Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Book Ideas!

A few Christmas book ideas - two reviews plus a couple of ebooks that I noticed, which I am looking forward to reading. 

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Meet me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

I love being able to curl up in front of the fire with a glass of mulled wine and a Christmas read so was delighted when Lindsay asked me to review this book for her blog.

The story is told mainly through the eyes of Rachael and Laurie, childhood friends who have chosen very different paths in their adult lives.

Laurie is a fashion designer in a London firm, a work-a-holic she puts work in front of everything else in her life. A mistake that will cost the firm a lot of money forces her into an unwanted career break.

Rachael is a domestic goddess who lives in the country with her husband and two children and along with her mother in law Bea is preparing for Christmas the traditional way until Bea takes ill and requires investigations in London.

Both women decide to swap houses in the lead up to the Christmas period . Laurie to get away from her ruined love life and her enforced break from work, Rachael to help Bea out while in a London hospital.

The story revolves around both women trying to adjust to their new surroundings and socially fit in while endeavouring to sort out their own issues.

It is told through their eyes in alternating chapters, a technique that I always warm to and is interwoven nicely with the introduction to the rest of the characters who had issues of their own. I thought I knew how it would pan out and was very wrong in that assumption as the tale takes a new twist half way through it.

I loved the writing style, feeling that I was part of the plot, nicely paced and very descriptive, so much so I want to live in Rachael's house and village! On reading Laurie's disaster I found myself very distressed for her and the unjustness of it all and throughout the book was drawn in similarly to other ongoing events.

Beautiful book cover with an appendix at the back that included a recipe and instructions on how to make a snow globe. I was left with a warm glow on finishing this and intend to watch out for further gems by this author.

Guest review by Fiona Keegan
Many thanks to Fiona for reading this book for The Little Reader Library and providing this lovely review. Fiona is a keen reader who particulary enjoys romantic women's fiction. 

Published by Quercus

Thanks to the publisher for kindly sending a copy to read and review.

You can follow the author on twitter @AbbyCBooks and visit her website here

The Twelve Days to Christmas by Michele Gorman


"What if his proposal had an expiration date?"

Hannah’s in a bit of a pickle. In twelve days she flies from Hong Kong to the US with Sam, where he’s finally going to meet her parents… and ask to marry her.Since overcoming a rather rocky patch in their relationship (which was totally his fault), he really is a new man, and they’re completely in love. The problem is, she feels panicky every time she contemplates matrimony. Which is perfectly normal, isn’t it? Isn’t it?! She has no idea but she’s got to find out before he pops the question... because she’s not 100% sure she’s going to say yes. Which will make for a very uncomfortable family holiday. He’s got to ask her before they go. So Operation Proposal begins. As time ticks down to their flight, Hannah realizes that her own secrets are threatening their future. Before she can be happy with Sam, she’s got a lot to learn about herself in the twelve days to Christmas. 

My thoughts - this is a quick and entertaining Christmas-themed story. It's funny and light, with a heroine who has some momentous times coming up in her life. Hannah, the main character, features in Michele Gorman's previous novels 'Single in the City' and 'Misfortune Cookie', and I haven't read those yet, but there were no problems reading this novella and getting involved with the characters and the storyline. There are enough prior details mentioned here for you to be able to read this novella as a standalone story. I liked how each chapter had a line from the twelve days of Christmas which was rewritten to fit this story. A short read with romance, happiness and humour to enjoy over the festive season.

Reviewed by Lindsay Healy - Thanks very much to the author for kindly sending a copy of this ebook to read and review. 

You can visit Michele's website here and follow her on twitter @expatdiaries

Edie Kiglatuk's Christmas: An Arctic Mystery by M. J. McGrath

Synopsis from the publisher:

An exclusive free edition of this stunning short mystery set in the frozen high Arctic and featuring the most compelling new heroine in crime fiction: ex polar bear hunter Edie Kiglatuk. Also includes the opening chapters of M. J. McGrath's new book The Boy in the Snow. 
The shortest day of the year didn’t count for much up on Ellesmere Island. By the time 21 December arrived, the sun hadn’t come up for two months and it would be another two before it managed to scramble over the High Arctic horizon. Objects, animals and even people could disappear during the Great Dark without anyone much noticing. Which was why no one reported Tommy Qataq missing . . . Christmas is fast approaching on Ellesmere Island, in the vast frozen landscape of the High Arctic, and half Inuit ex polar bear hunter Edie Kiglatuk is drawn into a mystery when a young man dies in suspicious circumstances. A stunning short mystery with a magical and heart-wrenching twist, Edie Kiglatuk's Christmas is from the CWA Dagger Award nominated author of White Heat and The Boy In the Snow and will be enjoyed by fans of Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow by Peter Hoeg and Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series.

Published by Mantle
Available as a free ebook

You can follow M. J. McGrath on twitter @mcgrathmj and visit her website here

Winter Warmers by Carole Matthews

Synopsis from the publisher:

Three short stories from the wonderfully warm Carole Matthews: Winter Warmers - a gift for you.

All I Want for Christmas is You

Christmas is around the corner but Maria just can't get into the spirit - will she ever find Mr Right? But when a secret admirer starts leaving her poems and notes, it looks as though her luck is about to change . . .
Cold Turkey

Tara is in love with a man she can't have. She expected to spend Christmas with him but when the big day arrives, she finds herself alone. Sad and upset, Tara just wants to ignore the festive season - and then a chance encounter changes everything.

About Gardening

I love my husband Sam but our relationship isn't what it used to be. Can I find a way to bring us back together?
Treat yourself to this heart-warming collection - it's perfect for warming up those winter nights

Published by Hachette Digital
Available as a free ebook

You can follow Carole on twitter @carolematthews  and visit her website here


  1. Wow, these look pretty good. Great post!

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to review it !!!


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