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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 June 2017
Nices lovely story.
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on 23 January 2015
Condition like new. Very prompt delivery. Very pleased. Thank you.
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on 28 December 2014
Decent enough book but disappointing if you are looking for more than a few hours light reading. The characters are well written but Alex is annoying at times and Marcus is immature and conceited and why anyone would want to be friends with him, let alone marry him, is beyond me. Good book to read if you haven't anything else but i've read better and doubt i'll be reading any by this author again.
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on 18 October 2014
Great book!
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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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on 12 December 2013
Review: what a fabulous festive novel! I was so excited about this novel and finally getting chance to read it was amazing! It was such a treat, full of drama and a fantastic storyline as well as a heartwarming message overall, just lovely! I was actually surprised at just how many twists and turns there were in this storyline, not everyone is who they appear to be and those doors which our lovely main character Alex thought were closed may not be as secure as she thought! It's so hard to go into the storyline in too much detail without giving away any of the key plot points so I'll just say that I loved it!

Alex is just my kind of character, a fabulously strong female! She takes on her new job, home, dog and location with strength and courage and tackles very hurdle that is out in front of her, head on, just what I like to see! She is not short of male attention either, there are some lovely male leads in this book, friend from home Marcus and sparring partner in the village nativity Ruan, both add an extra level to the novel and contribute buckets to the storyline. There are a host of other supporting characters too, I loved Alex's friend Lucy, her first female best friend and real pillar of strength for our heroine! Buoy is very much a character in his own right too. I loved his loyalty to Alex and he too had a certain strength which you will only understand when you read the novel!

This is just the kind of book everyone should be reading at Christmas, it is so the kind of thing to snuggle up by the Christmas tree with. The beauty of this novel though, is that it could be enjoyed at anytime of year. It is a real page turner and there is definitely something for everyone, some drama, a love story, friendships and some beautifully described scenery. You will definitely find yourself wanting to be there with Alex and co in Poldore watching the boats coming into the harbour, or snuggling down in Ruan's lighthouse. It was everything I could've asked for in a novel and I can't wait to see what this fabulous author comes up with next.
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on 8 December 2013
I have never read a Scarlett Bailey novel before and I am not quite sure how I have missed them! First of all I would like to say what a fabulous cover this is and it comes complete with glitter even on the spine of the book!

This story is about Alex, she lives in Scotland but is left heartbroken by her best friend who announces he is getting married and has fallen out with her dad. Mum left years ago and she doesn't have any other family, so she decides to apply for a job in Poldore, Cornwall.

Now this to me has a very personal connection, Poldore, which I quickly found out was a fictional place, however many features of the description of the place triggered my memory. My grandparents lived down in Cornwall and owned a B&B for years, I gradually discovered that Poldore was actually based on the village that my grandparents lived in. I could not believe it, and tweeted Scarlett who confirmed my suspicion! This to me then made me love the story even more as I could picture where Alex was and it bought back happy memories for me.

Anyway back to the story, Alex applied for a harbor master position in Poldore and got the job, which come along with a cottage in the village and a dog that came with the cottage ha ha! This was something Alex was not keen on, however over time in the story she came to love the dog - Bouy. This is a brilliant tale of an outsider being accepted into a village community and feeling like part of the family that the village is.

Alex moved down to Poldore in the running up to Christmas, so the book features Christmas aspects and the warmness of the villagers really get you into the Christmas spirit.

I found the book to not be a straight forward romance chick lit book, which I enjoyed as it has you guessing aspects of it and leaves a little to the imagination. This book has everything, it takes you through emotions which will have you laughing to crying. I found this an easy Christmas read which was very enjoyable. I would recommend every one to add it to their Christmas book wish list. I would like to thank the publisher for sending it to me.
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on 16 December 2013
Just for Christmas has the perfect winter cover. I am a bit of a magpie and anything that glitters grabs my attention and makes me go 'oooooooh!', so the twinkly cover appealed to me from the get-go.

I'm also a sucker for books about animals, and Alex, the protagonist in Just for Christmas finds herself lumbered with a mad, scruffy dog called Buoy. I warmed to both characters immediately, they were both vibrant, full of personality and desperately in need of love. Infact the characters are the biggest success in this story. I felt like I knew them all, from Ruan, the slightly aloof boatman to Lucy, the barmaid with a hidden past, and I cared for them too.

Village life in Cornwall was also beautifully portrayed. Images of warm, bustling pubs where everyone knows everyone else, a strong community spirit and the importance of festive traditions being upheld made me want to be resident in Poldore myself.

There were elements of the plot that moved unrealistically fast, but I really didn't mind that at all-sometimes life does move crazily fast and situations change overnight, and even if they didn't I wouldn't care because one of the great benefits of fiction is that anything goes!

If you have enjoyed Scarlett Bailey's other books, or are a fan of Amy Silver, Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes, I am sure you'll love this heart-warming story. As well as Christmas fun and froth it touches on the importance of family, friendship, acceptance and community-something we all need more of at Christmas.
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on 1 December 2013
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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on 18 December 2014
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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