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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous looking book which is as good on the inside as it is on the cover!
A gorgeous book inside and out. Within a few pages I'd fallen in love with the first character, Buoy the dog. I loved the setting of the story, it was very well described and you could imagine walking along the seafront. All the characters were written with warmth and humour. A great book to leave you with a warm, happy feeling. Thoroughly recommend.
Published 13 months ago by Crafty Cat

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Not great but ok. I felt a bit old for it really being 40 and think it's more chick lit for the early 20s reader
Published 8 months ago by Annie


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous looking book which is as good on the inside as it is on the cover!, 16 Nov 2013
A gorgeous book inside and out. Within a few pages I'd fallen in love with the first character, Buoy the dog. I loved the setting of the story, it was very well described and you could imagine walking along the seafront. All the characters were written with warmth and humour. A great book to leave you with a warm, happy feeling. Thoroughly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frothy but engaging seasonal romance, 29 Nov 2013
By 
Northern Mummy "nel_k" (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
Like some of the other reviewers, I adore a book or a film set at Christmas and I've enjoyed Scarlett Bailey's other books (all set at Christmas time), so I was already looking forward to reading this when I won a copy in a competition. The cover is lovely and very appealing for a cosy read when it's miserable & cold outside.
As for the story, I loved it and was charmed by it. I always hesitate to use the word "predictable" for a book of this type, because it sounds negative, when actually, predictability (in terms of the overall story arc) is what I'm looking for when I pick up a romance - I want to be assured of the direction and the slightly fairy-tale ending, whilst being surprised at the twists and turns along the way, and that's exactly what "Just for Christmas" delivers. I found the characters varied and likeable (apart from the ones we obviously weren't supposed to like!) although I was slightly confused about David from the Port Authority who popped up once, seemed significant in asking another character on a date, but then never came back, as far as I could tell.

However, the flow of the story kept me so engaged that I read it all in one day. The way something new kept on happening, almost out of the blue, reminded me very much of the first Scarlett Bailey story I read, "Santa, Maybe", which was published in episodes online. Probably because of that those two together are my favourites so far. I'm looking forward to more Scarlett Bailey novels!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice easy read, 3 Jan 2014
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I am not normally one to read romantic novels. But wanted a Christmas story to read at Christmas time. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It wasn't over the top romantic and was comical in parts too. it was just right. Would recommend this book this book to anyone who wants an easy read. Really liked it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Christmas reading, 11 Nov 2013
By 
Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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I'll own up - I'm an absolute pushover for books set at Christmas, and look forward immensely to that time when the sparkly covers appear on the supermarket shelves (and the cover of this one is absolutely beautiful...). I also have to own up that Scarlett Bailey's alter ego is one of my favourite authors - one of her books featured in my top ten of last year, and I'm looking forward immensely to her new one. These Scarlett Bailey Christmas outings are a little lighter - in previous years we've seen The Night Before Christmas and Married By Christmas as well as the digital novella Santa Maybe - but they show the same wonderful story telling skills, the large cast of real-life characters, the female lead who becomes your best friend as you struggle along with her, and a lovely warm feeling that's absolutely perfect for Christmas reading.

Alex has had a best friend called Marcus since childhood - he calls her Al and "mate", and they get into all kinds of scrapes together. At the point she realises that she wants him to be rather more than her friend, he doesn't take her seriously and decides to propose to the glamorous Milly. She then finds that her father - who brought her up after her mother walked out when she was very young - has some secrets that entirely change their relationship. So she decides to move from Grangemouth to Cornwall, to the lovely town of Poldore, to take up her post as harbourmaster. Alex is used to working in a man's world, a little shy but highly professional in her work, and she begins to build her new life.

She takes up the tenancy of a small cottage which comes with a boat to ferry herself across to the harbour, and a sitting tenant in the form of a smelly and unfriendly dog called Buoy, who she has to learn to live with. The hub of the community is the pub The Silent Man - she strikes up a friendship with barmaid Lucy, who turns out to have secrets of her own, and immediately clashes with Ruan who runs small boat tours out of the harbour. She gets drawn into the community with a role in the Christmas pageant, organised by the larger-than-life Sue, and the preparations for it drive the story forward. At the same time, Alex's life gets a great deal more complicated when her former life impacts on her present.

I adore stories with a real sense of place and community, and there are some big characters here that absolutely enthrall. Ruan is suitably gorgeous, with a sad background that you ache to be healed. Alex is a wonderful strong character, and you yearn for her to make the right decisions and bring happiness into her life - but there are many twists, turns and misunderstandings along the way. And running through it all - or walking in through one door and out of the other, before taking over the bed - is the wonderful character of Buoy, one of the most real dogs I've come across in fiction in some time.

This was a simply wonderful book - just Christmassy enough without ever being cloying, filled with fantastic characters, a vividly drawn setting and with a story that keeps you turning the pages in your hope for a happy ending. I loved it - and if you love Christmas and a really feel-good story (and eccentric dogs), so will you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and romantic, 1 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
It was just what I wanted and more. It had me giggling at some points and racing through the pages, eager to know what happened, yet not wanting it to finish. I loved Alex and her dysfunctional family and every character in the book was somehow special and I formed a link with all of them. I kept wishing I could go to Poldore and meet all the people there, especially Ruan, who was an incredibly sexy, attentive, moody and caring hero. Most of all, it got me in the mood for Christmas and meant I spent a wonderful weekend out of the cold, experiencing the ups and downs of the hero and heroine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
Stayed up till late finishing this. As ever Scarlett creates great characters & an enjoyable read, which is what I want after a hectic day. My favourite character though is the dog, a real scene stealer. I can't say anymore or I'll give the story away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Christmas read !, 18 Dec 2014
By 
F Keegan (N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having made a fool of herself at home Alex up sticks and takes on the Harbour Master's role in Poldore, Cornwall managing to raise a few eyes in the process.....a woman, doing a traditionally male role? Escaping her " mistakes" Alex soon learns she will have to share her life with Buoy the smelliest dog on the planet. Soon she is welcomed with open arms by the villagers, Eddie ,the publican and his daughter Lucy. Sue, who likes to think Poldore is hers ( after all her family have lived their for generations in the castle)and Ruan the man who blames Alex for almost drowning on her first day in the village. Mayhem ensues when Sue decides Alex must be part of the traditional Christmas pageant and who better to play the Virgin Mary ! Ruan playing the part of Joseph sparks Alex's interest but he has had his heart broken in the past and has built barriers. When Alex's past comes to Poldore to haunt her all spirals out of control.
I just loved this book, engaging, warm, funny and at times sad. The characters were well explored and the story flowed beautifully, and as a dog lover I fell in love a little with Buoy despite being a terror. Having also read The Night Before Christmas , I knew this would be the perfect Christmas read and it did not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 24 Jan 2014
This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
I think this book is one the best written by Scarlett Bailey. I jave already read her previous Christmas novels" Married by Christmas" and " the night before Christmas" but surely "Just for Christmas" is a very enjoyable read. The setting may be typically Christmas but the main characters Alex and Ruan are what I love most about this book. I love their relationship together and the fact they are two people on the process of "healing" themselves. I can see a lot of myself in Alex. Last but not the least the book also has some funny moments especially when the smelly dog is around.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book - not just for the holidays (although perfect for Christmastime), 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
I just loved this book. And I definitely don't hold with simpering, useless female characters, so I certainly didn't read the main character, Alex, that way at all. Sure, she had quite a few insecurities, but who doesn't? She's written as a woman who is very comfortable with her professional life (she's the new harbormaster) but who has had her personal life turned upside down. She lands in a tiny Cornish sea village and is soon intertwined with the local assortment of characters. But the way to long-term happiness is not easy, her past (all of it) catches up with her and she almost loses her future (and her dog!)

I read this book in less than 2 days, it was one of those that I hated to put down at night and that I picked up first thing in the morning. (Thank goodness for a holiday weekend here in the US!) Although I'd recommend this book any time of year, it proved to be a great kickoff to the holiday season for me.

I do have to comment that that there's one nasty review here - clearly the reviewer didn't give the entire book a chance. Or they did, and just didn't like the book. That's OK - but really it's not the end of the world and you don't have to be so nasty. I did not find Alex, the main female character, to be annoying or helpless or useless and I'd encourage other readers to give this book a chance. And no, I don't know Scarlet Bailey, so please no accusations along those lines!

Read this book and Merry Christmas!
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE LOVE LOVE, 1 Dec 2014
This review is from: Just For Christmas (Paperback)
When I saw the book for the first time I was instantly drawn to it’s cover, it’s so beautiful =) Then I read the blurb and knew: I have to read this book.

It's a wonderful novel about Alex, who just went to the other end of England to escape from everything at home. With a broken heart and the lost of trust she starts her new life.
She meets Ruan and as a reader I instantly felt their connection. It actually took them much longer to realise it. They both also had other things to deal with, issues from their past, which always came in between.

I couldn’t put the book down, the writing is amazing and emotional.

I loved Alex as the main character and could really connect with her. The book is open for controversial topcis, which I think is great.
Definitely worth reading!!! Can’t wait to read more of Scarlett Bailey.

I have to say I’m not a big fan of dogs (trauma since childhood) and Alex didn’t like dogs either. Well, yes I used the past on purpose. It was great to see how she got closer to Buoy.

This book is the most perfect and an amazing Christmas story and it instantly gets you into the Christmassy spirit. Alex is a wonderful heroine and the way she is handling her situation is inspiring.
The story is full of drama, emotions and everything about it is so authentic.
Never felt closer to characters in a book.
Ruan is a typical man on one side, but once you get closer and get to know him, he’s just everything a girl wishes for.

Oh and I love the choices of names (Ruan and Buoy), it’s not just normal names, which I think is really great.

Go buy the book now, it’s definitely more than worth it. I can’t even find enough words to describe how great it is. <3 <3 <3
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Just For Christmas
Just For Christmas by Scarlett Bailey (Paperback - 7 Nov 2013)
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