ARC Review: Christmas Island by Natalie Newman


After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak


Holly is a doctor from England who comes to Norway to stay with her brother over Christmas to escape an issue at work.  She meets Tor, a grumpy, bearded man living a reclusive life with his sidekick FrØy, a large semi-feral cat.  This is a big cat with a big personality and, in my opinion, one of the best characters in the book!       

I had high hopes for Christmas Island, it ticked all of my boxes for a romantic, festive read set in a beautiful winter wonderland.  Sadly it didn’t work that well for me, I found the setting too dark and bleak and lacked the magical Christmas ambiance.  I did enjoy the descriptions of food and Norwegian culture, which are described so well and in gorgeous detail and the recipes at the back of the book are an added bonus.  There are some lovely wholesome characters and there is a feeling of family togetherness and close friendship bonds present throughout the novel.  The romance between Holly and Tor is sadly a little underwhelming, it lacked chemistry and felt flat and was much too ‘squeaky-clean’ in my opinion, it definitely needed much more intensity and drama.  

Christmas Island is easy to read, the dialogue is perhaps a little too simplistic for my liking, however I did feel sufficiently engaged in the storyline to keep reading to the end.  A gentle book, which is low on drama and romance but rich in Norwegian culture and culinary delights, which are an absolute joy to read about.  

Publisher: Harper Collins UK – One More Chapter
Publication Date:  30 November 2020
Format:  eArc/eBook
Page Count:  340
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Christmas Island by Natalie Newman

  1. I read this author’s previous book – summer island – which is also set in Norway. I found the story to be “nothing new or great” and I was in two minds when Christmas Island was out for grabs. I suppose it’s good I decided to skip it.

    Liked by 1 person

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