What it’s about:

A story of love and hope at Christmas, The First Christmas Without You is an emotional and poignant novella. A truly magical Lapland fairytale…

Jessie Collins has always wanted to visit Lapland. But this Christmas, more than any other, it’s the place she feels she really needs to be as she tries to come to terms with a future she really needs to start living.


Michelle has been a good friend of mine for a while now since we discovered our shared love of Breaking Bad and Jesse Pinkman but I’d been kicking myself that I hadn’t read any of her books. She kindle donated her novella, ‘The First Christmas Without You’ to my readathon and I was so excited to finally read it. The First Christmas Without You is about a woman called Jessie who tragically lost her husband around Christmas time a year ago and with Christmas being their favourite time of the year the first Christmas she’ll be spending without him is bound to be a difficult one, isn’t it? She agrees to go to Lapland with her brother and his friends and meets Zac, a ski-instructor with a rock-star edge but there’s more than just an attraction between them – there’s a deep and powerful connection that she can’t quite figure out. With the help of Mikku, a young Sami man she meets in a local café, she begins to see the signs and realise that it is okay to finally let go.

Although dubbed a romance, this book definitely had a different feel about it because it wasn’t your typical ‘boy leaves girl’ storyline, it had much more emotional depth than that and usually with novellas, I find that they aren’t long enough and would be better as full-length novels but this was perfect just the way it was. All the characters were very likeable and I massively sympathised with Jessie and what she’s going through. My favourite character was Mikku, the young Sami man she meets in a café. He was just a beacon of light upon the whole story and his place in the book gave it such a nice touch. The story is set in Lapland and the setting descriptions were fantastic and they instant transport you to this magically, snowy and beautiful place

It was such a moving story that actually made me cry within the first few chapters but that was nothing compared to the emotions I felt at the end when everything was revealed and Jessie finally got the answers she had been searching for. It’s not all about romance this story but finding hope where you least expect it, the idea of fate and those powerful forces way beyond anything we could comprehend that guide us and help us find what we’ve been looking for.

You can find Michelle and The First Christmas Without You on the following links:

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Facebook | Twitter | Website


  1. Thank you so much for this review, Jenny. I’m so, so glad you enjoyed The First Christmas Without You, and I really appreciate you taking the time to actually write a review. It means a lot. Thank you. 🙂

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