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Miracle on Regent Street [Paperback]

Ali Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 Oct 2011
Dreams can come true - it could happen to you...For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy's - once London's most elegant department store - Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. When Evie overhears that Hardy's is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store's fortunes by December 26th - three weeks away - and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she's going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she's going to need a miracle.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857202901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857202901
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Follow Ali at facebook.com/aliharriswriter and twitter.com/aliharriswriter or discover more about the author at her website aliharris.co.uk

Ali is a magazine journalist who has worked in the world of glossy magazines for ten years.

She grew up in deepest darkest Norfolk, where she spent her formative years dreaming of the bright lights of the big city. At 18 she swapped sheep for show tunes and moved to London to do a degree in performing arts. After three years of 'studying' (read: doing jazz hands) she became.... a waitress. In her spare time she started writing a book (about a frustrated waitress, of course) and soon realised that writing was her true passion. After many rejection letters she decided just getting paid to write for a living would be a step in the right direction. One work placement at a celebrity style magazine later and she'd found her spiritual home. Surrounded by clothes, shoes and celebrity gossip she threw herself into her new career and was ecstatic when she bagged a job at Company magazine.

Ali was soon given her own dating column but then, she met 'Email Boy' and her column became focused on their blossoming relationship - she even won an industry award for her efforts. She left Company in 2005 to broaden her horizons as a freelance journalist, writing for Cosmo, Grazia and ELLE, amongst others. She also got married to Email Boy (now going by his official name of Ben) and then got lured back to the world of glossies with a job at number one women's magazine, Glamour. She left in 2009 to have babies and write books.

Ali's debut Miracle on Regent Street was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2011. Her second novel The First Last Kiss was published in January 2013. Her latest novel, Written in the Stars is out now.

Product Description

Review

"A magical debut." Glamour magazine

"A heart-warming and inspirational tale." Cosmopolitan.co.uk

"A warm and snuggly novel that'll get you thinking of Christmas!" Star magazine

"An adorable, heartwarming tale of love and friendship which bubbles with tenderness. Love it." - Marie Claire magazine

"Marian Keyes-style portraits of human frailty." Stylist magazine

"An outstanding debut novel...I cannot recommend it highly enough. 5 * " Chicklitreviews.com

"This is a story that will warm your heart and soul. 9 out of 10." Chicklitclub.com

About the Author

Ali Harris is a magazine journalist and has written for publications such as Red, ELLE, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Company and was deputy features editor at No.1 women's magazine Glamour before leaving to write books and have babies. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Miracle Read! 12 Oct 2011
By Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I love debut novels. There is something about heading into the unknown with a brand new author that is both exciting and intriguing. I love it even more when their debut novel happens to be a festive one, and when I received a copy of Ali Harris' debut novel Miracle on Regent Street, I was rather excited! I'll admit that I wasn't keen on the cover when I initially saw it, thinking it wasn't at all Christmassy looking but now I've read the book and seen the cover in real life (which does look far more beautiful I have to say), I think it's a lovely cover and suits the book perfectly. It is a gorgeous book to curl up with under your duvet in the cold evenings, and days if you can find a bit of spare time!

The book's lead character is Evie Taylor, a character I really loved and who I am sure will stay with me for a while now I've finished the book because I loved her so much! She works in the stockroom at her beloved London department store `Hardy's', is called Sarah by pretty much all of the shop floor staff because they don't know who she is and is fed up of living with her sister Delilah and being an unpaid babysitter in return for her room. I felt really sorry for Evie, she has amazing ideas on how to save Hardy's which is in big financial trouble , yet she's ignored by the staff... I'd have long since started screaming my name at people who get it wrong, it's one of my bug bears!

The other characters at Hardy's are just perfect for the old fashioned store, each of them special to Evie in their own way.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Festive fun 2 Nov 2011
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
A light read that is just perfect for the Xmas season. Very predictable plot as it's easy to see where the story is taking us, but nevertheless, I still got swept along with the characters and found myself wishing a happy ending for all concerned. This is an enjoyable and heartwarming little book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jingle, Jingle 15 Dec 2011
By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want a Christmas novel that is the complete wish-fulfilment fantasy, then here it is.

Evie finds out that the store she works in is under threat of being sold to a soulless modern chain and she has only December to try to reverse that decision. The trouble is that she only works in the stockroom, so how can she make a difference? Fortunately, she has a talent for creating displays and an instinct for knowing what people want.

Her own life isn't so straightforward: dumped by her boyfriend and feeling like the insignificant one in her family, she has no confidence in her ability to deal with life. She is everyone's shoulder to cry on, yet none of the retail workers in the store ever get her name right.

Her best friends are the people who also work behind the scenes in Hardy's: the cleaners, security officer, the woman who runs the cafe. The great unoticed of the store come together to be Evie's "elves" and under her quiet leadership determine to make a difference to their own and the shop floor worker's lives.

Then there are the men: who will she end up with? Joel, the American highflying economic wizard, or Sam the delivery boy who wants to be a professional photographer?

This book is a real heart-warmer because it is full of "Aw" moments that appeal to the sentiments.

On the downside, it is far too easy to spot what is going to happen in most of the situations. Also it would make a much better film than novel because the reader does want to question the ease with which some of the (quite technical) transformations are made in the store in so little time - in a film you wouldn't question that. And there is one squirm-making sex scene that really doesn't need to be there and is probably one of the most clumsily written I have read.

The sentiment wins out in the end because of the great cast of characters Ali Harris has assembled and the image of the great old store itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Hannah
Format:Paperback
From the gorgeously elegant cover art to the utterly cheerful atmosphere of the entire novel, Miracle on Regent Street is a book that I will definitely be rereading and recommending for years to come and it has got me into the Christmas spirit more than any tinsel or music ever could without needing to vomit Christmas. The entire novel is split into chapters and then days as it counts down the time Hardy's has until store closure and the time Evie has to secretly transform the store and hopefully draw in enough customers to vastly increase profit takings in that time.

It is written in the present tense which usually throws me off for a little while when I first pick up a novel but not this time. The beauty of Ali's gorgeous descriptive imagery drew me in so quickly that I didn't even notice the tense. If anything, it added more to the novel as you feel just as if you are there watching over Evie's shoulder. "It feels as if I have been magically transported back in time as I cycle into Portland Place. No vehicles are on the streets and I can't help but imagine them when they were cobbled and filled with horses and carriages." Evie herself is quite the dreamer and the descriptive passages reflect greatly on this as she imagines how things could be and might have been, and the writing style is just so warm and delightful, the only thing that was missing was a big mug of hot chocolate. I read most of this book with a smile on my face and when I wasn't smiling I was either frowning at a nasty character or trying to ignore the tears in my eyes when the big emotional scenes happened near the end. Miracle on Regent Street is a book that just makes me happy and it's extremely hard to put down. Seriously, if this book isn't made into a movie one day I will be sorely disappointed!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
My first Ali Harris book. I really enjoyed it! I loved Evie as a character, she was great to get to know. Will def read more by Ali.
Published 1 month ago by MISS KA SEASTRON
3.0 out of 5 stars Miracle on Regent Street
A predictable and light read. A little bit dissappointing because I read Ali Harris' 'The First Last Kiss' first and I liked that book so much better. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Simone
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Charming!
Fabulous story! Evie Taylor's romantic secret mission to save an ailing department store had me spellbound from start to finish, can't believe this was Ali Harris's first novel! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tarina Kitching
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Sweetie
Sweet fun book telling how Sarah ----- no Evie finally gets the recognition that she so well deserves and saves her beloved Hardy's to boot, a magical prelude to A Vintage... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Serenity De Arth
1.0 out of 5 stars it's a miracle it was ever published
The worst book I have ever read. By far. It promised so much - an old store full of fabulous stock, Christmas, fun - hurray! Read more
Published 8 months ago by sparkle3
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Christmas book
This story is set in a classic British department store, which seems to have lost it sparkle. in it's heyday it was the top store of it's kind. Everyone loved Hardy's. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
Second book I've read from Ali Harris and really enjoy her style of writing and he characters she brings to life. Can't wait for more books
Published 12 months ago by Trudy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Not my usual book material, I got this book in starbucks through iTunes and unfortunately got rid of my iphone and ipad (apple are on the way down now :() - so bought again via... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY DIFFERENT STORYLINE
THIS WAS A VERY DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS STORYLINE TO ANY I HAVE READ BEFORE - A REALLY GOOD READ - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE EVER WORKED IN A BIG STORE!
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. V. Jeffery
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing & weird
Sadly I was really disappointed with this book. The story started off with promise, a modern day fairy tale with Joel the handsome prince but I think it lost it's way halfway... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Freda Livery
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