Christmas Book Week #6: Snowflakes on Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke

Snowflakes on Christmas Street

Snowflakes on Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke

Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Published: 2nd November 2017
Format: Ebook
Pages: 384
ASIN: B01MUUV6R4
ISBN13: 9780751569728

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

On a little street in a big city, everything is changing

Bill has lived on Christmas Street since he was a young man. He’s seen families come and go, watched children grow up… Now he wants to be left alone.

Everything seven-year-old Teddy loves is in America. But his widowed father, Sam, has brought them both back to England to be closer to their family. Sam’s one wish is for Teddy to be happy again.

As Teddy and Sam settle into their new life, a very special four-legged neighbour is determined to make them feel at home. Jack, the Christmas street dog, is welcome in everyone’s house – but will it be in his power to help a little boy and a lonely old man remember the true meaning of the season?

As the snow sparkles on the ground, one small act of kindness will give a whole street a happy Christmas…

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for mu copy of this magical book in exchange for my review.

This book is a magical story, filled with love, and the warmth of friends and family.  I didn’t see where Jack was going to fit into this book, thinking he would be a side character but he ended up having a starring role.  He effects peoples lives massively in ways that a dog really shouldn’t. He’s the connection between each resident of Christmas Street and I love how the story weaves together.

My favourite residents probably would be Sam and Teddy though. Sam, with his witty comments about beetroot (yes, beetroot), and Teddy with his caring nature.  Teddy really hit a soft spot with me, he was a wonderful little boy.  One part of the book really moved me, involving him, his class members, and another character, Bill his next door neighbour.  It really moved me, and it showed perfectly that children always see the good in the world, while there is so much pain and suffering.  It was a moving moment which fitted perfectly within in this story.

I cannot believe that this is Ivy Pembroke’s first book, it reads beautifully with fantastic characters. I love the fact that the only common link, except living on the same street is Jack.  Jack being the street dog.  His backstory is a sad story but I like to think that the was he lives now is better than what it was. At least as the “street dog” he has more people loving him, more affection, more food.  Obviously.

Each chapter is split into sections for each resident of the street.  We have Teddy and Sam, Bill (Mr Hammersley), Pen, Pari and her family (brother Sai, mum Diya, and dad Darsh), Max and Arthur, and Emilia with her parents Anna and Marcel,and of course Jack.  Each character adds something to the story, be it stability, adventure, young love, family.  They all add it.

I loved this book, and I don’t think I can portray actually how much I did.  It made me think of how people around us impact our lives, be it an animal or an unknown neighbour.  It all happens when it’s supposed to.

I give this book a huge 5 out of 5.

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Christmas Book Week #2: The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

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The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

Publisher: Avon
Published: 6th October 2016
Format: Ebook
Pages: 353
ASIN: B01D4WO2OU
ISBN13: 9780008175535

Description

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Review

Firstly, Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my review. It’s one I’ve had my Netgalley shelf for a while and this Christmas seemed the perfect time to read it.

I love the cover for this book.  It immediately makes me think of this different mish mash of houses in London.  I guess that’s the aim though as it is set in Camden… Hmm… Pretty though, and a big sense of wintery feelings.

While a good storyline, I didn’t really like the characters the way I thought I would,  except for Sam anyway. He seemed to be the only one with any real depth or sense of reality. Ava came across as a little naive but also independent, strong willed and determined at the same time. I can’t pinpoint what it was I didn’t like, but she slightly irritated me. Maybe it was the fact that she just wouldn’t accept help without an argument? Izz was a bit of a hard one to figure out as well. On one page she was awkward, the next she was this overly confident sassy woman. Tod wasn’t involved enough for me to even form an opinion of and I sensed he had his own story to be told.  I loved Sam’s Mum and his Aunt, they oozed fun and with, sarcasm and a real family feeling which this book slightly lacked.

The writing style was quick and easy to read. Nice, short chapters and a sense of where things were going. While touching on a theme that is very relevant in today’s world, it handles it brilliantly. It even gives advice in its own little way. It makes if clear that it could happen to anyone and that it isn’t their fault. You feel the sympathy for Ava over it all and you really feel that she thinks its her fault and that she will be judged in an awful way. Lucky for her, her friends understand and support her through everything.

What I did really like about this book is that it gives you an update on Sam’s mum and where Ava and Sam ended up in their love story. It really was a happy ever after ending.  I wish more books had this little update page, especially when you don’t know what has happened to some of the characters.

I gave this book 4/5. It honestly would have been a big fat 5 if I connected with all the characters like I did immediately with Sam.

Book Review: Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson


Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

Publication: 3rd October 2016
Publisher: Sphere
Format: Ebook
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780751563092

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her co-workers are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in The Big Apple.

John, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is so upset and is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when she adds handsome New Yorker Elijah into the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As December 25th draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy – I apologise it’s taken me so long to get to it but here it is!!!!

I’ve had this book on my shelf since last year, and I fancied some romance, Christmas, and a feel-good read. I’ve had Christmas on my brain since reading The Christmas Holiday and this book was everything I needed!

A bit slow to get going but when it did, I loved every moment of it.  I’m a huge sucker for Christmas books, set in New York.  This book was written well, it was funny, witty, and a has a fantastic plot.  Every Chapter is a step closer to Christmas and it works really well.  It made it feel like that it was building up to something amazing, magical, and a sense of purpose.

All of the characters were great.  Olivia was a brilliant leading lady.  She is definitely my sort of character.  She’s practical, independent, strong-willed and sure of what she wants. Or is she? John, Olivia’s friend, comes across as charming, a good man and is again, a great character. All of the secondary characters are fantastic, all with their own little stories.  They could all easily be someone you know. Or be you. They all work well together, except for the addition of Elijah but let’s not go there.  Excuse the language, but he was a Dick.

Any book set in the build up, or at actual Christmas time works wonderfully for me.  Everything always seems right within the world at Christmas and this book has that feeling.  It made everything seem right when everything was feeling wrong.  Everyone needs to believe in magic at Christmas time and I think this is the book to help people see that. Just brilliant – I know I’ve said that word a lot within this review but hey, I don’t see the problem!!!! 5/5 for me!!

 

ARC Review: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin


Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin
Published: 22nd September 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: Ebook
Pages: 322
ISBN13: 9781786810700
Goodreads

Available to purchase
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Synopsis
This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.
So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.
But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.
Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

My Thoughts

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bookouture, for my copy in exchange of my review.  This book has definitely pulled me out of yet another reading slump.

I found this book to be a delightful, heart-warming read.  It was festive (where can you go wrong with that??) it was loving, it was funny, tearful and just brilliant. There were parts of this book that made me laugh, nearly cry and feel extremely happy.

Pip is fed up with travelling the world, being a mystery guest in some fabulous places.  She decides her next job will be her last for a while.  When she gets to her hotel, the last person she is expecting to see is her teenage years ex-boyfriend, Gabe.  I loved Pip, she is an independent woman, with baggage, with a history.  She was real if that makes sense?

Gabe, for me, was a perfect gent.  Protective, a wonderful father, loving, and for Pip, an amazing lover.  His daughter Wren is a wonderful character, and a true young child! Especially being Frozen mad!!! They make a wonderful little family, and made me feel like I should hug my own child more often!

Other characters that pop up in the book often were fantastic.  They’ve all got their own stories about why or how they’ve ended up on Juniper Island and I would love to hear all of them. Neve and Luke were wonderful additions to Luke’s family, with Neve’s story being the next book.  I hope to hear Luke’s story eventually as well.

Holly Martin has created a perfect Winter Wonderland in this book, her writing style drew me in straight away and I didn’t come up for breath until I had finished every single page.  So much so, that I dived straight back in with Christmas Under a Starlit Sky (review to come next month for publication day!!)

I highly recommend this book to add to any Christmas book reading list! Just superbly wonderful.  I wish that I could visit, and maybe even just move straight in!! Loved it!! A huge, gigantic 5/5 from me!!


A little add on note from me:

I go on holiday for a week on Monday 26th and I very much doubt I will have WiFi where I will be so there will be complete radio silence from me for a while now.  I will be writing reviews but they will all be posted once I’m home and the mountains and mountains of washing is done!!!

Thanks for reading!!!

New Books!

I was spoilt when it came to books this year!! I can say it made a change, I normally get boring socks and a few scarves (Not that I’m complaining about the scarf!!), and maybe a new pair of gloves!!

Firstly, I was given the illustrated Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone from Caleb, with help from Daddy which I’m impressed about!! I love it!! I doubt I’ll ever read it in fear of ruining it! It’s gorgeous and a whole lot more! It’s so stunning I cannot describe it.  I’ve already had to promise to take it with me when we visit my Mum on the 21st!

Then, we had some Love2Shop vouchers given to us from a friend and I was given permission to spend it however I wished after getting a new stereo.  Stupid him saying that really because I went straight to The Works and came away with 6 fantastic books!!!! They are:

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue. I’ve never seen this book in a shop before so I thought I’d take the opportunity before it’s released in the cinemas next year. I’ve also heard some excellent reviews and then some not so great reviews so who knows what way I’ll go!!
  2. The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley.  After reading The Seven Sisters, I’m thrilled to have spotted this!! I’m hoping her writing style is the same, and with as much magic and wonderfulness in this as well.
  3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  Everyone has been raving about this book, as soon as I saw it I grabbed it. I’ve not seen it anywhere else, except for Waterstones, so it must have been fate!! I’m really looking forward to this one. Plus, it’s a GoodReads Choice Winner this year so it has to be good!
  4. A Taste of Love by Marita Conlon-McKenna.  I’ve never heard of the author so I’m a bit lost with that.  But, it’s got food as a centre story so I had to get.  I love books what involve food, and peoples love of food.
  5. The Lavender Keeper by Fiona McIntosh. I’ve seen this book around a few times, and was tempted a few times as well.  I’m hoping I enjoy it.  It’s based around WW2 and I tend to really enjoy books that are.  Fingers Crossed!!
  6. The Proposal by Tasmina Perry.  A dual storyline, based between 1958 and 2012. My sort of book! I love dual-storylines, whether it be centuries, millennia, or just a few decades! I’m not entirely sure if I’ve heard of the author but I grabbed it as soon as I saw the storyline.  Something new for me!!
Pictures of covers:
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So, overall I’m happy with my choices!! Even more so as I managed to get Red Queen cheaper than anywhere else!!
Granted, I could have received that long, overdue engagement ring but nope.  He realised I was upset about that when I kept saying all my old college friends are now either engaged or married after another got engaged Christmas Day.  I sound really ungrateful don’t I? I’m 1 of 3/4 of my old friends to have a child, and in a long-term relationship. The others who have children and in their long-term relationships are now officially all engaged or married.  Makes me feel sort of unwanted sometimes.  What made it even worse he announced to my FATHER that he didn’t actually have to buy me and engagement ring and that we will just get married… I faked a headache and not feeling very well to go to bed and weep by myself.. Yes, I actually did that.  The Other Half has realised I’ve been a little off since then but he’s not asked why.  I’ll give Dad some credit though, he did call Danny cheap because of it.  He doesn’t have to buy me a wedding ring as Dad has said that I’ll have my Nan’s, so he can at least buy me a sodding engagement ring!! I think if I don’t get one next year at any point then I’ll be having some serious words with him. We’ve been together 9 years on Thursday.  9 YEARS!!!!!! We live 270 miles away from where we met, and have a child.  I don’t think I’m going anywhere soon so he might as well ask!!!
Again, I sound very ungrateful for everything, and for him.  I’m not, trust me. I just needed a rant as I’ve got no one to say it all too.  Mum will say I’m being pathetic, my sister will say something along the lines of why do you want to get married?, and Dad actually understands I want to get married.  Danny doesn’t realise how hurt I feel sometimes when his brother says I don’t really have a say in family matters as i’m the only one without his surname.. That’s painful….
I’ll leave it here for now as no one wants to hear this… I’m boring myself and beginning to make myself think I’m being petty and pathetic… Bye!