30 November 2014

Book Review: A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

"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!"


Festive Feeling Rating:

You can buy A Christmas to Remember as an eBook or a paperback now.

The moment I finished this Christmas book, I knew it was going to be one of my favourite festive reads so far this year. Yes, the ending was obvious, but it was fabulously festive, the characters were all wonderful to read about and I just couldn't stop reading it - all the ingredients for me to make the perfect Christmas read. Jenny Hale's books are fast becoming some of my favourite books of the year and I always look forward to her latest book being sent to my Kindle, and this book is exactly why, and I think A Christmas to Remember is a must-read this festive season!

Carrie has got a job for the Christmas period as a nanny for Adam Fletcher's young twins, and she quickly settles into making herself at home, and dressing the house for the festive period. But it has quickly come to her attention that Adam doesn't have much of a relationship with his children - work always seems to come first. Carrie realises it's up to her to make Christmas special for the Fletcher children, and to try and get Adam to see the error of his ways with his children before it's too late. When the Fletcher family arrive en masse to celebrate Christmas, Carrie is hoping for a miracle and that Adam will finally spend time with his family... but is she expecting too much, and getting too attached far too soon?!

I love books featuring, especially festive books, because it makes the magic all the more special and a little bit more festive as well. This book certainly delivered on that front, and for me the young twins Olivia and David are the forefront of this story. We meet them as 2 unsure quiet, emotional and closed off children, unsure how to relate to their workaholic father. Carrie is determined to change that, and I admired that she wasn't afraid to tell Adam how it was, and forcing him to spend more time with his wonderful children, especially at this time of year. Carrie was absolutely superb as the lead character of the book, there was nothing dislikeable about this woman at all, and I was totally absorbed in her story. She's a wonderful nanny to Olivia and David, not afraid to throw herself into all sorts of activities, and I ended up with a big smile on my face when I read about the fun things that three of them got up to.

As well as being a fun Christmas story, there are more serious moments to the book as well. Adam's sister Sharon is clearly withdrawn from her brother, and we are left wondering why. As things become clear, you can understand her reaction, and it certainly brings home how much we should treasure our children and their childhoods, they are over far too quickly for my liking. The introduction of Adam's family opened up a new element to the book, and I was hoping Adam would make a change for them as well as his children, but we were left wondering what his motivation was as the book progressed and he doesn't seem to change.  There are some very touching moments in the book, a dash of romance too and it all pulled together wonderfully by the festive detail, from decorating the house for Christmas, to playing in the snow and baking Christmas goodies.

For me, this is Jenny Hale's best book so far. I loved it, and every evening when I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open I didn't want to put it down, wanting to find out what was happening next for Carrie, Adam and the Fletcher family. The characters in this book were excellent, Carrie in particular was my favourite, although I enjoyed the many different people and relationships in the book. I enjoyed trying to puzzle out Adam, although I kept wishing he would make more of an effort to have a relationship with his children. It's a lovely, warm-hearted festive story and I really enjoyed it, it made me smile and left me wanting a big family Christmas like the one in this book. Hale's writing is fabulous, her descriptions leave everything vivid in your mind, and you really get into Carrie's head as well. This is a brilliant read, and one I definitely recommend this Christmas season, I loved it.

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