19 October 2014
eBook Review: Humbugs and Heartstrings by Catherine Ferguson
Bobbie's boss Carol is a real misery-guts, dedicated to making the lives of everyone around her unhappy in pursuit of every last penny. What makes it worse is that the two women have history: once they were best friends.
When handsome hotelier Charlie steps into the frame the two women go to battle as one sees a romantic future ahead and the other a possible lifeboat for her business. With wonderful warmth and humour, and the odd mince pie fight, the women are forced to confront their shared past, the turbulent present and, most importantly, the potential of the future."
You can buy Humbugs and Heartstrings as an eBook now.
Us chick lit fans have been so spoilt for festive fiction this year! There are so many amazing looking christmas books out, I really didn't know where to start this year! Luckily, the beginning was dictated to me as I needed to review this book for my blog tour stop, which is today. I couldn't wait to get started, Christmas books are my favourite books of the whole year, and so I wanted my first one to really get me in the mood and excited for more festive fiction! I was hoping for something hugely festive, but sadly I felt like it seriously lacked in festive feeling, although the story itself was good. However, with the cover and title, I had expected more Christmas-ness and this sadly didn't deliver!
The story itself, as I said was good. I enjoyed the writing of it, the pace and the romance of it all, and that would be have been a higher rating for me, but I really did miss the festive feeling which was such a shame. Yes, towards the end there is a little more but it just was too little, too late for me unfortunately. I loved the little hints towards Charles Dickens' traditional festive tale 'A Christmas Carol' throughout the book - instead of Bob Cratchett as the 'hero' of the book, we have Bobbie Blatchett, her sick little brother is also called Tim (Tiny Tim in Charles' book), and even the villain of the piece had a middle name harking back to Dickens's story, Ebenetta. It was cleverly done and I liked looking out for the little hints dotted throughout.
While I did enjoy the story, there was something very frustrating about Bobbie and the relationship with her boss/former best friend Carol. I was just longing for Bobbie to man up and say something about how she was being treated - I don't think many people could take the rubbish Carol deals her for as long as Bobbie does, and it seems strange that she would just put up with it. Carol was so easy to dislike, everything from her attitude to her duplicity makes you hate her all the more, and I was hoping that in some way, she would get her comeuppance. There was a particular scene between the two women that had me laughing out loud, but also entirely shocked that 2 adult women would behave in that way, at least there was a bit of festiveness about this scene however!
The token male of the story is Charlie, a rather wealthy hotelier that Bobbie immediately takes a liking too. He's handsome, rich and seems like a genuinely nice person too. However, knowing Charlie is in cahoots with Carol to help her ailing cleaning business puts Bobbie off airing her feelings, but is there going to be a way she can make them known without upsetting the business deal? I liked the whole 'will they, won't they' element to the book, and was yearning for a happy ending for Bobbie. Bobbie's own personal troubles with her family were weaved throughout the book, and I liked how loyal she was to her family, determined to help her mother save for her sick brother's desperately needed operation, this was a touching part to the story.
The book was very well written, but I can't help but feel this would have been received better by me had it not been marketed as a festive read. Yes, there's a Christmas fayre within, and the end of the book takes place on Christmas Day (not a spoiler of any kind, it's all leading up to that time of year anyway), but sadly that's about all the Christmas you're going to get in this. I longed for me, even though the story was plenty good enough for me. It's a heart-warming, well written story but just be aware if you're looking for a deeply festive book, this probably won't tick all the boxes for you, as it didn't for me. Nice to curl up with though, for a sweet romance that will keep you turning the pages.