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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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I have to say the cover does give a festive feel and the title of the book couldn't have been more perfect. One thing I have noticed with many Christmas books is just because they have a festive cover doesn't always mean the story has the same festive feel to it but I am happy to say that this was not the case with this book.

The story is set over the week of Christmas and Scarlett Bailey sets the scene for us with a group of friends celebrating Christmas together in a remote setting and being snowed in already giving us that cosy feeling. This is a traditional realistic Christmas feel to this book rather than the magical Christmas feeling.

There is a real mix of characters in The Night Before Christmas and I have to say it must be the first book I have read where I have liked each and every one of them. Sure they all have their bad moments where we can hear the pantomime boo in the background but because all of the characters are developed so well we just have the attitude that well everyone makes mistakes and HEY its Christmas so we can forgive and forget!
Lydia who is our main character is very down to earth giving that girl next door feel and although she seems to have men dropping at her feet we still feel sorry for her situation. The mix of male characters is very generous in this book so ladies there is a man for each of us hidden in this book. For me this has everything a book needs for a full 5 star rating.

The pace of this book flows nicely with the storyline getting off to a fast pace. For me The Night Before Christmas is a real contender in our Competition despite this being Scarlett Bailey's debut book. For any men reading this review you are on to a winner if you wrap this up for your partner this Christmas!
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I am a huge fan of Christmas novels, I love the cheesiness of them, the stories, the settings, they're fab. In fact, Christmas novels are some of the only ones I keep on my bookshelves as I like to come back to them again and again. It's even better when you get a debut author as you don't know what you're going to get, and when I received a copy of Scarlett Bailey's debut book As I said, I was really pleased when it arrived on my doorstep, and despite the fact Christmas is still a few months away, I couldn't resist getting stuck in! It was a fantastic read, and if Bailey's book continue in this vein, then it is going to be a successful writing career because I for one loved it!

The best thing about this book is the fact that it is a Christmas book that is actually set at Christmas. I've read quite a few books in the past with Christmas covers and titles that are slightly mis-leading in that they aren't actually all that festive once you start reading, going back to the summer or being set over a whole year so just the beginning and/or end are the Christmassy part. But this one is set over the few days before Christmas, in a beautiful old country house with some great characters and it really was a joy to read - one I am sure I'll reread over the real festive season actually. Bailey hasn't gone too overboard with the Christmas feeling, but there is just enough description in there to make you know its a Christmassy book, and to give you a bit of a warm glow when you're reading!

The main character is Lydia, who seems to be happily in a relationship with her boyfriend. I really liked Lydia, she was a woman who was quite afraid of commitment despite having a loving boyfriend, but I really liked her anyway. Some of the things she does in the book are a little bit questionable and I wondered exactly what she thought she was doing to be honest!! However, in spite of these controversial choices, she's a nice character and I really enjoyed the way the book followed her. I really did want Lydia to have a happy ending, and although this seems unlikely throughout the book, I had my fingers crossed for her! There are quite a few other characters though, because of the fact it's a group of friends coming together at Christmas, but they were easy to follow and there was just enough of them to create some good stories without being many for the reader to handle.

I really enjoyed the fact that I actually liked the stories of the other characters as well as Lydia's. Quite often in a book with lots of characters, they can all blend into one and become a bit blurred, so that not only can you not keep up, but you consequently don't care about them either. This so wasn't the case for this book. I loved how she covered Alex's pregnancy and its pitfalls at Christmas (no drinking!!) and how her husband mollycoddles her, the disintegrating relationship between the hosts Katie and her husband, and the newly developing one between her other friends Janie and . There is a bit of a twist with Janie's new boyfriend, and I liked how this was done in the book, with its funny moments but also more serious things too. It just added up to making for a great read with lots going on at all times, and it really did keep me hooked.

If you love Christmas chick lit that actually takes place at Christmas, then look no further than picking up a copy of Scarlett Bailey's new novel The Night Before Christmas! For a debut book, it's really well written with a great cast, a wonderful setting and I really wasn't sure how things were going to pan out because of the multiple problems Lydia manages to create for herself! I really enjoyed every page of this book, and really didn't want to put it down, I was so keen to find out what was going to happen next. It's an extremely enjoyable book, and a fantastic debut that I am sure will do very well in the festive fiction market! I definitely recommend The Night Before Christmas, so look out for it now the cold winter nights are drawing in!
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VINE VOICEon 14 December 2011
The Night Before Christmas is a book, that for me, had both its highs and lows overall making it an average read. This is less of a Christmas story and more of a chick-lit novel with a Christmas backdrop. What I mean by that is that despite this book being set during those few days leading up to Christmas it just didn't really feel festive to me and didn't have an underlining Christmas moral which I think is key if you're going to write a book about Christmas. Instead the book definitely reads like your usual chick-lit story focusing more on relationships and everyday situations than Christmas. Basically I guess what I'm trying to say is that Bailey could of taken advantage of the Christmas theme more than she chose to.

First off I'll get my dislikes out of the way. Lydia and her friends aren't exactly the most likeable characters I've come across. Lydia spends much of the book running from her current boyfriend, to her ex-boyfriend (not to mention who is also her best friends new man) to a hunky stranger. Her careless regard towards other people's feelings and who she might be hurting in the process really grated on my nerves and to be honest I found her a bit selfish. Then there's Joanna- who is currently girlfriend to Lydia's ex- who's really superficial and makes her own fair share of hurtful mistakes. Then there's Alex possibly the world's most unpleasant heavily pregnant woman ever. And Katy who to be frank is a bit of a doormat but probably the most genuine of her friends. There wasn't really a female character that I could really get behind and connect with. If anything I felt rather sorry for their poor chaps for being snowed in with them!

Another thing that irked me was the poor editing that went into this book. The Night Before Christmas is littered with spelling mistakes and missed out words that left sentences that made little to no sense. I know that mistakes happen and being a book blogger who reads uncorrected proof copies this isn't something that usually fazes me but for a finished copy this was just plain embarrassing, worse even, than any proof I've ever read. Although this is of course no reflection on Scarlett Bailey or the story itself at the end of the day if the presentations half arsed it makes the book seem sloppy and just cringey in general to read.

Those problems aside I did like this book. Scarlett Bailey writes a hilarious account of a perfect Christmas gone wrong, something I think that most people can relate to! Her writing style is fresh, modern and funny with some truly laugh out loud moments.

I also really liked the men in this story particularly the lovely Will. Bailey writes romance and complex relationships with honesty and humour and I loved reading about Lydia's past and steamy encounters with the men she's snowed in with. Trying to figure out which man she was going to end up with being the real highlight of the book.

All in all despite some issues I had with The Night Before Christmas I still enjoyed it for the most part and think that it would make a nice, fun, girly read for Christmas but maybe not so much if you're looking for a book with a little more substance and festive cheer.
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on 26 November 2011
This is a great story with twists throughout the book - some you see - some you dont. I am really dissapointed in the number of mistakes, it is almost like this is the first draft and no-one has taken the time to re-read to see the spelling / written mistakes. I found I was really in the flow of reading the book then came across a mistake and had to break off to go back and re-read again to see what it should have said. Pity about this because otherwise a really good read.
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on 9 November 2011
I absolutely loved this book. I read it one Sunday afternoon, I couldn't put it down!
The setting was fabulous and the idea of being snowed in in a big old mansion at Christmas time has something magical about it. I found the parts where the children were mentioned in the story particularly funny and realistic, I enjoyed this light touch to an adults world. A nice collection of characters who I could understand and relate to. A really enjoyable read.
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on 31 December 2015
I started this book on Xmas eve. As it's such a busy time I've sometimes struggled to find time to read which I found frustrated as this is one of those books I never wanted to put down. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a snuggly, enjoyable read.
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on 1 January 2016
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. It made me laugh out loud and had all the soppy stuff in it I love, like Christmas, romance, friends and escaping into a fantasy. Definitely my kind of book. Will look for more from this author now.
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on 27 November 2011
The Night Before Christmas is Scarlett Bailey's first book, and if this one is anything to go by her future books are going to great reads.

This book tells the story of Lydia and her friends who decide to have the perfect Christmas together. However, all does not go according to plan as the group find themselves snowed in, while Lydia struggles to work out what and who it is she really wants.

I thought that the story and the characters featured in this book were great, and while the story may not be anything new, it's written in such a brilliant way that it doesn't matter, and the winter setting really makes it feel special. What I really liked about the story is that for the majority of it I couldn't work out which of Lydia's three potential love interests she was ultimately going to end up with - something which I find is rare when reading chick-lit books as it's normally fairly obvious from very early on who the female lead will end up, so it was great to have that mystery from the start of the book.

I'd describe this book as a feel-good, winter, chick-lit read. My only criticism is that there were quite a lot of typing errors in the book that ideally should have been picked up during the editing stages of the book. Apart from that, this book is great and I'd highly recommend it. And I now can't wait to read Scarlett Bailey's furture books, which I hope will be just as great as this one.
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on 14 November 2011
I simply adore all things Christmas, which is probably why I was drawn to the title.

I do not like to be spiteful but this book (and the money I have spent on it) has actually made me so angry, I had to take to the review site.

Don't get me wrong - it's not like I expected it to be a challenging read or anything other than some light-hearted chick-lit. What I can't bear is the unimaginative writing, full of tired clichés and, even worse, the sloppy and lazy editing! The former may just be a case of an inexperienced author and, seeing as it's quite possibly down to a matter of taste, I'd be prepared to say "ok, so this one just wasn't one for me".

But what excuse is there for such appallingly lazy editing? On the first few pages already, you can't help but stumble over missed out words and spelling mistakes.
Dear editor: isn't it your job to pick up on those? Here's the latest one I just stumbled across: "...Tilly said, excitedly, hoping from foot to foot." I presume that should be hopping?

I'm not a horrid Princess Smartypants and can fully accept that we're only human and mistakes happen. However, certainly NOT to the extent as in this book.

So if you value your money and like your books well edited, I'd say step away and invest it more wisely elsewhere. And to the author, even if your writing is not quite my cup of tea, please make sure you get a decent editor next time so you don't let others be as put off as I am by the poor spelling and grammar. This is your work, you should proudly stand behind it and give it everything you've got. Don't let it be ruined by not living up to what really is just the obvious standard for any published book. If your editor doesn't pick up on mistakes as above, then you should.

Herewith endeth the rant. As my teacher would have said: must do better next time.
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on 31 December 2014

Twas the night before
Christmas - and all was
Rudolph was moaning -
and he was defiant.
I had some deliveries -
it was Christmas Eve,
But Rudolph was pulling
upon my coat sleeve.

'Stop that, Rudolph, I
growled at him so,
But all I did was make
his nose glow.'
He was the leader of
my reindeer pack,
So he heard when with
my whip - I gave a
great crack!

He really was grumbling,
but I knew the score,
He wanted more carrots -
and a score draw!
The stable was quiet -
the reindeer's all shy,
But I had deliveries - high
in the sky!

I had to be tough - but also
real nice,
I'll show Rudolph, I'll wear
my Old Spice!
I had to use discipline -
and tickle his nose -
Then wash him down -
with my fiery cold hose!

The clock was ticking -
and we had to get going,
I just couldn't help it -
but I kept yawning!
Christmas Eve - the children
But I got told; 'they always
would peep!'

In my sleigh - and ready
to go,
I shouted out loud: 'Yo! Ho!
Off we flew as high as the
And I was 'singing' - but not
carrying a tune!!!!

Rudolph, my friend - he
leaped through the air,
As I was busy - pruning my
It was a tight squeeze - as
my sleigh was full,
But Rudolph was strong -
as he gave a great pull.

We flew through the air,
to our destination -
Knowing the UK was reliant
on our mission.
Rudolph looked down and
saw our target,
My laptop's missiles I
couldn't forget!

Onward's we flew my cigar
in my mouth -
There was Parliament - I
knew we'd gone south.
"Get ready Rudolph", I told
him so stern,
Now for the politicians -
they all will burn.

Look out, below! There is
The houses of parliament -
I'm rubbing my hands.
Launch missile one - now
two and three?
The parliament is hit - the
people are free.

'The mission is over now
where is the brandy?'
It's a good job I kept a
large bottle handy!
Rudolph, my friend, lend
me your nose -
To light the way home -
to Lapland, here goes.

Ho! Ho! Ho! It is Christmas
My phone in my pocket -
my brandy up my sleeve.
Our job is done - the
terrorists are all dead -
'Merry Christmas I say;
'now where is my bed!?

As Santa and Rudolph fly
through the sky,
A chorus of burping was
heard from up high!'
Sat Nav was handy as
we soon found our way;
'A surreal journey - on
Santa's new sleigh!'

The stars were clapping -
as the world was free,
And all Santa wanted -
was a good cup of tea.
The world was saved by
Rudolph and Santa -
As the sleigh faded away;
'to save Christmas in

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