Cover Image: Christmas with Hamish

Christmas with Hamish

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Member Reviews

A quick read full of fun, holiday cheer! I absolutely loved the chemistry between Verity and Nikau, as well as the vulnerability that led them to each other. Hamish and Chunk stole the show with their adorable antics as best dog friends forever. This book touches on some sensitive topics like childhood abuse, but Sophie Penhaligon writes with grace and good feelings. That final airport scene had me crying (and laughing!) in the best way. Off to go find my own Christmas fling that leads to a happily ever after....!
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This was such a fun Christmas book!  I enjoyed the characters (evil or not) as well as the dogs.  I felt like I was enjoying a seasonal book that featured storylines that were a bit unusual, so not as predictable as some.  I also liked the fact that there wasn't a big "misunderstanding" towards the end which so often happens in these types of books.  The setting is in Canada so it was nice to learn a bit about the culture there and to envision where the story takes place.  I look forward to reading more by this author.   I also like the fact that the book was so invested in her characters and that there was room left for a sequel if she chooses to write one.  I would like to see these characters again!  Thank you to Netgalley for this free ebook in exchange for an honest review!
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I love scotties and westies, so this book caught my eye for that reason, and I just adored it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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Verity Robinson travels from Toronto to Vancouver for her sister’s wedding before Christmas. Verity has never gotten along with her sister or the rest of her family, but she goes for the trip home and to visit friends for the holidays. However, when her sister’s dog sitter backs out at the last minute, she insists that Verity must look after her dog, Hamish. The good thing is that Verity gets to stay in her sister’s penthouse apartment, with Nikau Taylor for a neighbour. Nikau does his best to help Verity move past the trauma in her past and finally have a happy Christmas.

This story had some cute moments, but I found a lot of it exaggerated and extreme. Verity had a horrible childhood, with physical and emotional abuse. Her relationship with her family was purely negative and they had very exaggerated reactions to each other. Their interactions were extreme and didn’t have any hint of hope for reconciliation over the holidays.

There were some plot holes that I just couldn’t look past. Verity’s sister hated her, yet she insisted that Verity was the only person who could look after her dog while she went on her honeymoon. Their neighbour and friend Nikau (who also had a dog, unlike Verity who had never spent time with a dog) was there constantly and spending all of his time with Verity. He would have been a much more likely choice as a dog sitter, so I don’t know why Verity would have been chosen in this situation, other than to create a story.

Christmas with Hamish was an awkward and contradictory holiday read.

Thank you BooksGoSocial for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This one was a rough read. I feel like Verity is supposed to be this unicorn, "she's not like other girls" type, but to me, she was extremely shallow and self-absorbed. The story itself wasn't bad but I truly could not get over my hatred for Verity and it made the book difficult to get through.
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Travel with Verity to Vancouver for a family Wedding where she meets Nikau. Verity’s Christmas plans change in a moment as Verity finds herself thrown into looking after Hamish a Scottish Terrier for the bride and groom ! Will Verity be swept off her feet by her new neighbour as the magic of Christmas throws Verity into a holiday romance as she tries to forget Christmas past.
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This is a sweet, super light rom-com, that is a perfect read for the Christmas hustle. From the very beginning, you already sense that Verity, who is the black sheep of the family, will soften just enough to let her sister’s handsome neighbor break down her somewhat tough exterior. As Verity, the neighbor and 2 pups plan a fun-filled Christmas, you want this couple to succeed despite the ‘mishaps’ along the way.  There’s something genuine and refreshing about these characters. Some of the moments were a bit dramatic but overall this story left me smiling and pleased with this cozy holiday book.
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Christmas with Hamish is a great book for the Holiday Season, with love-at-first-sight, a whirlwind romance, and a dog (or two)! I really enjoyed the two main characters, Verity and Nikau, who meet when Verity attends her sister's wedding. Verity's Whistler vacation plans are put aside when her sister asks her to watch Hamish, the newly married couple's Scottish Terrier. Nikau lives next door to Verity's new dog-sitting job, and the initial attraction evolves into dog walking, Christmas tree shopping, and dreaming of a happily-ever-after that just can't be since Verity lives on the other side of the county.

Set in Vancouver, this book includes mention of local landmarks and sites; in fact, one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book was because of the setting. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Hamish the dog is such a main part of the book, and all the Christmas cheer is simply magical. If you're looking for a delightful Christmas book, this might be the one for you!

Reader beware: Verity's childhood was filled with trauma - verbal and physical abuse. While no longer an ongoing event, it is referred to throughout the book, not in detail, but perhaps enough that some readers need to be aware ahead of time. Verity is strong and has a new support system that allows her to face this past and move forward in a healthy way. 

Thank you to NetGalley and author Sophie Penhaligon for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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3 ⭐ 

This was a cute instalove Christmas story perfect for the festive season. 

Verity has to give up her Christmas Ski trip with her friends when her sisters dog sitter gets ill and can't look after Hamish which puts her honeymoon in jeopardy. One plus for Verity is that her sisters neighbour is very handsome and very helpful. 

I liked the build of the backstory of Verity for us to understand her family relationships. I liked the character of Nikau, whilst he was just a little bit too perfect he definitely helped and supported Verity in the way she needed. Plus Hamish and Chuck the two dogs are adorable and I loved their ending as well. 

Overall a great quick holiday romance to get you in the festive mood. ✨
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This was a basic, cute instalove book that takes place over a few days at Christmas. I liked the character of Nikau, but everyone else was honestly so over the top it was hard to believe they were real people. I really loved the dogs and their antics and I definitely support the choice to choose mental health over toxic family members, but the book as a whole fell flat for me. As a side note, the constant digs at adults who love Disney were a bit insulting. Everyone has different interests and I felt it was repetitive and annoying to constantly read that our MC was a Disney hater.
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Two very adorable couples in this heartwarming story. Wonderful watching the romance develop between Verity and Nikau, and how he helps her overcome the disastrous relationship with her mother. Chunk and Hampshire and their expressive faces were a hoot.
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4.5 rounded up.

This was an absolutely delightful holiday romance read. I was looking for something cozy, light, and full of Christmas vibes. This delivered and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for those things.

I loved the descriptions of the fashion, venues, and Christmasy dates and romantic scenes. It really captures a romantic, Christmasy atmosphere. The characters were believable and sympathetic. This short romance manages to tackle toxic family relationships and dysfunction in really realistic, believable, and healthy ways. If you come from a dysfunctional family you will find this very relatable. The dogs were also a very cute and charming addition.

My one complaint is that there was a bit of over drama at one point and some of the situations/characters were portrayed in really extreme, black and white ways. But this is a romance and I expect that sort of thing in a romance.

All in all, a top notch read! I adored the ending and found it really satisfying. Give yourself a Christmas treat and read this charming holiday romance!
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Such a great, fun Christmas read with charm and laughs but also with underlying sad issues which creates a really unique story
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A cute read but for me it was lacking a bit of tension in the love story. Yes there was the childhood backstory and the fear of unreturned love but Nikau was just too perfect. It all felt rushed. And I'm someone who fell in love at first sight. 
On the plus the location for the book was perfect. I'm know dying to spend a Christmas in Vancouver. It was a cute quick read.
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Christmas with Hamish is the perfect reading fare in the run up to the festivities. It is a romance story with dogs thrown into the mix so has great appeal from the outset.

However, there is more to this book than just a simple romance. I enjoyed observing how Verity's character gradually grew in confidence as the story progressed and I was rooting for her the whole way through the book.

It is a quick, light read which I read over the course of a weekend. I probably could have read this in a day if that intrusive thing called life had not interrupted my reading time. It was a comforting book to read, and I enjoyed observing Verity and Nickau fall in love with each other and with Christmas itself.

On the subject of love, I totally adored the dogs in the story. Both Hamish and Chunk added much to this novel and dog lovers will delight in this book.
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Today I bring to you this cute, cute christmasy holiday rom-com that you can enjoy with a hot chocolate, cuddled with your furry, snuggly pet dog! Before I start the review, I would like to thank Netgalley and Sophie Penhaligon for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book. Now without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Christmas with Hamish is a holiday rom-com story about a couple falling in love with each other. Verity is surprised to be invited by her emotionally distant sister on her wedding and wants to get done with this event as soon as possible, owing to her disastrous and traumatic past with her parents, so that she can quickly go back to skiing with her best friends and never have the opportunity to face her family again. However, things take a wrong turn for her when she’s asked to take care of her sister’s pet dog, Hamish for a week the newly wedded couple are out on their honeymoon. What’s worse is that Verity doesn’t care about dogs all that much, nor does she have any knowledge about taking care of one. Enters Nikau Taylor. The sexy next door neighbour whose dog is best friends with Hamish and who is determined to make Verity stay even after her dog-sitting job is over. Verity, on the other hand, is holding back. A one night stand would have been easy to forget but a guy as nice as Nikau is really testing her theory of going back to live her usual life, away from her family. The time doesn’t stop for anyone and Verity must make a decision.

I really really enjoyed this book. Where do I even begin gushing about this book?

The writing is very immersive and very, very humorous. I could immediately see through the character-relationship dynamic within 3 minutes into reading, so the showing and telling of the character sketch was well done. The language was also not too wordy which made the content easier to lose myself into. 10/10 points to prose.

Pacing was quick too. I finished this book in 2 days and would have completed it in just one day, had it not been for other work related commitments. The short chapters and the easy language helped a lot. One thing I really liked about this book was that the author stuck to the script she had decided on. She did not let the plot wander over topics that did not advance the story. It was very to the point but in a good, simplistic way.

Did I mention that the story was an insta-love and yet I loved it? Usually I don’t gravitate towards instant love story or love at first meet tropes but in this book I did, because it was so well done. This book reminded me of this theory that Troy and Gabriella talk about in High School Musical movies that how when two strangers meet, they find something similar between them and then next thing they know, they have made this deep bonding of friendship. “Just like Kindergarten.” That’s exactly what happened with Verity and Nikau here which made the insta-love seem so realistic. Great job!

Christmas and dogs obviously played huge roles in the whole romance thing. So, if you like both of these things, then you would absolutely enjoy this book.

Speaking of Romance, there were one too many spicy bedroom scenes. Some a little descriptive, some not so much. However, if you don’t consider yourself much of a smut reader, then here’s your warning.

I also really liked the characters, especially Verity. She is this strong female character that people love reading about these days but not only that, she has legit fears that hold her back, owing to her childhood experiences. Her fears added tension and stakes to the story, making the story addicting and un-put-downable.

Speaking of the stakes or rather the lack of which was one thing that I did not like while reading about Nikau. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved him. But that’s the thing, he was way too simply perfect and therefore, unrealistic. I wished there was more depth to his character as there was for Verity. We do get to see his backstory but that guy is not flawed, nor has he any fears that hold him back. Very unrealistic. Similarly, even Verity’s bad family were just way too simply bad for literally no reason and I, again, wished there was more depth to their characters, and that “morally grey” aspect we all love reading about.

Moreover, like how with the progression of the story, I as a reader felt an upending, looming fear that Verity would have to make a choice- whether to stay with Nikau and be in touch with her bad family or go back to her old life, away from her only chance on love. This made the anticipation worth it! However, on Nikau’s part there was no such thing as tension. The guy seemed like he almost had no power over the plot, as if he’s the puppet to the story.

I just feel that there should be something more to why Nikau was so adamant about making Verity not leave him. I understand that love is a completely valid reason but then again, they had only been together for a week and they could always go with the option of long distance relationship. This factor did not bother me much in Verity’s point of view but it did in Nikau’s point of view. Probably because I knew why making a choice was so hard for Verity but there was no such thing with Nikau’s case.

I wanted to know why was this chance with Verity so important for him but I couldn’t find the reason. This might not bother a lot of people, but to me it felt a bit too easy, making the plot fall flat and become predictable at the end. So, this is the only complaint that I have for this story. The rest was flawless!

Overall, I guess I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommend if you like holiday rom-coms, dogs and Christmas!

Thank you so much for reading!
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i really enjoyed this book! it was so cute and sweet! i loved all the characters and they really brought this tory to life! thank you so very very very much, netgalley. you guys are so sweet.
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Who doesn’t love a good Christmas read? I enjoy them all year round to be honest but they seem extra special at Christmas time. A lovely book that I really enjoyed.
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This is the cutest little holiday romance! Think Hallmark movie but steamy. It’s a sweet story with cute dogs and sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
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Verity Robinson is expecting to enjoy a ski vacation with her friends after her spoiled sister’s wedding in Vancouver. Getting through this wedding should be easy, but when her sister’s dog sitter bails at the last minute, Verity is forced into babysitting Hamish while her sister is away on her honeymoon. Having to miss her ski vacation and her friends sucks, but that sexy neighbor might just make this whole hassel worth it. 

There are a few complaints that I have with this book. The first of which is that the description of the book seems to be misleading about some aspects of this novel. I feel like I must warn prospective readers that there is mentions of domestic abuse and child abuse in this book, so that if you happen to be triggered by any of those situations, this book might not be for you. My other complaints are more for how the romance plays out and how the book is written overall. This is mostly a closed door, mild sex scenes/no sex scenes type of book. There is no build-up or sexual tension for the first kiss scene and the other romantic scenes are not very interesting. The descriptions could use some help in that department and I feel like the author wanted to focus more on the story of the main characters’ abuse than the sweet and sexy romantic scenes that I like from a book. Maybe these types of books just aren’t for me and I just want to let readers who are similar to me know that this book is just not worth your time.
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