An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston

An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston
An Off-Piste Christmas 
by Julie Houston

Reviewed by

EXCERPT: ‘Enid Blyton?’ Vienna gave a tinkling little laugh reminiscent of the bells round the necks of the mountain goats I’d seen this morning, their vacant eyes appraising me as I’d stepped down from the minibus on our way here knowing that, if I didn’t stop and get air, I’d be calling God into a plastic bag. ‘Bless you. Enid Blyton? Claudia did the whole Enid Blyton thing years ago. We’re reading Airman by Eoin Colfer at the moment: it’s a swashbuckling adventure set in a futuristic Ireland about a rebel boy who has to escape from prison to clear his name. Terribly exciting. Claudia has read all the classics: Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, Lorna Doone. . .’ Vienna was interrupted mid-sentence by Luca calling us to dinner, otherwise I reckon we’d have had a whole junior library shoved down our throats. I was beginning to think the woman was one book short of a library herself.

THE BLURB: From the author of #1 Humour Bestsellers GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME, THE ONE SAVING GRACE and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a brand new festive novella to make you laugh and warm your heart…

The last thing Harriet Westmoreland wants is Christmas away from home, particularly when skiing, snow, heights and freezing her backside off are on the menu. While her own family, together with her best friend Grace’s, are soon whizzing down ridiculously high and scary mountains in the fashionable Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Harriet is stuck in the remedial class on the nursery slopes unable, it seems, to remain vertical.

Tired of trying to stay upright in the dunces’ class, Harriet decides to overcome her fear of heights and take her bruised body off to explore the refugios in the magnificent Dolomites above Cortina. And maybe catch a glance of George Clooney, rumoured to be in town… But what happens next triggers a totally unexpected avalanche of events which proves that, for friends Harriet and Grace and all their families, Christmas really is a time for little miracles…

MY THOUGHTS: I haven’t read a Christmas themed book in years, but having chatted with author Julie Houston on Twitter, then receiving notification from Amazon that An Off-Piste Christmas was one of the daily deals, I felt that I was fated to read this. And I am so glad I did!

Julie Houston has packed so much into this novella of 127 pages, that it has enough plot and engaging characters for a full length novel. Houston writes with a tongue-in-cheek humour that kept me smiling, although there are definitely some heart-wrenching moments in there.

I read An Off-Piste Christmas in one sitting. It was the perfect antidote to the disappointment of a miserably wet and windy Boxing Day and the cancellation of a planned trip to the races.

Although this novella fits into a series that I haven’t yet read, it is perfectly able to be read as a stand alone as all the relationships are well explained. And yes, I will be reading the series, because I want all the gritty details and nuances of what has gone before.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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