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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 23 December 2014
A book club read. The storyline was just not credible (give a random stranger a job without checking credentials, let them live in your house with not a clue what to do or how to manage it? Then said person is left in charge of small children for days whilst still doing other job, but luckily also has time to sleep with another member of the household amongst many other things...) The book was boring, predictable and badly written - not for me.
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on 17 December 2014
a really boring book. stupid protagonist. the characters do not come to life at all. no interesting plot points. dull, dull, even a mills and boon story would be a better read.
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on 31 May 2014
You still do not feel the Christmas spirit yet? Read Coming Home for Christmas then you’ll be in the perfect mood for Christmas! First of all, I absolutely adore the book cover. I love the font and everthing matches perfectly to the story! What a wonderful design! The publisher did a very good job!

Coming Home for Christmas is a wonderful romantic debut novel by the American author Jenny Hale. A prefect magical Christmas tale which puts you in the festive mood for Christmas.

Jenny introduces us to Allie Richfield, the main character of the story. A woman in her early thirties moves back into her childhood room at her mother’s house after losing her 11-year job as a live-in nanny. Her sister Megan, a successful estate agent, suggests her to apply to be the house manager of Ashford, home to the very wealthy Marley family. After some consideration and the flip of a coin, Allie agrees to meet with Mr. Marley. When Allie meets Robert, the oldest son and the person responsible for Ashford House, there is an instant connection between them but what happens when she meets the rest of the family? Filled with warm history and intriguing characters the Ashford Estate sets the stage for an exhilarating turn of events.

Allies job is to look after the other staff in the house, arrange the family Christmas ‘meeting’ and keep an eye on Roberts elderly grandmother, Pippa. Expecting to receive her daily tasks from Robert, Allie is surprised to learn that he won’t be attending the family Christmas, and instead will deliver a daily itinerary to her by email. Working with her mysterious boss and his family, Allie gets tangled in complicated relationships, as she tries to restore faith in family and friendship.

In many ways, christmas got very commercial by the years. For kids it’s only all about presents, presents and more presents. Jenny Hale shows you what christmas is really about - love, peace, family and faith.

I felt very connected to the book because there are a few similarities to my own family. Pippa reminded me of my grandmother. She was the bond between our families. Because of her we were seeing each other at least on christmas and birthdays. After she passed away a while ago, things changed a lot.

There is one thing I didn’t liked about the story. Sometimes I thought Allie acted like a teenager, especially when it came to Kip. He is a womanizer but very likeable and I liked his funniness and enthusiasm. Kip was always polite and sweet, sometimes a little childish in his attempt but he wasn’t treated all that fairly. Allie seems to be aware from the beginning that she is not interested in him in a romantic way, and yet goes along with all of his plans and gestures. I wished Jenny had been writing this a bit differently.

From the very beginning, I was drawn in wondering what would happen next. The estate and the surrounding she is working are described very detailed, that made it an realistic and easy read.

This was a great and very enjoyable read. I loved reading this book because I couldn't wait to learn more about the Marley family members to find out the history behind their relationships. Many romance and chick lit novels are very predictable. This one isn’t. The story keeps you guessing right to the end as to who will get their happy ever after.
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on 26 December 2013
This is the story of Allie Richfield. She is about to start work as House Manager at the Ashford Estate. The Ashford Estate is for sale after being the Marley family home for many, many years. Her job is to ensure that the day to day running of the house is carried out, but also to ensure that the family celebrate their last Christmas at Ashford, well some of the family.

Immediately I loved Allie's character. I loved her independence but also loved her absolute love for her family. Her love for her family, her mum and her sister, overflows into the Marley household, as she uses it to try and inject some warmth into the old house again.

At first when we meet Richard there is an instant connection between him and Allie, but this is put on the back burner as he is completely shut off and reserved, feeling like he is very cold in his attitude to his family and the house.

We meet the other members of the family as they all return to Ashford one last time. Kip, Robert's brother is an absolute player, he wins Allie's affections straight away with his outright flirty manor. Robert's sister Sloane appears to be a little wary of Allie at first but when the story unfolds you get to learn a little more about Sloane's current family situation. Then there is Robert's grandmother. She is somewhat of a mystery. Robert's description of her makes you think of a frail little old lady who's house has outgrown her. But when you really get to know her you discover her true family spirit and the tragic events which dominate her relationship with Robert.

This story is centred around the family coming home for Christmas, but it also so much more than that. The story is predominantly about family, about the relationship we have with our family members but also how blood is thicker than water and that truly family can overcome anything which is beautifully portrayed in the story between Pippa and Robert.

I really enjoyed that the focus was also on Christmas as it resonates with the family theme that runs along with it in the story. A really, truly great story which will warm your hearts and show you the true meaning of family at Christmastime.

Erin x
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on 28 December 2013
Allie wants nothing more than to teach but after failing to get any of the jobs she's applied for she's ended back at home living with her mum. When her sister Megan says that she has the perfect job for her, as a live-in manager in a mansion that Megan is selling for her client Robert Marley, Allie reluctantly agrees.

Ashford is the family home for the disfunctional Marley family but it now belongs to eldest son Robert who wants to sell up against the wishes of the rest of his family, grandmother Pippa, sister Sloane and brother Kip. But the longer she lives there the more she feels at home and connected to them all and wants to be able to convince Robert not to sell. But who is she to convince him if he won't listen to his own family?

Usually when I'm reading a book I'll relate to one or two characters above the rest and usually find at least one character that I don't really like, but this was not the case with Coming Home for Christmas as I really liked them all even the surly Robert despite finding myself wanting to shake him at times...

This was a fun, festive read with a hint of romance. Although set at Christmastime I'm sure that you'd enjoy reading this at any time of the year as the underlying theme of the story was the importance of family.

An enjoyable debut from Jenny Hale and I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for more books from her in the future.
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on 29 October 2013
There's something magical about Christmas and reading about it nearly 3 months before the event is no exception.
Whilst the rain pelted the windows outside I was sat in the warm being enveloped by the festive spirit contained in Jenny Hale' words.

Coming Home for Christmas tells the story of 32 year old Allie who finds herself moving back in with her mother after 11 years away from home. So much has changed and Allie knows it's not just her duvet cover she's outgrown.
Knowing that she needs to find work, Allie although reluctant, takes the advice of her sister Megan and applies for the job of Estate Manager at Ashford Estate, a multi million pound mansion.
After meeting the head of the Estate Robert Marley, Allie soon finds herself caught up not just in the estate but the family too.
Could she be their Christmas angel?

I loved this story, there wasn't one unlikable character, in fact I found myself loving the Marley's and their family dynamics.
Kip is flirtatious and good looking, you can feel the attraction him and Allie have from their very first meeting.
But for me the relationship between Allie and Robert had me enraptured, the changes the employee brings out in the employer is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

A festive debut to warm the heart whatever the season, which leaves you eagerly awaiting more from Jenny Hale!
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on 26 January 2014
This book was pretty good - the only thing wrong with it is that it is set in America, not England, and it's a bit like Jenny Hale has never been to a stately home, but is describing something she saw once on Downton Abbey. Once you get over that and get into the story you find yourself wondering when everything is going to go wrong, and how the ending which you can guess from the start is going to unravel itself. Worth about £1.99? Don't pay full price, but enjoy it as a quick read.
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on 5 January 2014
I bought this along with many other Christmas novels by my favourite authors for Christmas stories-Julia Williams, Carole Matthews, Emma Hannigan & Scarlett Bailey whose Christmas books I love. I did not like this book.It's set in America which I didn't realize till I started to read .It just didn't click with me at all and I gave up after the third chapter .It's very rare for me to not finish a book, even if I'm not keen but just had no interest in this
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on 24 November 2013
Aahh what a magical Christmas tale.
Warm, inviting and dramatic with a bit of family feuding and a cold shoulder. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

I finished this book in one. Well I demolished it like the turkey on my Christmas dinner in fact. I couldn't get enough. I adored the whole family saga storyline with a twist of love.I adored the whole Marley family and their troubles. Robert and his whole I could give a care attitude, Kip and his boyish charm and eagerness to impress, Sloane with her eyes that miss nothing and her darling boys too.

I did have an issue with our heroine Allie though she was far too forward for me and her attitude really grated on me. I am not one who bites my tongue so for me to feel like that we may have been seriously bad.

Moving on from the bad back into the good. The magnetic pull displayed between Allie and Robert from the start was amazing and I waited on tenterhooks throughout the book to see what would happen, if anything would happen.

The whole family love and feeling in this book is overwhelming and I couldn't recommend it enough for a Christmas treat. It's charming and full to bursting with every emotion possible. A brilliant debut novel.
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on 14 February 2014
I was in two minds whether to give it a 4 but on the basis that I probably wouldn't be reading it again, I went for 3. The story is predictable, which is fine as that's what you get with chick lit. However, I just thought that some things were too un-life-like to relate to. However, there is a certain degree of cosyness to it and it reads well enough to spend an afternoon in front of the fire.
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