Top positive review
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Come Home To This!
on 6 October 2013
I have just finished my first Christmas book of 2013 in the middle of September (I know) and it was AWESOME. I actually said on Twitter that, really, there's no perfect time to read Christmas books when you live on an island that has permanent sunshine 99% of the time, and because I had set up an interview with Jenny Hale, I decided September was as good a time as any to read her debut novel Coming Home For Christmas, and I am so glad I did because it was such a wonderful, enjoyable novel. I finished it in a day, and it's been a while since I've been this caught up in a book but I loved every page and I was desperately rooting for Allie to get herself a happy ever after and I knew exactly who I wanted her to get her happy ending with!
Coming Home For Christmas introduces us to Allie, who after losing her job, returns to her mother's house in Virginia and finds herself having to start all over again. Enter her sister, Megan, a real-estate mogul who has the perfect job for her sister; becoming the in-house manager of Ashford house, which belongs to the wealthy Marley family. The house is to be sold, but until it is, Robert Marley needs someone to look after everyone in the house and Megan thinks Allie is the perfect choice. Allie takes the job and finds herself more than embroiled in the life of the Marley family, and as she gets to know the Marley family better, it may be that Allie could be the family saviour when it comes to the stubborn Marley's...
I fell in love with Coming Home For Christmas as soon as I was introduced to both Allie and the Marley family. It's very rare that I find myself loving an entire family, but the Marley's were just awesome. Not your typical rich family, they weren't particularly snobby or anything, they didn't just see Allie as the `help' and I just immediately wanted to become a part of their family! I wanted to live in Ashford, in the beautiful sounding house, with wings! WINGS! Can you imagine living in a house that has wings? It'd be like living in the White House! I could barely put the novel down because all of the Marley's had such wonderful personalities and they clicked with Allie in such different ways that I had to continue reading. Allie herself was awesome. I loved her. Easily one of my favourite female characters. Her rapport with the entire family was so good that I half expected for her to be some distant relative! Where to start with the Marley's, though? Robert, I suppose. Head of the house, a bit stubborn, doesn't really like words, without even realising it, he took my heart! Much like he took Allie's. Despite their employer/employee relationship I felt it was something more right from the off and I loved it. I loved how Allie brought out the best in Robert, it says a lot that I was totally all for Robert despite all the horrible things he was doing! He rather took my breath away.
The rest of the Marley's were no slouches either. I liked Kip's innate funness and enthusiasm. The way he just went for it with Allie and to heck with the consequences. I loved how he and Allie flipped for whether they'd date or not, it was so cute. And Pippa! Oh, Pippa! The matriarch of the house, I could imagine her zipping around on her scooter all day long. Even Sloane, who wasn't featured as much was a wonderful character. In particular I adored her two kids. I really just loved this book so much. It's set in Virginia and it made me want to visit, it's so rare to find a book set in the USA that's not New York or Boston or LA. It was so well written, Jenny Hale is such a fabulous writer with such an eye for characters you'll fall in love with. I certainly fell in love with Robert. I can't wait for Jenny's second book, this was just super amazing and it kept me reading all day with barely a pause. Read it, it's the perfect Christmas story, heck it's perfect for any time of year. Coming Home For Christmas, remember that title and buy it now, you will not regret it!