters.

I'm docking a full
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Gaele
The past several years have been rough for Holly, in fact, since her mother died and she returned home to help out after university and support her twin sister and father, things have been downright difficult. Before the death, both Holly and her sister Lily were outgoing individuals, happily pursuing their own interests, yet inevitably close as sisters and twins could be. But after her mother’s death, Lily’s need for the spotlight and all the attention expanded tenfold, and in order to ‘keep ...more
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Christmas countdownBy Donna Ashcroft is the perfect Book to get you into the spirit of Christmas. This is the 2nd book of Donna Ashcroft’s I’ve read and again it did not disappoint.

It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…

Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt
...more
Toni
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

This was a really fun read. A lot of other reviewers said it was “flirty”. I am not sure that it the right description. I am going to say fun and intense, because when it wasn’t fun and exciting it was mega intense. The characters worked through a lot of issues in this. I am not sure either of them was really ready for a committed relationship when the book began.

The whole Advent Calendar thing was inventive and really got Holly out of her comfort zone. I think it is easy to get into the
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Susan Hampson
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
After her mother died Holly became the anchor for her dad and twin sister and in the aftermath lost the essence of herself to become want they both needed to get through the tragedy. At 27, the sisters lived together and worked for their dad. When Holly sees her boyfriend and sister together, it breaks her heart, even more so because Christmas is just around the corner too. Holly retreats to the safety of her eccentric Aunt Clara and her cosy cottage.
Aunt Clara is quite a character who along
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romancejunkie
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holly Devine heart is broken when she caughts her sister and boyfriend together at a party and discovers they had been seeing each other for weeks.
Feeling sad and betrayed she decides to flee to her Aunt’s cozy cottage to try to find herself again and be happy.
Her Aunt Clara decides to help by creating a handmade advent calendar for Holly, and her first task is to ask out a handsome stranger: Finn Jackson. But as they pass all their time together, Holly's wish to not fall in love and not
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Els
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my third Christmas book in a row. It’s time to take a break now to avoid overload ;), but I guess you know the feeling : you have piles and piles of books. Then a certain author’s name comes up and you know you just have to fit it in. Well, this lady is one of those names. I can’t resist.

To say I enjoyed the book would be a lie. OMG no! I hope I did not scare you too much. I simply meant that the verb ‘enjoy’ is not strong enough to express what I have experienced. I loved it, adored it!
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Steffi
I was looking forward to "The Christmas Countdown" because I really liked the premise of Hollys personal advent calendar and I was hoping for an enjoyable Christmas read.

Unfortunately I didn't like most of the tasks Holly had to do daily and they seemed very random to me. Some of them might have helped her finding herself but to be honest I expected more from this advent calendar. I was also expecting them to be bit more Christmas related. Alltogether the Christmassy atmosphere was really weak
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Sabra
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
4.5 stars
Meghan
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christmas is in the air but after Holly found her twin sister kissing her boyfriend she decides she needs a break and goes off to visit her Aunt Clara on Sunflower Island.
It is there that you follow Holly’s story and the friends she makes as she finds out who she is without her twin next to her.
I enjoyed watching Holly discover herself and her helping people improve their lives as well as hers. A simply delightful novel that will put you in the spirit of celebrating Christmas!
Rachel Shepley
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice easy read to put you in the mood for Christmas!
Emma Crowley
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Right from the first few pages of Donna Ashcroft's new book The Christmas Countdown I felt instantly at home and enveloped within the story. It was such a welcome return to Sunflower Island and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the time I spent reading this wonderful book and yes as the line on the cover suggests this really is the perfect cosy feel good romance and it doesn't disappoint in anyway. Don't worry this isn't a follow on from The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings and is easily read ...more
Monica (books_over_everything)
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title The Christmas Countdown

Author Donna Ashcroft

Release Date October 7, 2019

Description from Amazon

Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s cosy cottage to hide away over the winter season. But kind, impulsive Aunt Clara has other ideas… She’s not about to see her
...more
Kathy
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s bad enough to always be in the shadow of your twin, but when Holly Devine finds her twin sister in a compromising position with her current beau, Marcel, at the company party in view of her co-workers, Holly has had enough. Holly escapes to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s to stay out of view during the winter season. Once there, Holly finds her aunt and her friends have devised a way for Holly to discover who she is, where she is going, and to forget her beau and twin sister. Holly is given an ...more
Jennifer Ritter
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Christmas Countdown is the fourth novel by British author Donna Ashcroft. The story begins as Holly Devine arrives at her Aunt Clara’s home on Sunflower Island in the English Channel. Holly is escaping one of the worst nights of her life. At the early office Christmas party at her father’s design firm, Holly found her identical twin Lucinda kissing her boyfriend Marcel in a darkened hallway under the mistletoe. As the two sisters share a flat, Holly’s only avenue of escape was the welcoming
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Stephanie Panach
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet read - and very Christmassy! Both Holly and Finn are a little bit lost - and with a little help from some friends - they find their way to each other and back to themselves. I think both of them found, like so many people do, that it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day and avoid things that are hard by getting too busy with the mundane. Dealing with the tough stuff is - tough - and you sometimes have to be brave. Holly was definitely open to change more than Finn was - and it ...more
Linda
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cozy island retreat is the ticket to Holly reviving her real self
4-4.5stars
This story by Donna Ashcroft is inspiring, hopeful and moving as it transforms young Holly Devine's life in the span of one magical Advent on Sunshine Island, where the gin flows freely and the women of the Women's Institute are full of lively ideas. Their custom-designed Advent calendar shakes Holly out of the life she thought she wanted and works wonders on her self confidence and self knowledge. What a great idea!

The
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Emma
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I began reading this book, I realised that it was the second book set on Sunflower Island. I had reservations about reading it, as I had not enjoyed the first book very much. I decided to give this book a chance, and I am so glad that I did. This book is so much better.
Although it is the series part of a series, it can be read as a standalone novel. Some of the characters from the first book appear in this book, but I do not consider it to be a sequel.
This book features Finn, who is the
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Nicola Parkinson
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book of Donna Ashcroft I’ve read and again it did not disappoint.

The Christmas countdown was perfect to get into the spirit of Christmas.

The story tells of a 27 year old lady called Holly Devine who after having her heart broken flees to see her aunt Clara who lives in sunflower island.

Feeling sad and not knowing who she is anymore, her aunt Clara and her friends decide to make a advent calendar with a task in for each day of December after a gin fulled night in her back
...more
OrchardBookClub
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book of Donna Ashcroft I’ve read and again it did not disappoint.
The Christmas countdown was perfect to get into the spirit of Christmas.
The story tells of a 27 year old lady called Holly Devine who after having her heart broken flees to see her aunt Clara who lives in sunflower island.
Feeling sad and not knowing who she is anymore, her aunt Clara and her friends decide to make a advent calendar with a task in for each day of December after a gin fulled night in her back
...more
Micha Sevier
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Holly Devine has had her heart broken so flees to her Aunt Clara’s house to hide away for Christmas. Clara and her friends join together to create an advent calendar of challenges for Holly to complete so she can discover who she wants to be. Along the way Holly has many ups and downs, makes new friends and gets to know handsome, care-free pub landlord Finn. Holly and Finn soon start to develop feelings for each other but nothing’s ever simple in love.

This is an enjoyable Christmas romance. I
...more
Monica Mac
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read each and every book that this author has written and I am glad that I read this one too :)

Finn and Holly are two people who have so much going for them, only they don't seem to realise it. They both have things to work through from their pasts, and in Holly's case, she has her aunt Clara and the ladies from the WI to help her to get some of her lost self-esteem back. They have devised a series of quests for Holly to complete and they are a mixture of fun and a bit scary!

I just LOVED
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Kate Mclaughlin
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful read to get you into the spirit of the season, with or without gin.
I adored this book, the characters and the plot, the subtle underlying message or forgiveness and understanding, of others and more importantly ourselves.

Both Finn and Holly arrived on Sunflower island looking to escape and fine direction in life, be that hiding or walking into every opportunity with their socks pulled up and a grin and bare it acceptance.

My favourite part is the scene when Holly returns home and
...more
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