Title: Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up

Author: Holly Smale

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

All I want for Christmas is… a new GEEK GIRL story!

Harriet Manners knows a lot about Christmas.
She knows that every year Santa climbs down 91.8 million chimneys.
She knows that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was almost definitely a girl.
She knows that the first artificial Christmas trees were made out of goose feathers.
But this Christmas is extra special for Harriet, because four days ago she had her First Ever Kiss.

Now she just needs to work out what’s supposed to happen next…

A romantic festive treat from the internationally bestselling award-winning author of the GEEK GIRL series. Also includes a BONUS previously unpublished GEEK GIRL short story TEAM GEEK!

The Review

I read Geek Girl by Holly Smale ages ago. It was so long ago that I can’t actually remember when it was. At the time I loved it. So it is a massive puzzle to me as to why I haven’t read the rest. I own them but I just haven’t read any of them. It is rather curious.

The Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up sees Harriet go on her first real date. As we have come to expect from Harriet, she is awkward and gawky but she manages to actually come across as the more in control person when she is taken ice skating. Something she is surprisingly good at. But will she get a Christmas kiss?

Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up has made me want to hurry up and read the rest of the series and that is what I intend to do.

Geek Girl Special (1) All Wrapped Up by Holly Smale is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Smale (@HolSmale) please visit www.holly-smale.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonandschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories

Author: Paige Toon

Pages: 390 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?

In this irresistible collection, bestselling author Paige Toon reunites a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be GoodThe One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The first time I came across Paige Toon’s work was in Dublin Airport. Some friends and I had been to the OXEGEN Festival at Punchtown Racecourse and we were all shattered waiting for our flight back home to Liverpool. One of my friends tootled off to WHSmith to pass the time and came back with Johnny Be Good – a perfect title of book for three book loving girls (and Back to the Future was said friends favourite movie – see, the stars were aligned on this one). We all took turns reading the book and we all loved it. This was the start of my book love towards Paige Toon.

In her latest collection – One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories – we get to go back and visit much loved characters. We get to either see scenes from different perspectives or extension stories which let us know how they are getting on now. Some people don’t like this style of book but I personally love getting back in touch with old characters.

If you are a Paige Toon fan you will appreciate this book. If you have not read anything by Paige Toon before and you want a taste of her writing style this could be the book for you too. I loved it and I have to thank Sara-Jane from Books and the City for sending me a copy.

One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories by Paige Toon is available now.

For more information regarding Paige Toon (@PaigeToonAuthor) please visit www.paigetoon.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandchuster.co.uk.

One Day in DeccemberTitle: One Day in December

Author: Shari Low

Pages: 296 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…

The Review

There are two types of book that I like more than most. One is the coming of age story and the other, the style that Shari Low has created with One Day in December, is what I refer to as the “Love Actually” style of story. One were the lives of the characters seamlessly interweave.

In this story we meet Caro, a girl who is confronting the abandonment of her father due to the imminent loss of her mother. Her potential sister Lila is a sexy vixen who is stringing two men along: Cammy, a man on the verge of proposing and totally unaware of his girlfriends philandering ways and her lover Kenneth, an arrogant and selfish man, cut from the same cloth as her father. Then there is Bernadette who is Kenneth’s long suffering wife who is trying to find her way out of a loveless marriage.

Basically it is an episode of Jeremy Kyle waiting to happen…except all the characters appear to have all their teeth (at least they did in my head) and don’t seem to want to air their dirty laundry on television.

Shari Low has created a wonderful cast of characters and a story that is just so very cleverly written that One Day in December was an absolutely joy to read. I wish it had been longer.

One Day in December by Shari Low is available now.

For more information regarding Shari Low (@sharilow) please visit www.sharilow.com.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

4 Stars

Seven Days of UsTitle: Seven Days of Us

Author: Francesca Hornak

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK/Piatkus Books

The Blurb

Seven Days of Us is the only family drama you need to read this Christmas. It will warm you up, make you cry, but ultimately leave you feeling fabulous. For fans of One DayLove Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

A week is a long time to spend with your family…

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family are coming together at their second home in Norfolk. Emma and Andrew’s daughter, Olivia, is back for the first time in years, and while Emma is elated, her younger, more frivolous daughter Phoebe is braced for inevitable clashes.

But aid worker Olivia is only home because she has nowhere else to go. Having recently returned from Africa, where she’s been treating a life-threatening virus, she has been instructed to stay in quarantine for a week, and so, too should her family.

For the next seven days, no one can leave the house, and no one can enter.

It doesn’t sound too hard. But a week with your nearest and dearest can feel like an eternity, especially when they’re all harbouring secrets.

One of whom is about to come knocking on their door..

The Review

In a classic Lisa move, I chose to read Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak because I liked the pretty cover. If you look at the cover and think that it may be the best thing about the book then you will be wrong. Very wrong.

Seven Days of Us is a story that focuses on the family dynamic. In particular, the dynamic when put in a compromising situation. In this case, a seven day quarantine over Christmas. Told from multiple perspectives we see just how difficult familial relationships are.

Olivia is struggling with normal life after working as an aid worker in Africa. She can’t adjust to regular life and how her family are just not affected by world issues like she is. Her sister Phoebe whose life centres around the nicer things in life who thinks that Olivia needs to accept that not everyone is as socially conscious as she wants them to be. Andrew, the father, who doesn’t have the best relationship with Olivia or his wife Emma; he is struggling with a 30 year old secret that is about to be revealed to his family and shake its very foundations. And Emma who is just trying to hold her family together and who is harbouring a life changing secret herself.

Seven Days of Us is so much more than your average novel set at Christmas. It is heartbreaking, all consuming and all too easy to relate to. Families are difficult to manoeuvre and Francesca Hornak has displayed this so well. You feel like you are a secret extra member of the family who is privy to all the pitfalls of family life and the confident to all the characters.

It was a wonderful read and has personally made me excited for future books from Francesca Hornak.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is available now.

For more information regarding Francesca Hornak (@FrancescaHornak) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group UK (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

For more information regarding Piatkus (@PiatkusBooks) please visit www.piatkusbooks.net.

4 Stars

PPand M 2Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: 225 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

Darcy Fitzwilliam simply doesn’t have time to fall in love. But this Christmas, a kiss under the mistletoe will change everything…

As partner at a major New York hedge fund, Darcy’s only serious relationship is with her work cellphone. The truth is, she’s too busy being successful and making money to have time for romance and Christmas cheer.

But this year Darcy is coming home to Pemberley, Ohio, for the holidays. There, she runs into her old neighbour and high-school foe Luke Bennet – the oldest of five wayward brothers. When Darcy’s enmity with Luke is re-opened, along with a hefty dollop of sexual chemistry…well, sparks are sure to fly. Can Darcy fall in love – or will her pride, and Luke’s prejudice against big-city girls, stand in their way?

This sparkling retelling of Pride and Prejudice will warm your heart over the festive season.

The Review

Firstly, I would like to thank Louise Swannell at Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz to review.

Pride and Prejudice is a story that has been told and retold over and over again. I’m always fascinated when someone manages to tell such a classic story and make it feel fresh and fun. This is exactly what Melissa de la Cruz does with Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe.

With a backdrop of America during the Christmas period, de la Cruz has given the characters a bit of a gender twist just to keep fans of the original Austen classic on their toes.

What is truly wonderful about Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is that you really do feel the heat between Darcy and Luke. Obviously, the modern day setting helps this along but you can almost feel the heat coming off the page it almost makes you think back to Pride and Prejudice and re-imagine the scenes between Elizabeth and Darcy as much more scorching than they originally appear.

It really is a lovely little thrill of a novel and it isn’t too big a book at only 225 pages. Definitely a book that can be kept in your handbag to be read wherever you are.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz) please visit www.melissa_delacruz.com.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBoks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

4 Stars