With Love at Christmas 2

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I had the impression that there was a book where these characters appeared.

Juliet mentions being almost tempted to leave Rick when an old flame came to town. She gives so many details that I really thought I had missed the previous book, and I was right. There is a previous book with the same characters. This is something I hate because if I read that first book, there won’t be any surprises for me.

There is a new person living in the Joyces’ house. It is really overcrowded now. This time it is her father. Her partner Samuel dies suddenly, which is a shock for everyone. Frank feels unable to stay at home alone without Samuel, so Juliet opens her house to him. At least, Frank is more sympathetic and helpful than Juliet’s selfish children.

The trip that Juliet and Rick had planned to Brugges never takes place since in the first place their train is delayed for a few hours, and when they are about to board, Chloe calls her mother, saying that she is in labour. So that ends the holiday, but then when Rick and Juliet get to the hospital, Chloe tells them that it is a false alarm. I find this young woman so self-centred, and instead of apologising to her parents for ruining their holiday, she starts sobbing, complaining about being tired of the pregnancy.

Then Rick starts acting strangely about the young girl at the council house, Lisa. He keeps dropping by because he claims he feels sorry for her and her little girl. I was unwilling to believe there was something more than that, but then Lisa is getting too friendly and even sends him regular messages. I think Rick is treading on dangerous ground because maybe this girl is getting mixed messages about what he intends. I don’t even know what he really wants. If he is just helping her, why does he have to hide her existence from Juliet? Why hasn’t Lisa’s name and story cropped up in their conversations? Now Juliet finds Rick’s phone when he forgets it at home and she reads one of the incoming messages from Lisa. So she starts getting suspicious as she notices a message at 4 a.m, the day they came back from the hospital after Chloe’s false alarm, and she remembers Rick claimed it was a text about work. Juliet admits the messages are not too suggestive, but she feels insecure. Then instead of confronting her husband, she keeps quiet because she’s afraid of his answer and if what he tells her is what she fears, she knows she can’t ruin the holiday for everyone. I think Juliet has such a sense of responsibility that even in these matters she is unable to think about herself.

And what about her boss? Is he really just friendly or does he have an ulterior motive when he asks her to help her with his wife’s Christmas present? I wonder if he wants something more from Juliet, and he uses the situation of his marriage as an excuse to flirt with Juliet. I hope that Juliet talks to Rick and clear things because I would hate for her to do anything stupid.

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