Monday 18 February 2019

Book ~ "Christmas Camp" (2018) Karen Schaler

From Goodreads ~ Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit. Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together.

Haley works for an advertising agency in Boston.  She has no life because she spends all her time working, with the goal of becoming partner.  It's Christmastime and Tyler Toy is a prospective client.  Haley knows that if she wins it, she will be made partner.  But her colleague, Tom, is her competition and he is full of Christmas spirit.  In an attempt to help Haley discover Christmas, Larry, her boss, sends her to a week long Christmas camp in the country.

When Haley arrives at camp, she just wants to get the activities done as soon as possible so she can bring her certificate of completion back to Larry and start working the Tyler Toys account.  She's horrified to discover that it's not that easy ... she can't just do the activities and leave.  There is something to do every day.  And even worse is that all phones and laptops are taken away and can only be used in the evening after the day is over.  At the camp are Ben (the owner), Jeff (his adult son), a divorced man and his two teenagers, a newlywed couple and a woman who son is in the armed services overseas.  As the week passes, Haley chills out and starts to embrace Christmas.

This story is written in third person perspective from Haley and Jeff's point of view.  They are attracted to each other but fight it ... Haley because she wants to stay focused on her career and Jeff because he doesn't want to get attached to someone (his mother recently passed away and he doesn't want to go through that kind of pain again).

This was a light read with a happy ending for all.  It is the first in the Christmas Camp series.

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