WWW Wednesday 17.12.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Happy Wednesday, Guys!

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Currently Reading:
I’m reading Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson and I also picked up The Girl With the Glass Feet by Ali Shaw which I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. Oh boy is it pretentious. Not sure if I’ll get through it at this stage!

Recently Finished:
The last one I finished was A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale which I really liked. My review is here.

Up Next:
Definitely Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber! 🙂

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.

Goodreads
Purchase

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!

Festive Thursdays: So much festive!

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Every Thursday I’m going to be sharing with you all of my Christmas preparation, the books I’m reading, the films I’ve watched, gift ideas I’ve found, and the festive events I’ve attended. Because, well, I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO HARD.

I didn’t manage to post last Thursday, but to be honest I didn’t do much anyway, other than making a mini Gingerbread House and watching Frozen four times in two days. No, really.

Anyway, on to this week’s rundown…

1. Christmas Cakes (stage 1)

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m putting together some Christmas hampers to give as presents this year. Everything is going to be made by yours truly, with the exception of the baskets/boxes (which I don’t have yet), and the jars!

This week, I made a start on making individual Christmas cakes by soaking the dried fruit in a whole bottle of cherry brandy, and a glug of honey brandy to boot. It smells amazing, and after a week I think it’s ready!

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I know some people soak their fruit for months but I don’t think it’s necessary. I pour brandy over the cake afterwards anyway. More booze than cake is my motto at Christmas! This is the recipe I’ve roughly followed over the last couple of years. It’s one that doesn’t require soaking at all, but I still do.

Hopefully I’ll have stage 2 – baking & decorating – done for next week’s post.

2. Chilli & Apple Jam

I’d never made jam before, or even chutney, but was assured it’s quite easy, and it really was!

I wanted a ‘jam’ that was spicy to suit my Dad and Brother’s tastes, but was also Christmassy, so I combined two different recipes – this Nigella one, which is so simple, and I added some clove-studded apples to the mixture as it boiled, which I’d seen in a different recipe I was tempted to try.

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I also used a few different types of chillies and preserving sugar instead of regular. At first I thought it wasn’t going to set, but after an hour cooling, and 30 mins in the fridge it firmed up and is a perfect consistency. The only fail – it only filled two of my jars so I had to make some more. But it was so easy it didn’t matter!

For the second batch, I added a whole lemon to the chillies (instead of the apples) and blitzed the whole lot. And I ran out of preserving sugar so just used regular. It came out just as good, and the lemon tastes really great with the chilli. This one’s my favourite. I might have to keep one for myself!

3. A Christmas to Remember

I read, and pretty much devoured this book! My review will be up on Monday, hopefully.

ng4Everyone 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!

I also posted my review of Dying for Christmas – an altogether different kind of Christmas read!

4. Christmas 24 and the rest!

I’m such a sucker for those made-for-TV Christmas films. Seriously, I can’t get enough. Most of them are terrible, but in a really good way. And now and again you find some that are actually great, in nothing but a great way!

This week however, I watched One Christmas starring a very old and scary-looking Katharine Hepburn and THE FONZ. Sounds great right? Wrong. It was so, so bad, and not very festive at all. Avoid!

5. Miscellaneous Festive Funtimes:

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This week I also bought a new Christmas jumper which is AMAZING and I bought some red candles in the hopes that I’d find a cheap candelabra thing to put in the window but I couldn’t find one. Any ideas for my candles? There’s always wine bottles I guess. Bit boring though.

Up Next: More festive reads, my Christmas cake progress, and hopefully salted chocolate & cinnamon fudge gets added to my hampers. And I’m going to an ELF Quote-A-Long at my favourite cinema. Yessss!

Merry Festiving!