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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all Carole Matthews & Christmas fans......
I was very lucky to have been given a copy of this book before it's release. I spent two days in Jim & Cassie's world. I laughed, cried, felt heart broken and I did get a little upset with the main character at one point. I loved it, I absolutely loved it! I now want to go and plan a huge Christmas party!! Thank you Carole for another brilliant book! I definitely...
Published 17 months ago by Helsteel

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Unfortunately, I could not get along at all with this author's style of writing. Everything is spelled out so clearly to the reader, it feels as if we're being lectured to for 180 pages. It's a prime demonstration of why it's so important for authors to 'show not tell' - we got lots of telling about things, and almost no plot development through demonstration...
Published 11 months ago by sharon


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all Carole Matthews & Christmas fans......, 1 Aug 2013
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Hardcover)
I was very lucky to have been given a copy of this book before it's release. I spent two days in Jim & Cassie's world. I laughed, cried, felt heart broken and I did get a little upset with the main character at one point. I loved it, I absolutely loved it! I now want to go and plan a huge Christmas party!! Thank you Carole for another brilliant book! I definitely recommend you buy and read this book! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling Mrs Christmas has the capacity to become a firm festive favourite. From page one of this festive gripping novel ..., 6 Sep 2014
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Paperback)
If you are looking for a festive read - look no further. Calling Mrs Christmas has the capacity to become a firm festive favourite. From page one of this festive gripping novel you are drawn into the life of Cassie who very quickly becomes known as Cassie Christmas by Carter who demands an awful lot in a very captivating way. Cassie's love of family and that for her partner Jim is evident from the start where she begins working out a plan to get out the mess she and Jim are in financially and internally. You can't help but feel as though Cassie becomes a friend to you as you are allowed into the deepest depths of her heart and soul throughout all 482 pages. You feel her excitement, her determination, her love, her anguish and her pain as she most definitely captivates you on the romantic and emotional rollercoaster ride that is her life.

Alongside Cassie's gripping and heart-rendering journey, you also get a eye-opening insight into the life of her partner Jim who works as a prison officer. Jim has an emotionally charged job that you are gently eased into throughout the book that causes you to meet two young offenders who certainly have the capacity to warm your heart this Christmas and perhaps even alter your outlook - I know I have certainly felt stirrings of warmth, compassion and understanding for two fictional young boys who happen to be young offenders.

Carole Matthews has weaved Christmas magic full of Christmas spirit in this book that has that festive miracle of change, appreciation, compassion and love that could be likened to Charles Dicken's masterpiece that changed the Spirit of Scrooge in the splendid "A Christmas Carol"

I for one have been warmly touched by this story, so much so that it pulled me out of my own Scrooge and Grinch moments and had me on the edge of my seat eager to bring Christmas to my home - but I just had to keep reading! - I am so glad that I did because the twist in the story and the challenges the characters face had me up until all hours eager to find out what happened next, and the decisions the characters made.

I dearly hope that Carole is re-visited by Cassie at some point because I feel that her story is far from over and I for one am already praying for a Christmas Miracle - in the guise of a sequel to Calling Mrs Christmas!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***Excellent***, 25 Aug 2013
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Hardcover)
First thing is first and being a lucky lucky winner to be part of Team Matthews which resulted in me receiving this book pre-release I have been glued to it and must admit I did take my time with the last few chapters as I didn't want it to come to an end.
Cassis & Jim are easy to love, along with the two boys Kieran and Andrew, I felt I truly knew these characters whilst reading the book, due to Carole's excellent writing skills, having been to Lapland my self in 2010 I was able to easily relate to all the lovely things described in the story.
Being one of the biggest carole matthews fans around I truly can put my hand on heart and say this book did not disappoint an absolutely heart warming, lovely festive story, I can say I think I felt every emotion possible along the way, from laughing out loud to welling up. Although it is now only August I am really really excited for Christmas this year even more so than usual.
I would recommend anybody and everybody to read this book it's a real feel good story & will have you on your toes until the bery end.
Although I was sad for the story to end I am now about to start another one of Carole's books which I have in my fully signed collection of hers. Looking forward to the next release already!!
Samantha Rhodes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas spirit in a book, 13 Sep 2013
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Hardcover)
I was a lucky Carole Matthews' fan and managed to get my hands on a preview copy of this lovely book. Of course, I would have bought it anyway as I have read every single book that Carole has written!

Now, it has to be said, Christmas is NOT my favourite time of the year. For a start I am a sun worshipper and find I become extra grumpy in winter! So, it also has to be said, for that reason alone I loved Carole's previous book, A Cottage by the Sea. And whilst I am sure the Icehotel and Coldasf***land are wonderful (read the book and you will get that last reference), I would never subject myself to those temperatures. But now they have been captured so vividly in this book, I won't need to experience them firsthand!

What I love about Carole's books is that you so quickly get to know and relate to the characters, so much so that you deeply care about what happens to each of them by the end of the book. And yes, as others have said, this definitely deserves a sequel to be written.

If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, grab a copy of this book and immerse yourself, with a cup of hot chocolate and a mince pie to hand. It would also make a wonderful Christmas present for a friend or relative (and then you can borrow it back). I'm sure that you, like me, will laugh, cry, feel despair, sadness and happiness along with the characters.

There have been some downsides to reading this book; in just the last week I have retrieved my box of Christmas cards from the loft and am itching to start writing them, and I have also bought half a dozen Christmas presents. And it is only the second week of September! At this rate I may turn into a Christmas-loving person after all and it will all be Carole's fault :)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling Carole Matthews fans......., 1 Aug 2013
I was lucky enough to win this book before it was published so for the last day I have been cosily in a Christmas mood!
This is a fab, festive read that will warm you to your bones. I smiled, cried and shivered my way through it and all
I can say is...buy it and read it...you will not be disappointed.
I loved all the new characters and I think that Jim has a little bit of Caroles' Lovely Kev in him!!

Make time for magic, mince pies and Mrs Christmas.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and magical novel by the Queen of Christmas!, 6 Aug 2013
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Hardcover)
The Queen of Christmas is back with another magical and moving holiday read...

Cassie was made redundant eight months ago and she is struggling to find another job to make ends meet. She loves her partner Jim but as a prison officer he doesn't make a lot of money and stuck in their tiny flat without the money for a wedding or to even start thinking about children she's rapidly falling into a state of depression. Until one day she has the brilliant idea to combine her passion for Christmas with her exceptional organisational skills and set up a service, which for a fee helps other people with anything related to the festive season. Calling Mrs Christmas is born!

Writing Christmas cards, shopping for gifts and even planning an entire holiday, nothing is too much for Cassie. Her life is soon taken over by her new job, not in the least because of handsome and uber-rich client Carter who invites her to join him on a magical holiday to Lapland. His reasoning being that she deserves a break having organised it all, and his children need a nanny - but does he have an ulterior motive?

Simultaneously to the Cassie storyline runs that of her partner Jim and his job at the Young Offenders' Unit, which is absolutely heartbreaking to read about. Every day he's confronted with the struggles from the young lads in his care who are often from rough backgrounds and have a bleak future ahead of them that inevitably leads to a life in prison. His job is hard and thankless but despite that he's there to support Cassie with her new venture and is genuinely happy for her, even though she is suddenly so busy that there seems little time left in her day for him.

At home Jim helps Cassie with all the Christmas tasks that take up every waking hour and at work he tries to keep an eye on Rozzer and Smudge, two young lads he sees a lot of potential in but who are also very vulnerable and impressionable and because of that he worries about what will happen to them once they leave the Unit. He tries to help them as best as he can, but fears that it isn't enough and one of them will do something that will see him end up right back in the Unit, or worse.

One of my favourite books published in 2012, and hands-down my favourite seasonal read, was 'With Love at Christmas' by Carole Matthews; a genuinely laugh-out-loud funny novel which conveyed the true spirit of Christmas with a heartwarming story. So you can imagine that I was beyond excited when a few months ago I found out that the lovely Ms Matthews would be releasing another holiday book. With my expectations set very high I could've easily been disappointed but thankfully that wasn't the case. Upon opening 'Calling Mrs Christmas' I was soon drawn into the festive, magical, heartbreaking but also heartwarming story of Cassie and Jim.

Cassie's love for the holiday is incredibly contagious and reading about her enjoying the lead up to the festivities really made me want to dig out the Christmas playlist on my iPod too! This was increased by the absolutely magical descriptions of the perfect getaway to Lapland, which she organised for Carter and his children. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights and reading about the lavish luxuries, such as a personal chef and a stay at an ice hotel, at the disposal of Carter because of his wealth makes me really want to seek a rich man to take me on the same brilliant trip! Or at least make an effort to definitely, one day, visit this gorgeous place myself - wealthy husband in tow or not.

But the novel is not just a festive delight, it also touches upon some serious issues and reading about the hardships Rozzer and Smudge have had to endure in their young lives often left me feeling a lump in my throat. Their struggles are heartbreaking are reminded me of the fact that we should always, and especially in the lead up to Christmas, try to look out for those more vulnerable than ourselves. It doesn't take much effort to show kindness and trust but it can make a world of difference to someone else and give them the boost of confidence they need to not give up.

'Calling Mrs Christmas' is filled with a lot of heart and a lot of scrumptious mince pies. The characters are by no means perfect but it's their flaws that make them genuine and interesting to read about. Their choices along the way are unpredictable, making it an exciting journey for characters and readers alike. And I promise you that the story's satisfying conclusion will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling long after turning the final page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Calling Mrs Christmas - Carole Matthews, 21 Oct 2014
This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Paperback)
What a wonderful feel good book. This is one of the best Christmas stories I have read in a long time.

Cassie has always loved Christmas. Fed up with being broke and unable to find employment after being made redundant, she decides to do what she enjoys and get paid for it. As the story unfolds we understand why Christmas is so important to Cassie and the people around her. Her partner Jim is a prison officer in a Young Offender's Institution. It is not well paid and although it is a difficult job, he feels he can help make a difference to the youngsters in his charge.

Once Cassie starts getting enquiries and the requests come piling in she has to enlist the help of Jim and her sister Gaby. Amongst her customers we meet a lonely old lady and a millionaire. Cassie also provides a Santa to bring presents to both young and old.

This is a book that will tug at your heart strings. We are introduced to characters at both ends of the spectrum, those with very little and those who want for nothing. It is a thought provoking novel and a reminder that Christmas is all about giving. A highly recommended read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Paperback)
Unfortunately, I could not get along at all with this author's style of writing. Everything is spelled out so clearly to the reader, it feels as if we're being lectured to for 180 pages. It's a prime demonstration of why it's so important for authors to 'show not tell' - we got lots of telling about things, and almost no plot development through demonstration.

I know that Carole Matthews is very popular, so I am probably in a minority here, but I won't be reading any of her other books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Calling Mrs Christmas, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Calling Mrs Christmas (Paperback)
Carole Matthews is one of my favourite authors. This book however I did not like as much as her others. I really liked how Cassie wanted to make a go of her own business doing things for other people. But I did find the whole Carter story a bit far fetched. I liked Cassie's partner Jim and how he helped the lads where he worked. There was one thing that did get on my nevors which was 'Cassie Christmas'. Other wise nice read for Christmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another gem from this great author!, 19 Aug 2013
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Great book, love the characters, Carole always comes up with better and better, I don't know how she does it!
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Calling Mrs Christmas
Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews (Paperback - 24 Oct 2013)
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