Friday 4 October 2013

Review! Coming Home For Christmas by Jenny Hale

Christmas is a time for family - isn't it?

Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out…

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at everybody from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen… even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own…

Review: What a lovely heartwarming tale! I knew I was going to enjoy this book just from reading the publisher's summary but I didn't realise just how feel-good it would be. It's a nice quick start to the story, you get to know Allie and her sister Megan straight away and then when Allie moves to look after Ashford (the house she is employed to look after) the characters start being introduced there too. Allie is a totally relatable lead character. She has her insecurities and yet she is determined to make the most of her life, something I'm sure we will all be able to relate to. Her only slightly niggling habit is that she jumps to conclusions rather quickly and can rush off before things were resolved, but this make for an interesting storyline with plenty of twists.

The idea of her going to look after a house over Christmas is a great idea for a plot, it was just a shame that she wasn't going to see her family over Christmas. The house is described in brilliant detail, as are its surroundings and so that made for an easy read. The brothers of the family, the male leads, are pretty interesting characters. I wasn't really sure what to make of them, and I wasn't sure whether i actually liked either of them. They seemed to have a certain stubbornness in common whilst one was incredibly laid back and the other the complete opposite. The grandmother of the family seemed to be the character who controlled the storyline, Allie would think she was going in one direction and then Pippa would reveal something and Allie would find herself doing something completely different, or having to question her actions!

The love story within this novel was a seriously slow burner, I was shouting at the book right up until the last few pages for Allie to get together with a certain someone (no spoilers here) I can just say the the ending was totally Hollywood movie worthy and reminded me very much of Pretty Woman, as it is commented up in the text by Allie's Mom! I did a little cheer when the plot finally unravelled itself for me, and was thoroughly satisfied that I was kept guessing up until the last moment! 

This is the kind of Christmas book where Christmas isn't shoved down your throat for the entire novel, christmas is in the background, there are presents and a meal, but Allie's story is more important and the slow-burning love plot reigns overall. There are certainly strong family values in this novel and for that reason i truly loved it. It's a great read if you are looking for something to ease you into the festive season but I really think that it would work at any time of year!

This book is released today, so get your copy by clicking here

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