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Book review: Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Image*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

WOW, what a brilliant and warm Christmas story! I first heard about this book on twitter and was really excited to read it. So many of my friends out there were already on a search for some great Christmas stories (yes, in September) and all of them were talking about this debut. After checking the blurb I was certain I was going to enjoy it. After all, I’m a huge sucker for Christmas reads and romance stories. BUT, ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ exceeded my expectations! It’s a beautiful story that will warm your heart and instantly get you in festive mood. Don’t believe me? Read on…

The story is centered around Allie, who just lost her job and moved back with her parents in Virginia where she needs to start from scratch. Her sister Megan tells her she has a client who is offering the perfect job – living in a dream mansion and being the in-house manager of the Ashford house.It’s not really Allie’s dream job but after much convincing from her sister, she finally decides to take it. The Ashford house belongs to the wealthy but pretty much disjointed Marley family. Though beautiful and huge, the house is nothing but a weight to Robert Marley and the main reason why he wants to sell it. For handsome but stubborn Robert, the house is just a reminder of the great tragedy that ruined the lives of the Marleys. After meeting the rest of the Marleys, Allie finds out she has more important things than manage a household. Could it be she has the chance to bring back a family together?

OMG, there are just so so many things I loved about this book.
First, the characters! Guys, let me tell you, I’ve read so many books yet I can’t actually recall reading a book with so many loveable characters. Strange but true! I’m usually pleased when I get to connect with one or two of them, but Jenny Hale did it! She made me care for all of her characters who were brilliantly portrayed. Honestly, I can’t make up my mind who I love more, Allie, Robbert, old and oh so wise Pippa or Kip the flirt? I can’t decide no matter how hard I try, they are all memorable and lovely. Even Robert, the biggest Scrooge in modern history made me fall for him despite his stubbornness and attitude.

But what I loved the most is probably the fact this is not yet another romance story. Coming Home For Christmas is a mesmerizing story about what really matters in life – family. The big tragedy that torn the Marleys apart was definitely the most emotional part and as much as I tried, I couldn’t help but shed few tears. Marleys have their ups and downs and despite being incredibly rich and disjointed at the beginning, you can feel they deeply care about each other. They are not snobbish (though one would expect that) and despite being so rich, they respect their employees, which made me love them even more.

The romance part was gradually built, and that’s just another thing that made this book feel more real. Coming Home For Christmas is definitely a warm and beautiful read. With Christmas coming soon, I think it’s the PERFECT time to read it. Strongly recommended for all HEAs addicts:)

My rating: 4/5

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Buy it on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
Find Jenny Hale on her site, twitter and facebook

 

Book review: Christmas Carol by Michele Gorman

711F3HBVQrL._SL1280_*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Michele Gorman is a well known chick lit author and yet this is the first book by her I’ve read. What’s worse is that few months ago I bought two of her previous works, ‘Single in the City’ and ‘Bella Summer Takes a Chance’ and haven’t read them YET!
No, I’m not lazy or a slow reader. It’s just that lately I never seem to have the time for books I buy to read just for pleasure. I try very hard to keep up with the books I am sent for review, not to mention having a job and being a mommy to two.
But when I saw this beauty onย  Notting Hill Press’ site I knew I HAD to request an ARC.

‘The difficult thing about Christmas is that it doesn’t come all at once. It builds up like a festive toxin until the immune system is overwhelmed.’

For many readers, reading a Christmas story in September can be crazy, but not for me. I can read them every day of the year and enjoy them the same. Now that I think of it, I may even say these holiday stories are my favorite, they always seem to get me in a good mood, make me smile and warm my heart. Because Christmas is all about smiles and love, right?

Well, not for Carol, the biggest Scrooge in modern history. She hates everything about Christmas and this year she’s supposed to spend it with her family and 3 ex-boyfriends – UNDER THE SAME ROOF!

You know what, I would never ever want to be in Carol’s shoes, because there would be so many unpleasant situations to avoid. And to be frank, I could never imagine myself to be in her position either.
But anyway, back to Carol. She’s soon to find out why all of her relationships so far have been nothing but a disaster, and what she will discover is not gonna be pretty. But life gives us lessons everyday so we better start paying attention, right?

I absolutely loved the beginning of the story. I simply couldn’t wait to find out how will Carol meet all of these guys from her past. But as I was approaching the end I realized I really couldn’t understand her. She’s indecisive and seems to like all of these guys. I just wanted her to make up her mind once and for all. Is it Robert she wants, Karl or Skate? She seems to feel the butterflies for each of them, and that my friends I couldn’t understand. I loved her sarcasm and sense of humor but it was really really hard for me to connect to her.

However, I loved the writing, all of the descriptions and the setting. I always wanted to visit Scotland and now I just feel like I want to even more.

Despite not connecting with the MC, I love the message this short read reveals by its end. Even the biggest Scrooges do have their miracles on Christmas.

If you’re a fan of chick lit or a sucker for Christmas stories I advise you to check it out. Strongly advised to consume it with hot choc and some Christmas music on. ๐Ÿ™‚

My rating: 3/5

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