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Shazjera
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It Must Have Been the Mistletoe
It Must Have Been the Mistletoe
Price: £3.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing and fun read, 11 Dec. 2014
We get to know our characters as they are leaving their homes to go to their parents (Anna and Mike) for the ‘big news.’ Thea is nursing her loss and subsequent spilt from Richard, Emily is not coping with being the main breadwinner plus mother in her own family and Jimi, well Jimi is happy with a crossword.

Thea is the first one to arrive at the rented house and is welcomed by part-owner Sean. Once an award winning world surfer, he’s the one who will be looking after the family. As the family begin to settle, Charlotte and Alec turn up and turn everything on its head.

I loved the family dynamics in this story. It just all felt so real and natural. With a mixture of characters there’s no time to be bored! and a third person narrative made it easy for me to get to know and identify with each of them. Everyone will be able to relate to and recognise characteristics of themselves, friends or family (I know I did!).

Anna and Mike haven’t lived by ‘rules’ (stereotypically the hippy lifestyle) and I thought that was interesting how it played out with Thea and Emily as adults … Thea’s ex Rich is a total bore but he offered stability while Emily worries about the worst scenario for everything.

The setting was fabulous. The rental in Cornwall surrounded by an estate, the beach down a steep incline and the local pub offered plenty of places for the tensions, shifting allegiances and fun. Getting snowed in means there is no chance of Charlotte or Alec leaving. This enforced isolation changes boundaries and much more highlighting problems but also bringing people together.

It Must Have Been The Mistletoe is an absorbing and fun read. Not only does it replicate a family Christmas perfectly but the romance is gentle and full of promise. Definitely one to add to your wishlist!

I would like to thank the publishers for accepting my request to review via Netgalley.


Mishaps and Mistletoe
Mishaps and Mistletoe
Price: £1.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming tale with strong family bonds, 8 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Novellas or short stories are not formats that I read a lot of (although I have enjoyed the ones I have read!). I usually end up wanting more and Mishaps and Mistletoe is no exception.

It’s easy to identify with Phoebe. It certainly hasn’t been a good year for her with grieving over her loss and spectacularly losing her job! Going back to her empty flat represents exactly where she is in her life when we meet her.

There is definitely magic in the air when Maria visits Santa’s grotto. Phoebe finds herself doing something that is totally out of character. The quest she goes on may well change her life completely.

I loved the scenes with Jack and his daughter Maria. The bond between them felt really solid.

Tilly Tennant has written a Christmas novella that is heart-warming. She has drawn me in with her characters so that I only wanted them to have the very best. Only at the start of their new adventure, I wonder if she has plans to share any more of their story …

Mishaps and Mistletoe is a short read at 60 pages and would make an ideal escape from the festivities – you could even buy a paperback copy as a stocking filler (for yourself or another romance reader in the family)!

I bought my copy of Mishaps and Mistletoe.


A Christmas to Remember
A Christmas to Remember
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and a heart-warming plot, 4 Dec. 2014
For Carrie, growing up in a small town with a predictable life, accepting the temporary job as a nanny for the Fletcher children in Virginia is a spontaneous decision. In her 30’s, she’s at a crisis point in her life when the Fletcher children enter her world.

Anxious, nervous, lacking confidence and thinking there are things that she needs to fix in her character, Carrie always has a self-help book on the go.

Adam is gorgeous, confident and self-assured but with little time for his children when they come to stay. Along comes Carrie who turns everything upside down …

The first time Carrie sees Adam with his children is quite heart-breaking. One of the things that I really liked about A Christmas to Remember is the way that Carrie stood up for Olivia and David. This is a woman who has very little confidence in herself but she makes waves so that Adam can learn to bond with them. I enjoyed all these scenes!

Adam’s family arriving for Christmas causes conflict with the emotional needs of sister Sharon and memories shared by grandpa Walter. Carrie doesn't quite know where her place is when they come to stay.

Carrie analyses her feelings a lot. This was fitting for her character and where she is heading. She grows from her experience with the Fletcher family to the point where she makes some life-changing decisions.

A Christmas to Remember, for me, was more about the children and family bonds rather than the romance. The romance was, of course, a welcome addition!

With a steady pace throughout the story, great characters and a heart-warming plot, this is a story to add to your Christmas wishlist to be read snuggled up (lots of snow!) when you grab some time away from the chaos of Christmas.

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
- See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog#sthash.dXQ4p82A.dpuf


Hello from the Gillespies
Hello from the Gillespies
Price: £5.77

4.0 out of 5 stars As with The Alphabet Sisters, Monica McInerney has created another realistic family to fall in love with, 1 Dec. 2014
Angela’s annual Christmas letter goes to more than 100 people worldwide on 1st December. She has kept them all since she started 33 years ago. They document her life in the outback. Finding it difficult this year, she starts typing exactly how she’s feeling. A crisis happens and the letter gets emailed out without her knowledge …

As with The Alphabet Sisters (which I loved), Monica McInerney has created a realistic family with the Gillespie’s - real with the different issues they each have, their roles within the family, their own (and others) expectations.

Twins Genevieve and Victoria each have their own relationship and job issues and are coming home for Christmas. With 10 year old Ig running away from his boarding school yet again he’s home … and daughter Lindy failing again with her career is already there.

The outback station came alive for me through the family and the descriptions. No longer rearing sheep due to the drought and economy, Angela has been taking part in the outback station stay programme to bring in extra finance. Nick has resorted to researching his family history to give him some purpose and to alleviate how he feels. There’s been a change in their close relationship which leads Angela to daydream.

The responses Angela receives from her annual letter holds more than a few surprises. One thing that ties into this is the annual gathering which this year, is held at Erregal. Angela’s best friend Joan certainly made the right suggestion!

It has been so easy to fit into this family and experience life alongside them. The characters on the periphery have all added colour to the story. I’ve been engaged throughout and looked forward to getting back to reading each time I had to put the story down.

The author highlights a few important things; how people may be embarrassed about depression and not able to share with those closest to them; just how important communication is! and no matter the differences in a family, love is unconditional.

I would like to thank the publishers for pre-approval via Netgalley.
- See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog/jeras-jamboree-review-hello-from-the-gillespies-by-monica-mcinerney#sthash.9b9CiLJ2.dpuf


Mistletoe Mansion
Mistletoe Mansion
Price: £2.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever plot and an entertaining read, 26 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Mistletoe Mansion (Kindle Edition)
After being introduced to Kimmy and Adam when Adam comes out of their bedroom, it was glaringly obvious their dreams and aspirations were never going to match. Getting to know a little of Kimmy’s past, we understand why she would be attracted to the stability of everything Adam represents and the dilemma she faces about their relationship as the story progresses.

Blagging to the estate agent gets Kimmy and friend Jess the house sitting job. From the moment Luke answers the door I felt like he was protecting something with his rudeness and arrogance. I loved the banter between him and Kimmy.

When the storm hits I got an inkling that Mistletoe Mansion was going to be a bit different than I expected. I knew I would enjoy the celebrity and friendship of Melissa and who could resist a story featuring a cupcake business? but some of the scenes in the house gave me goosebumps and I really loved this aspect to the story.

Kimmy starts off with some rather amusing headlines in her mind and she is very naïve as far as the celebrity life is concerned. Loved seeing the change in her character. Would she play it safe with Adam or have the confidence to reach for her dream?

Mistletoe Mansion is a fun Christmas read (there is a Christmas fair and cake competition) with paranormal investigators, decisions to be made for more than just Kimmy, the celeb lifestyle and of course the romance. A very clever plot that has provided much entertainment.

I would like to thank the author for pre-approval via Netgalley.
- See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog/jeras-jamboree-review-hello-from-the-gillespies-by-monica-mcinerney#sthash.KGfKSxT4.dpuf


Married by Midnight: A Christmas Story
Married by Midnight: A Christmas Story
Price: £1.03

4.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming tale that will lift your heart, 21 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I always enjoy Talli Roland’s Christmas novellas and this year is no exception.

Talli’s writing style makes it easy to get involved with the story. Her characters are always believable and true to life and it was so easy to identify with Kate.

Using social media and more traditional routes in trying to find the owner of the 1930’s dress, there’s also a sprinkle of magic thrown into the mix :) It really felt as if I was in the church, feeling one of our characters emotions alongside her.

From the beginning with Kate and her mum deciding this is the most auspicious day to shop for her wedding dress, to Kate’s decision and Christmas Eve, Talli has written a heart-warming tale that brings the past into the present and will lift your heart.

My only complaint is that it was over too soon! I was disappointed to come to the end. - See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog/jeras-jamboree-review-plus-giveaway-married-by-midnight-by-talli-roland#sthash.Lsxj3UCb.dpuf


The Christmas Party
The Christmas Party
by Carole Matthews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one Christmas novel ... make it this one!, 19 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Christmas Party (Paperback)
On the day of the Christmas party (the day before Christmas Eve) we get to know a little bit about our character’s lives: Louise and daughter Mia, Karen (the office oracle), Josh Wallace (deputy to Sales Director), Tyler (Sales Director) and wife Kirsten, Lance (Chairman) and wife Melissa. We get to meet another key character at the party too. His arrival is a surprise for more than one person …

I always enjoy Carole’s characters – she really knows how to hook her reader’s emotions and is so perceptive of what goes on underneath that façade. The perceptions of the characters of different ages in The Christmas Party are perfect (ie a younger character’s distaste of an older man but an older woman’s yearning for the same man). One of the characters trying to justify his actions to himself are something that we all do at times.

Fictional Wadestone Manor comes alive with Carole’s descriptions and is of course, the perfect place for Fossil Oil’s party. The nooks and crannies and especially the library is a place for things to happen (one scene in particular I’m still laughing at now) :)

Alongside the romance and the corporate politics, the tangled web of secrets start unravelling giving plenty of conflict and soul searching. Carole’s inimitable humour shows through for one character whose time at the party doesn’t go well from beginning to end (you may have seen a tweet or FB status while I was reading).

The Christmas Party is my favourite of all Carole’s novels. I was reading way past midnight (on a school night too!) and with so many undercurrents I always seemed to leave the story at a point where the next day, I would be anxious to get home to pick up the story and find out what happened/would happen next.

If you only read one Christmas themed book then make it this one! - See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog#sthash.kWblPEN0.dpuf

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a paperback in exchange for an honest review.


Follow Me Follow You
Follow Me Follow You
by Laura E. James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for all romance readers!, 19 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Follow Me Follow You (Paperback)
Opening with a scene at breakfast with Victoria and son Seth, it’s clear just how stormy their relationship is. Relating emotionally doesn’t come easy for Victoria, she’s much more comfortable behind the computer screen – she’s always been seen as the logical one in the family. Not being the primary carer when Seth was born has also had a negative effect on their relationship.

Making the decision to take a sabbatical to try to work things out with Seth, they end up travelling to her dad’s in Weymouth.

Broken hero Chris has brought his son Rick back to the UK in the hope of healing his son’s silence. Friend Tommy also accompanies them. Dorset starts working its magic for Rick on their first night at Hope Cove Castle :)

As the story unfolds, I became involved in uncovering lies to the truth underneath and cheering when our characters come to realisations and grow in confidence.

Tommy is the character who made my skin crawl and I mean literally. Loved the way Victoria handled him.

The families were fabulous. Loved watching Ryan and Seth together, the acceptance and just getting on with it. I identified with Olivia (Victoria’s dad’s girlfriend) and loved the effect she has on Victoria. I wonder if her tips for Victoria are something that Laura James has used herself …

I enjoyed so many different things in Follow You Follow Me. The romance is sizzling (Chris is so gentle and thoughtful and of course I’m a sucker for a wounded hero); the conflict had me wanting to fight alongside our characters; I was rooting for teen Rick trying to find his way back. But most of all, Victoria and Seth. I found the ending very emotional and ended those final few lines in tears.

I have to mention Ewespeak – loved the way each chapter starts with a bleat which is relevant. I thought the whole thing was very creative and also credible!

Recommended not only for all romance readers but also those who like to see changes and growth in families. - See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog#sthash.kWblPEN0.dpuf


Fairy Tale in New York
Fairy Tale in New York
Price: £1.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Sparkle and meaning, 19 Nov. 2014
This was a fabulous novella to start my Christmas reads this year.

It was great to have a window into Jude and Carrie’s future after meeting them in Spirits of Christmas : A Rock’n’Roll Christmas Carol last year.

Jude’s sacrifice sets them on a path of giving and receiving. A chance encounter on those snowy streets leads to unexpected opportunities!

I enjoyed Jude playing his part for the children … and a special moment snowballs (couldn’t resist the pun!) from a spontaneous act.

There’s plenty of sparkle in Ray’s parish church with the carol service on Christmas Eve and what a service on Christmas Day…

Wells has created an authentic Italian family. I loved being a part of this too.

Beginning with Jude, Carrie and baby Maya in the queue at JFK airport (after touring the US for three weeks) until their return to London on Boxing Day, it feels like I have been wrapped in the sparkle and true meaning behind this time of year.

I hope Wells has plans to include these characters in future writing projects …

Fairy Tale in New York wouldn’t be out of place on our TV screens! - See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog#sthash.kWblPEN0.dpuf

I would like to thank the author for providing an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.


The Stolen Girl
The Stolen Girl
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant read - obsession, possession and love, 19 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Stolen Girl (Kindle Edition)
I have to be honest and say that I didn't identify with Diya in Part One. However, as soon as I reached Part Two, I became totally engaged.

Vani and Aarti’s childhood is vivid. It was easy to become drawn into the culture and hierarchy. Both characters came alive for me in India as children and young women. All of my senses came into play through the authors writing style. Their past fascinated me and I felt compelled to turn those pages.

I felt heartbroken for the childhood Aarti and the impact on the woman she was to become. Vani’s visit to the village was poignant, heightening her feelings of not belonging and having no roots. I felt her loss and mourned alongside her.

I liked Vani’s narrative in letter format. Aarti’s narrative beginning with her food diary shows from the very beginning just how important food is in her life.

The author depicts perfectly how school life changes for Diya once she gains notoriety . I could just imagine how this would be and what it would mean for Diya’s life while she was waiting to find out where her future lay. I also enjoyed watching Diya thaw towards those who were trying to help and support her.

I loved how the author left us wanting to know more at the end of each ‘part’ of the story and left me in suspense. I also loved how the author uses colour to symbolise emotions and feelings.

The Stolen Girl shows the devastating effect a lack of positive attachment has in childhood and throughout life. It is a poignant story about obsession, possession and love but also forgiveness and moving forward.

I would like to thank the publisher for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. - See more at: http://jerasjamboree.weebly.com/blog#sthash.kWblPEN0.dpuf


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