A self-confessed Christmas queen, Sue Montaigne prides herself on organising the annual nativity pageant in her small Cornish village of Poldore.
But this year, what with having to deal with the repairs on Castle House after it was wrecked by a terrible storm, training a new – and frankly flighty – Virgin Mary and managing a Joseph who is allergic to sheep, she is distinctly lacking a little bit of ‘me time’.
And then there are the auditions for the new Santa. But nothing prepares her for the beautiful man who turns up, a twinkle in his eye and a promise to make her Christmas dreams come true…
Sue Montaigne packs quite a punch in Poldore; resident busy body, and an unofficial town leader. The Christmas Pageant is her pride and joy of the festive season, but this year it’s not at all going to plan. With their long-standing Santa dropping out with only days to go, Sue is left to arrange some very last minute auditions.
They go abysmally, until one Santa turns up who almost seems like the real thing. He’s a little bit crackers himself, but he’s harmless and kind, so Sue finds herself putting her faith in him, more than she could ever have planned to.
Secret Santa is such a charming Christmas read, it really does get you into the festive spirit. Scarlett Bailey is practically the Queen of Christmas Chick Lit, and there really is no question as to why.
Sue was a fantastic character, a hard and stern battle-axe of a woman, or so you’d think, but we’re allowed to strip behind her cool façade, and see the sweet, worried woman underneath, who really is quite lovable. A woman who always puts the needs of Poldore above her own, never letting on how much she might need helping too.
Secret Santa for me has a bit of everything that Christmas is about. It’s about love, friendship, family, community and faith – a perfect Christmas story.