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Friday, 23 December 2016

#FridayFive: Christmas Edition

That's it my lovely bookworms- I am now officially on Christmas holiday. Woohooooooo!!! And I don't know about all of you, but Christmas Eve eve is the day where I fully start to over-indulge... on Christmas books. So, it's the perfect day to bring you a #Friday5 packed full of gorgeous-festive-goodness. Old and new, novel and novella- these are the 5 festive reads I urge you to sink your teeth into whilst sipping your mulled wine...

1. Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

I've seen her dubbed the queen of Christmas, and there's no doubt that any Christmas book by this author is an unmissable treat, but I have to say that this is the one I've read and re-read so many times. One of my all time favourites.

The Blurb:
Once upon a time Kayla loved Christmas

Now she’s more dedicated to her job than decking the halls, and can’t wait for the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ to be over.

Until she arrives at the enchanting Snow Crystal ski resort, determined to win gorgeous owner Jackson as a marketing client.

But wooing Jackson professionally quickly turns personal as they spend flirty festive nights in this glittering winter wonderland.

With snowflakes swirling and sleigh bells ringing…could Jackson be the one to make Kayla fall back under the Christmas spell?

2. One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot

I finished this gorgeous book late last night. Wow, what a beautiful read. Full of true Christmas spirit as Ava, our heroine, re-discovers herself in the City of Lights in the lead up to the big day... and as she heals, she helps her drop-dead-scrummy leading man to do exactly the same. The perfect love letter to the most romantic city in the world. Pop back for my full review tomorrow.

The Blurb:
How many croissants does it take to mend a broken heart?

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men... Until they cross paths with sizzling hot, oh-so-mysterious photographer Julien, with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but she can’t help but feel he’s hiding something. Her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret? 

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love in Paris? 

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.

3. Calling Mrs. Christmas by Carole Matthews

I remember reading this for the first time and being completely drawn in to Cassie and Jim's world. Struggling to make ends meet, Cassie comes up with a business plan to become a Christmas planner. It takes off in a way neither of them could expect- but throws it's own problems into the mix and adds a whole new level of challenges. What I loved most about this book is that while it's an easy, fun and festive read, it also touches on some dark and difficult subjects. Jim works with young offenders- and the more you read about these vulnerable lads, the more you have your eyes opened to the things that are truly important at Christmas- and in life.

The Blurb:
Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born.

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients.

When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go . . . Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life.

4. Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley

This lovely novella was my first Christmas read this year, and it was the perfect way to get me into the festive frame of mind. It's an offshoot from the Plumberry School of Comfort Food- but if you haven't read that yet- fear not, it works perfectly as a stand-alone story (I tested this out as I read this before Plumberry myself!) You can read my full review here.

The blurb:
It’s been a busy year for Verity Bloom at the Plumberry School of Comfort Food, but Christmas Eve is finally here. With delicious treats all wrapped up and the ingredients packed away, Verity is looking forward to a relaxing few days with her new boyfriend.

Good food, family and friends – it’s a simple recipe for true comfort and joy, and all Verity’s friends in the village are full of excitement about the holidays too.

But the weather has other plans in store… Relentless rain leads to a power cut that spells disaster for many of Plumberry’s residents. It’s starting to look like this year’s celebrations could be a total washout.

With dreams of a perfect Christmas dashed, will the last of the festive cheer be swept away in the downpour? Or can the cookery school create a Christmas miracle for everyone Verity holds dear?

5. Christmas With Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

I loved the Austen Addicts series by Victoria Connelly, and have re-read them goodness knows how many times now- but it's at least an annual occurrence. And what better for your favourite series, than to be able to tuck into a Christmas novella at this time of the year? If you haven't read them yet, I urge you to pick up the series- and then treat yourself to this little gem.

The Blurb:
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a little bit of Jane Austen ...

Christmas is being celebrated in style at Purley Hall in Hampshire because renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, is holding a special Jane Austen Conference. Everybody’s there: Katherine and Warwick, Robyn and Dan, Kay, Adam and Gemma, and Sarah and Mia. Oh, and Mrs Soames.

But, when a rare first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, the guests have to forget the fun and games and turn detective...

What's your favourite Christmas read? Will you be tucking up with a book this weekend? 

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