Ruby Campbell isn’t daunted at the prospect of working as a Nanny for the notorious Barclay Rothchester. She’s warned he’s a strict control freak, but she’s sure she can soften him up.
Barclay Rothchester lost his wife three years ago. Of course he’s never going to find someone to replace her role, the one she did so perfectly. He’s sure its not going to be hippy dippy Ruby with her sass and rebellious ways.
Ruby is determined to give his daughters the Christmas they deserve. Now if only she can tolerate their father long enough to make that happen.
Are they both willing to put their stubborn pride aside, or will they risk losing the one gift that can’t be wrapped: each other.
While posting on social media about receiving some Christmas themed books and also going through a phase of watching Christmas movies on one of the channels, I was contacted by the author if I would like to read this one. So, I agreed and picked it up after reading a book that didn’t live up to the expectations that I had based on the cover.
If there is any proof on how much I enjoyed this book, it is the fact that I read this in one day. (Well, I started before going to sleep and then finished the next morning).
The best way to describe this book is that it has the heart of The Sound of Music (Plucky Governess is hired to look after the daughter of a widower who makes both Scrooge and Captain Von Trapp look like big bundles of fun). True the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife are very sad and you can see why he has this hard-shell to protect him. However, Ruby come barrelling into his and his daughters life to both shake things up and show Barclay what he is missing by concentrating on his job rather than missing on the milestones of his daughters life.
Ruby may have the intentions of Maria Van Trapp when it comes to her young charge, but she is as far away from the straight laced Governess from The Sound of Music. The lengths that she will go for Charlotte and Jessica is both impressive and hilarious at times. It s clear that she loves her job and that the children that she cares for are more than just a job. (I especially loved the part where she took on the PTA in order to insure that Charlotte got on a parade float. That is dedication for you, especially with a queen bee of the PTA who could have been a future version of Regina from Mean Girls).
It wouldn’t be a Christmas feel good novel, without a romance and boy does this book have one of my favourite tropes in the genre. Barclay comes across as an arrogant and distant man, almost reminiscent of his name sake in Jane Eyre. He instantly butts heads with Ruby, due to the fact that she seems to through most of his rules out of the window. On top of that, he dislikes Christmas and seems to want hide his wife from his daughters. Yet, as the book progresses you see this growing attraction between them and though both of them try to fight it, you hope that they overcome the many obstacles in their way to finally see that they are meant for each other.
The rather innocent and wholesome cover hides some really steamy scenes in this book, to the point that they could melt the heaviest snow fall. In some instances, they could feel out of place, but Barnard manages to weave them into the story so naturally. It gets to the point that you are on tender hooks waiting for them to realise what you as the reader already see.
By the time I finished this book, I had the biggest grin on my face and the warm fuzzy feelings that only a festive read can bring.
You can’t go wrong with reading Once Upon a Wish-Mas as it has all you need for a romance filled, festive read. One minute you can find yourself laughing at the antics that Ruby is getting up to; the next you are exasperated at the action or inaction of the characters in the book.
LAURA BARNARD ONLINE