Title: The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 120 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Meet Britain’s Worst Innkeeper
Single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie, has five days to become the ultimate B&B hostess to save her beloved Aunt Kate’s livelihood.
When Aunt Kate ends up in the hospital, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter are called to rural Wales to stand in at the B&B. Without the faintest idea how to run a hotel (she can barely run her own life), Lottie must impress the picky hotel reviewer and his dysfunctional family who are coming to stay over Christmas. Without the rating only he can bestow, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.
But will Danny, the local taxi driver who she hires to help her, really be Santa’s little helper, or the Grinch who stole Christmas?
The Reluctant Elf is a delightfully heartwarming novella by Michele Gorman. A very appealing cast of characters and a refreshingly unique plot make this engaging story a superb holiday read.
Lottie, along with her young daughter Mabel, rush to Wales upon hearing the news that her Aunt Kate has been injured in an accident. Upon their arrival, they are greeted with the news that Kate should make a full recovery but it is the fate of Kate’s B&B that is precarious. Learning that Kate desperately needs the positive rating from a reviewer who is due to arrive in a few days, Lottie and Mabel join forces with Danny, a local taxi driver, to play host to the reviewer and his rather dysfunctional family in an effort to save Kate’s beloved B&B.
Lottie is dismayed by the condition of the B&B but she does not let its rather decrepit state discourage her from helping her aunt. She immediately enlists Danny’s help and they find some rather creative ways to polish the diamond in the rough. Lottie remains unfailingly cheerful and always puts forth her best effort even in the face of some pretty daunting situations.
Danny is no more prepared to run a B&B than Lottie, but he has a pretty compelling reason to accept Lottie’s rather lucrative offer to help her out. Like Lottie, he throws himself into the task at hand and gamely agrees to her sometimes unorthodox solutions to the problems that keep popping up. He is very sweet and charming with a past that is similar to Lottie’s so it is no surprise that the two hit it off.
The Reluctant Elf is a sparkling gem of a story that is warm, witty and brimming with holiday cheer. The characters are perfectly imperfect, the storyline is fun and the romance aspect is understated but believable. Michele Gorman once again spins a humorous yet heartfelt tale that is guaranteed to charm her readers.