A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

ng4Title: A Christmas to Remember
Author: Jenny Hale
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 316 pages
Publication Details: October 10th 2014 by Bookouture
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas/Holiday
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review. Many thanks to Bookouture.

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Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they?

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.

As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!

The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?

As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

Review

A Christmas to Remember is a heart-warming, feel-good, festive read. It follows protagonist Carrie through what she hopes is her last job as Nanny, over the Christmas period.

These kind of chick-lit holiday books are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. You know exactly what you’re going to get – drama, romance and a warm and fuzzy ending – and this book didn’t disappoint. Plus, it had other aspects that I wasn’t expecting too.

Carrie loves her job but it’s meant that she’s had to make a lot of sacrifices in her personal life. When she’s on a job she is on call 24/7. She has little-to-no time for friends, her own family or outside commitments so she finds herself in her 30s with no friends to speak of, no man, or even past relationships. All she has is her work – other people’s children.

I found Carrie quite relateable, but man, she was way too neurotic for me! She’s all like wahhhhh I love my job, but wahhhhhhh I want my own family. And then there was all the ‘am I supposed to eat dinner with his family?’ and ‘he’s just being polite, he doesn’t like me blahblahblah. Arrrghhh. I wanted to scream in her face… and that’s not a bad thing! You should all know by now, that I love a book I have to scream at. I couldn’t put it down, and ended up devouring it in two sittings.

I also really liked that Adam, the work-a-holic whose life she enters (and takes over) owns his own brewery. I thought it gave a bit of a unique edge to the story as it wasn’t something I was expecting. Usually in this type of story the guys are all corporate business men with faceless/nameless companies, but here we realise that Adam’s journey has been a rags-to-riches one, and that he’s a self-made man through sheer determination and hard work. It definitely helped me to warm to him despite him being a rubbish father to begin with.

And y’know, he’s clearly pretty hot.

Overall, A Christmas to Remember was a fun, festive story that I couldn’t stop reading. What more can you ask for? Pass the mince pies!

unicorn rating 4

A Christmas to Remember is available in paperback from Waterstones now!

We need to talk about…The Selection

I’ve kind of been putting off posting about Kiera Cass’ The Selction & The Elite ever since I started this blog. I think it’s because I loved them more than should be acceptable for a 29 year old, and I am ashamed about it.

OK so ashamed is going a bit far. Embarrassed maybe? Nope that isn’t any better is it? Basically, they have well and truly propelled Twilight off of my guilty pleasure mountain of glory; they’ve stolen my Trashy Crown and Edward will just have to wait until I’m finished with Prince Maxon. TEAM MAXON. Ahem.

The worst part is that I can’t exactly decide why I loved them so much. The writing is adequate at best; the premise is hardly original being an amalgamation of The Hunger Games, TV show The Bachelor, and just about any YA novel about a prince and a pauper. BUT THEY ARE SO AWESOME I WANT TO READ IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW. (I may or may not have already read The Selection twice this year). I need help.

Therefore, I have enlisted my BFF Dianne to read The Selection so we can discuss it. And when I say enlist, I mean forced.

Me and Di have shared many books over the years and we’re both suckers for trashy teen novels. Most of the time we love (and hate) the same books. BUT, that’s where the similarities end. Everything I love in a book Di hates, and vice versa. Which makes for some great debates (screaming) and rants (whole nights lost).

The infamous Gale vs Peeta debate of 2011 is now banned from our lips, but not our thoughts. Obviously. PEETA IS A DOUCHE. Sorry. So I look forward to finding out what Di thinks of The Selection (She is definitely going to hate it). Watch this space.

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m blathering on about, here’s the lowdown on The Selection.

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.