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Secret Santa by [Bailey, Scarlett]
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Secret Santa Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Length: 106 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1154 KB
  • Print Length: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (6 Nov. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LO1T0EG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Oh, Scarlett Bailey, the Queen of Christmas, is back with her new short story "Secret Santa"! It's such a shame that it's only a short story, as it is about Poldore, and I can't have enough of Poldore and its residents. But, okay, no Christmas would be Christmas without a book from Scarlett, no matter if full length novel or a short story, and as "Secret Santa" has left me with a smile on my lips, then I guess I couldn't ask for more.

This time Scarlett concentrates on Sue Montaigne. Sue, that always has everything under control, this time feels that she's losing her grip: their Santa has just retired and she's looking for a new one, but it's not so easy; she's of course the one organising the nativity pageant, and it takes time; Rory has gone AWOL (again) and is not answering his phone; the roof of the castle is leaking and there is no money to repair it; a Hollywood star takes her for dinner...

Oh my, how I felt sorry for Sue! She was a shadow of her previous self and there were moments that I was really scared that she has depression. But well, why do you have friends in the form of Tamsyn, Alex, Cordelia and the whole Poldore if not to help you? Sue was a real star, she has helped all the people after the Great Flood and didn't want anything in exchange, and said nothing that she herself is in troubles. While perhaps earlier I have regarded her as a nosey, busybody, a little arrogant woman, now I have discovered her other side, and I really rooted for her, for this strong, brave, funny person and kept my fingers crossed for her.
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Sue Montaigne is a resolute woman, a bastion of the harbour town of Poldore where her family have lived for over 800 years. Her loyalty to the community is unquestionable, both as a beloved figure and one to be respected when she can become forceful and determined. Sue loves Christmas, organising and in control of the nativity and pageant including Santa. Two days before these events, Sue is faced with a worst-case scenario. Her longstanding Santa retires, her family home is in disrepair from floods and her husband has run off, again, with another woman. On top of this, she has her three children to look after. Her resolve begins to wither along with her fight and draining of her emotions.

With the help of her friends, well-characterised by the author, Sue realises how much she has selflessly given to her community without seeking reward. She secretly yearns stability and to be happy with her life. Poldore has attracted a celebrity population, one of whom becomes instrumental in this tale. Throughout the story there is a Christmassy atmosphere, with the Yuletide arrangements and excitement coming through. The narrative is full of happiness, sadness, optimism with witty dialogue, particularly from Sue's childrens' nanny, Cordelia, who colourfully relates matters as she sees them, helping Sue and her children. The audition and selection of a new, mysterious Santa breathes new life into Sue. As she relaxes and becomes comfortable, she reveals just how bright, intelligent, full of care and loving she really is. This is a wonderful short story that has Christmas at its heart but it is also about human relationships, friendship, emotions and how they develop. Warmly recommended.
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By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've made no secret of how much I've loved Scarlett Bailey's previous Poldore novels - I think I could now find my way blindfold from The Silent Man to Castle House - and this Kindle-only novella was a lovely opportunity to visit old friends again.

Sue Montaigne has always been one of my favourite characters, the powerhouse behind the annual Christmas pageant, the saviour of Poldore during the flood, the supreme organiser paddling furiously beneath the surface to keep her family life together. It was lovely to get to know her better, and to see her experiencing a little Christmas joy and romance in her life. The mysterious Nick who takes on the role of Father Christmas is a quite wonderful creation: but it was equally lovely to catch up with Alex and Ruan, Tamsyn and Jed, and there's a wonderfully chaotic Christmas lunch featuring my favourite dog Buoy and his sidekick Skipper.

I guess you don't need to have read Scarlett Bailey's other Poldore books to enjoy this one - but why wouldn't you? Scarlett Bailey is the alter ego - perhaps the badly behaved twin - of Rowan Coleman. So the writing is excellent - wonderful touches of humour, believable characters, a lovely romantic story, a really vivid sense of place, and in this lovely novella all wrapped up in a beautiful small package.This really was a perfect Christmas read - I loved every one of its 106 pages.
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It is but a few days before Poldore’s annual Christmas pageant and Sue’s usual Santa Claus has retired, parked the reindeer and hung up his present sack. Sue has to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as it does every year, not just because she is a control freak and town matriarch but also because the people of Poldore are only just getting over the devastating impact of last year’s inclement weather. On a more personal note, Sue also is trying to hold things together ever since her husband walked out on her a few days earlier. No, she needs to make this year special. She needs a Christmas miracle.


Whilst I did enjoy this short story I felt at a slight disadvantage being that I hadn’t read its predecessor. This is no fault of the authors or should in any way reflect on the short story Secret Santa; the fact that I knew that the characters had previously been written about is because of the conscientious writing of Bailey who introduced all the main players with thoughtful information from their book past. What Bailey has managed to do with this short story is intrigue me enough to want to read the rest of the books in the Poldore series.

Focusing on Secret Santa, this story gave me what the other festive texts have yet to do. It gave me that added bit of Christmas magic. There was a slight element of the unnatural, the unrecorded and whilst I have loved the books that I have read in my festive feature they have all lacked that element of magic that you can really only get away with at Christmas.

I loved how strong willed Sue was, how her determination to look after everyone took precedence over her own life. She seemed to be such a giving person.
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