12 January 2015

Book Review: The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews

"Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace. 

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself . . ."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The Christmas Party as a paperback or an eBook now.

Every year, I look forward to 2 new releases from Carole Matthews, and the highlight of these is usually the Christmas read that Carole treats us all to. This year, her novel was called The Christmas Party and I was so looking forward to reading this one, complete with a beautiful festive cover, Carole's publishers certainly never lets her down with her book covers! The book was a real treat, one I read over a few evenings before Christmas and that I know will remain on my Festive Reads shelf to be enjoyed again and again at the right time of year!

This is the story of Louise, a single mum who has just finally managed to get herself a good job as a PA to a manager at an oil company, and it's now time for the annual Christmas Party. Louise really isn't sure she wants to go, but her parents offer to look after her daughter and so she's left to doll herself up and enjoy the evening as best she can. She makes friends with Josh, a successful salesman at the company, and the pair spend most of the party together, trying to avoid the drunken goings-on from their colleagues, and keeping track of their boss too. But is it going to be the party of Louise's life, or something else entirely?

I will first of all say that I did struggle at times with this book in keeping track of who was who, and who was with who, mainly related to the managers and their wives - I just couldn't get them straight in my head at all and found it all a bit puzzling for a while. I kept having to go back and check I had the right couple, but after about half of the book, I seemed to have it down. This hasn't happened to me with Carole's books before - perhaps because the whole book takes place at one event, there wasn't that separation of characters that you would usually find, but perhaps that was just me having a bit of an off day when I was reading it! There's Louise, the main character of the book and I liked her a lot. She's determined to make a success of her new career and was so wanting to make a good impression at the party in front of her new colleagues. I could totally understand why she found the situation a bit daunting, it's my idea of my worst nightmare, and I don't think I would have stuck it out like Louise did!

As well as the main story, the book delves into the private lives of 2 managers at the Fossil Oil Company. There's the story of Tyler, Louise's boss and his wife Kirsten, and also the story of the big boss Lance and his long-suffering wife Melissa. Melissa is having an affair with Tyler, Kirsten knows Tyler is cheating on her but assumes it is with his new PA Louise. I found all this a bit tough to follow, and the women just seemed very interchangeable to me in the story which was a bit of a shame, as the idea of the story was really good. You just know that it's all going to go horribly wrong for these couples, and as the story plays out, I was left wondering who exactly would get their happy ending, and whether or not they really deserved it. The only nice person I felt was Louise, and her new friend Josh! 

For me, this was an enjoyable read but it wasn't my favourite festive read from Carole. I don't know why there were elements of it that I found tricky to follow, but I did like the story as a whole, and the fact it all took place on one night was interesting too, I've not read a lot of books like this before! There's a lot of drunken antics, flirting, cheating and naughtiness going on within the book and it's certainly entertaining - mainly because I was thinking as I was reading that I would never get myself into these situations, especially as a non-drinker, it's my worst sort of night out lol! A very entertaining read, with lots of festive feeling that can certainly be enjoyed again and again. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    I liked your review and it was interesting to read your your views about this book. Unfortunately I couldn't connect with the characters and was disappointed with the story. Carole Matthews is a great writer and I have really enjoyed her past books especially Calling Mrs Christmas.

    I have recently reviewed this book and if you would like to read my review please check out my blog at www.anitasbookbag.co.uk