Madeleine Joy is feeling more meh than merry. When an Icelandic volcano erupts six days before Christmas, hazardous ash congests European airspace, canceling flights indefinitely—including the thirtysomething’s connection to Paris. Stranded alone in London, separated from her sister, and with the devastating one-year anniversary of her best friend’s tragic death just days away, Madeleine has never felt less festive. And as if things couldn’t get worse, the cute guy driving the cab to her hotel won’t shut up about carolers and tinsel…
Julian Halliwell is one of life’s sunny optimists. A former music journalist, he’s embraced his love for London by starting his own black cab business, enthusiastically ferrying passengers from one historic landmark to another. But life hasn’t always been easy for Julian. Having navigated several life-changing setbacks including a cruel betrayal by his former fiancée, Julian remains hopeful that he’ll meet somebody kind, who shares his love of music, his corgi named Winnie, and of course, the magic of Christmas time in London.
Despite being an unlikely match, fate seems determined to throw them together. But can the grieving American find joy again in a world where the lights have all but dimmed?
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Certainty of Chance
Author: Jacquelyn Middleton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 14, 2021
Publisher: Kirkwall Books
My Rating: 4 stars
I was quickly caught up in The Certainty of Chance and fell in love with not only Julian and Madeleine but London as well since I considered this beautiful city as a third main character that shows off its finery at Christmastime.
Madeleine has gotten delayed by the ash falling from an erupting volcano that has shut down many flights, including hers. She’s stuck in London at the worst possible time, the upcoming anniversary of her friend’s death. There’s nothing to be done, she’ll have to make the best of it and that is where a charming cab driver with a deep love of not only London but Christmas will step into her life.
Julian isn’t a stranger to heartache or loss but his betrayal was from an ex-fiancée’s actions. Yet he’s gathered good friends around himself, an adorable pup named Winnie, and a business that fills him with joy as he shows off his beloved London year-round but especially at Christmas. Neither knew that a delayed flight would change both of their lives or open the way for healing as well.
I enjoyed The Certainty of Chance so much. This couple’s journey to everlasting love is at times painful with memories, and equally joyous with new feelings and possibilities. I loved exploring London with Julian and Madeleine. It’s a city I’ll probably never actually see in person but the descriptions allowed me to feel like I was experiencing Christmas in London firsthand. The writing is smooth and engaging, the characters interesting, and their situation chock-full of emotions. If you love a good romance, and everything around the holiday season then this is a story you’ll want to add to your Christmas reading list.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent. I was not financially compensated for this review and no expectation of a positive review was promised.*
Available for your favorite e-reader