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4.5 out of 5 stars
Married by Christmas
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 December 2012
As I have already said, I had problems with this book at the beginning. Anna was not my type at all and although I understood why she is so control - freak, it just played on my nerves. There was too many talking, long, long sentences, so clever in its way that I just couldn't get through all the words and got to the point, I mean - plot.
Actually, the first half of the book was a little like this, but then it turned for the best. The unexpected trip to NY, all the adventures there and Anna getting things in a little easier way, it all made me like the book, like Anna actually in the end. Her foster sister/best friend Liv was the warmest character ever, and so patient, putting herself always on the last place but finally getting a life herself. Miles was not my typa at the beginning, but he was actually a brilliant character and a very good guy. I have expected Charisma to be a real witch but she was a nice person. The only person that I didn't like was Tom, oh my god, such a wimp, he was not behaving like a man but like a baby - boy.
Anyway, I really liked this book, even with all its writing - errors which made the reading not so easy (if instead of "of", "sue" instead of "sure" and the likes) - which is not, of course, the mistake of the author. And actually, I think the book wants to tell us that we should live and let live, and shows us that we can fight with the shadpws from the past as well.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Anna has wanted a Christmas Eve wedding ever since she was a little girl, and is thrilled to be marrying Tom and getting the wedding of her dreams at long last. Best friend Liv is helping her to prepare the wedding, and with Anna being the queen of lists and organisation, everything is dead on schedule and seemingly going to plan. However, when a few weeks before the wedding Tom drops a huge bombshell that throws the whole wedding into jeopardy, Anna goes into overdrive and decides she has to make things work, whatever it takes. Anna finds herself hopping on a plane to get across the other side of world to make everything right again, but doesn't plan on reuniting with an old acquaintance..

Straight away, I fell in love with the character of Anna. She's a damaged woman, destroyed by the action's of her mother in her early life, despite a then solid upbringing with best friend Liv and her family, who have treated her like their own since day one. I love her organisation and how committed she is to making the wedding run smoothly, and it makes it all the worse for her when things go wrong. While the synopsis tells us that Tom already has a wife, it doesn't tell us what happens after that, and it's certainly an adventure! Anna finds herself on a plane and halfway across the world, and I love things set in New York so this book was a joy for me to read, especially as it's near Christmas and it's somewhere I've been myself at that magical time of year. Tom was a character I just couldn't warm to - he seemed a bit too good to be true really and I wanted Anna to see through him a little bit before her big day!

I loved Bailey's writing of this book and find her narrative very easy to get into and enjoy reading. She writes in the third person which allows the book to flit between the main story, which is Anna in New York, and then Liv and Tom back in the UK, keeping going with the wedding plans. Although I could sense how the book was going to end up after a short while, I didn't mind because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to these characters and when, because I wasn't sure when things would start really happening for them all, especially Anna and Tom! Bailey writes about New York really well, you can picture it clearly in your mind, especially the luxurious suite in a posh hotel... lovely! I liked the message of this story too - that your past doesn't have to affect your future, and that genetics don't necessarily mean you are going to follow in past footsteps. Anna's constant fear of becoming her mother was very sad, but quite true I'm sure, and it certainly makes you grateful for having a far more stable upbringing.

My only little quibble in this book is that it wasn't as festive as I was hoping for it to be! Yes, it's set near Christmas and it's set in New York, but I would have liked a little more of the festiveness in my festive read, I'm a bit terrible like that! However, it's a wonderfully written and very enjoyable book that I devoured in a couple of days and always looked forward to picking up whenever I could! The cast of characters is fantastic, and I particularly loved Anna and Miles, they were so likeable, and I was really rooting for Miles to make his musical dream come true throughout the book! It's a lovely read that you'll want to put on your shelf and come back to year after year at the festive time of year, and Scarlett Bailey is quickly cementing herself as one of my new favourite authors! I loved Married by Christmas, it's certainly one to be reading this Christmas!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2012
Ever since she was a child Anna has pictured her perfect wedding day... getting married on Christmas Eve to her Prince Charming in a fabulous designer dress and now it finally looks like her dreams are about to become a reality.

Since boyfriend Tom proposed last Christmas Anna has been caught up with the planning to make sure that everything falls into place, she's found the perfect location, she's appointed a designer to make her the perfect dress and she's even managed to find a reindeer-driven sleigh to take her there, so now it's just a countdown until the big day.

But soon a discovery that Tom may actually still be married to a showgirl, that he'd married in a drunken encounter years ago, could threaten all of Anna's plans. So she decides to hop on a plane to New York to try and find her! What follows is a hilarious tale of what happens when you fly half-way across the world on a wild-goose hunt.

Anna was such an interesting character, on the outside she would appear to be a bit of a controlling diva, but as the story progresses it's soon obvious that she's been deeply affected by events of her childhood which helps explain why she's so determined to have her happy ever after ending and will stop at nothing to make it happen. I also really liked her best friend Liv, who put Anna's happiness ahead of her own, and just wish that we'd gotten to see a little more of her than we did in the book.

If I had one criticism about the book, I guess it would have to be that despite it being set at Christmastime it wasn't really festive enough for me but as it's more about the wedding than Christmas I can forgive this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2012
An excellent read full of warmth, heartbreak, love and . . . lists! Scarlett Bailey has provided her fans with yet another book that is so delicious it is practically edible, along with a perfect way to escape the stresses of Christmas.

Although the book has four main characters, Anna dominates the page time with her amusing panics and distaste for anything, or anyone, below par. She is a joy to read, with the reader getting the opportunity to peel back her layers to see what's really under all that organization. Liv is consistently hilarious throughout the book, in a downtrodden kind of way, and a particular scene with her gay brother actually caused a few actual laugh-out-loud moments. Tom, the groom-to-be, is OK but the story doesn't linger on him long enough to really explore his character, but to be honest there's no real need to. Whereas Miles is totally different . . . he's . . . he's just divide - and that's all we're prepared to say! An essential Christmas read, grab it now.

Review by Charlotte Foreman on behalf of BestchickLit.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2012
"And besides, haven't you learned by now you can't always be prepared for what life throws at you?" This little moment of wisdom from one of the characters in `Married by Christmas' sums up the essence of Scarlett Bailey's latest offering, featuring neurotic but lovable Anna, her `decent guy' fiancée tom, best friend Liv and wildcard musician Miles. Any novel which features the term `ample bosom' within the first fifty pages is going to be a sure-fire hit with me! And I really enjoyed my journey through the pages of `Married by Christmas' which was so beautifully signed by the lovely Scarlett Bailey. It's a wonderful storyline for a festive novel, heart-warming and yet with enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes at every point. The ending isn't at all predictable, and any reader will be able to loose themselves in the trials and tribulations that Anna encounters along her journey to the altar.

One of the main reasons I think that I enjoyed the book quite as much as I did, was because I completely saw myself in main character Anna. Although she is highly neurotic and incredibly high-maintenance (not unlike myself), she's still a really likeable character, and all that she wants is the best out of life for her, and for those around her. Her friend Liv is equally selfless, and I found her really easy to like too. She has her own struggles that she has to deal with over the course of the novel, and I found myself empathising with her as well as with Anna. I wasn't as keen on Anna's fiancé Tom, controversial I know, especially as his character takes on the role of decent guy, dependable, worth fighting for, "Tom was a very decent man on a world where men like him were very hard to come by." Despite the fact that, yes, nice guys are hard to come buy, I found myself rooting more for Miles. A musician Anna bumps into in her bid to save her dream wedding, and who turns out to be a pretty decent guy too, looking out for her and helping her to see that, yes, lists and plans are all well and good but life is also there to be lived, and enjoyed. I could quite fancy a Miles of my own!

As usual, this author fully develops her characters and so they are really easy to read, understand, and relate to, and this is one of the really great things about the novel, along with the wonderfully fulfilling storyline, but the setting, is as much of a star as these other two aspects! Whilst the story may begin in the UK, Anna's journey takes her to New York. The streets of Manhattan are described beautifully and every diner, every bar, every store that Anna enters, the reader will feel like they are entering with her. A Christmas novel with a New York setting, what more could one ask for? Whether you are already a Scarlett Bailey/Rowan Coleman fan, I feel sure that you will enjoy this novel. You don't have to have read anything else by this author, the novel stands up for itself as a one off festive read, perfect escapism from the run up to Christmas full of joy, magic and romance!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2012
Anna and Tom are due to get married within weeks in Anna's dream Christmas Eve wedding. Anna is obsessive about every detail of this wedding making the reader wonder if it is more about the wedding rather than the marriage.

We get to find out why Anna is as obsessive and controlling as she is when we delve into her background.
Tom is ready to accept Anna, warts and all only there is the little matter in the fact that Tom is still married to another woman and forgot to tell Anna, until now.

Anna being so hell bent on her Christmas Eve wedding takes evasive action and jumps on a flight to New York to track down the 1st Mrs Collins in an attempt to get an annulment of their marriage. Where is Tom? Still at home and confiding in Anna's best friend, Liv. Liv has something she needs to share with Tom and Anna, too.

Meanwhile, Anna, has picked up a travelling companion in the shape of Miles, and lands in New York looking for a needle in a haystack, or a stripper in a nightclub to be exact. Miles is not just any travelling companion but one that Anna has met before.

This story has all the elements of a festive movie, with some over the top scenes, reminiscent of those festive movies and I could see Jennifer Anniston (with an English accent) playing the part of Anna on the big screen.

There are some very funny and sharp one liners from Scarlett Bailey. Have we got to wait until next year for another festive frolic from Scarlett? I hope not!

A fun rom-com that is right up to date and just perfect for the festive season.

8/10 for me!

Rom-com, love triangle, wedding, Christmas, New York

Thank you to Ebury for sending me a review copy. This did not influence my review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I loved everything about it and still thought about Anna (stupid, I know!) for days after finishing it. I liked the plot as it was different and quite adventurous. I didn't take to Anna to begin with but it was hard not to like her as the story went on. I liked the characters, especially Miles, but Tom I couldn't really weigh up. I found this book brought out a lot of emotions in me - both good and bad. It had me laughing out loud quite a lot too (in particular Liv and Simon's mum) which I love in a book. It starts off with Anna and Tom being an item and Anna wanting her Christmas wedding which she had meticulously planned and had had her heart set on since she was a child. Anna's behaviour makes sense as the story progresses. I loved how loyal Anna's best friend Liv was towards her and even though she was going through her own mental torture. One day Anna leaves for America as she needs to do something before she gets married and whilst on the plane she happens to be seated by someone who she has met before. This is where the adventure starts for Anna! I highly recommend this book :-) xx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2012
I loved this book.

Anna likes to make lists about lists, she needs to be able to control everything in her life but when a secret is revealed all lists are thrown out the window. Anna goes on a journey of self discovery in New York (what better place at Christmas) with an unlikely helper.

Most little girls dream of their perfect wedding, the amazing dress, the Disney story...but should you settle on the groom to get the wedding of your dreams or go after your very own Prince Charming.

This book will make you laugh and cry, you will be taken on the journey with Anna amd it is wonderful. I loved this book so much. Scarlett Bailey is a fantastic writer who draws the reader into the book. Thank you Scarlett.
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on 17 March 2014
Anna Carter feels on top of the world when boyfriend, Tom Collins, asks her to marry him. Ever since Anna was a child she had always wanted a Christmas Eve wedding and in a matter of months her dream will come true. Anna's friend Liv, start to make wedding preparations while Anna being her usual highly-organised self gets down to business and writes endless 'to-do' lists.

With just a few weeks to go before the grand and lavish Christmas themed wedding, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing of course, until when out of nowhere Tom tells Anna he has a wife that he’s forgotten about.

It took me a while to get into Anna's character as I thought she obsessed about being way too organised and wished she would calm a little. But further into story she does and her reasons for being obsessive were finally revealed in a way that you couldn't help but feel for her.

I enjoyed the flow of the story - going back and forth from New York to England; and to have a peek at how Liv and Tom handled the wedding preparations. The ending of this wonderful tale I couldn’t have asked for more and no way could I have predicted the dramatic events that brought the book to a close. I was at the edge of my seat, I even heard the soundtrack in my ears. Oh yes, this would make a great film too.

Married by Christmas is one of the best romantic comedies I have read with beautiful descriptions of New York City, feisty New Yorkers, secrets and love.

Scarlett Bailey is definitely one to look out for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I don't read may books, but as it was nearly Christmas, and I had a long plane trip to deal with, I thought this would be a good bet. And it was. I couldn't predict the ending like you can with most romance books and I really enjoyed the twists in the plot! It's a good read at any time of year! Highly recommend!
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