Well, everyone, I’ve really done my best. Really, I have. I loaded up my kindle with Christmas books, and really planned to read and review every single one. I just love Christmas, and those books with a festive theme are pleasures I look forward to all year, with Michael Buble crooning in the background, twinkly lights, and mince pie in hand. But it’s no good pretending – I’ve overdone it a little. Rather like I plan to do at Christmas really. I’m just not going to manage any more (another statement I might try over Christmas…).
But every book on my Kindle was carefully chosen, and you might still be looking for your perfect Christmas read. So with thanks to blogging friends who’ve agreed I can link to their reviews, I’d like to tell you about some of the books I just haven’t managed to get around to.
Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?
I had the great pleasure of meeting Julia at the bloggers’ picnic this year. She’s usually a real favourite of mine at Christmas – Last Christmas is still one of my favourite ever festive reads – but I’m afraid I just didn’t get to this one this year. But Julie Boon has written a great review over at Boon’s Bookcase that you might like to take a look at (just click on the hyperlink).
The Chocolate Lovers Christmas – Carole Matthews
Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . .
Carole’s Christmas books are always wonderful – I particularly loved Calling Mrs Christmas – but I’ve had to “pass” on this one. I did notice that some reviewers said you really needed to have read the other Chocolate Lovers’ Club books first, and I sadly haven’t. Sorry Carole…
Christmas Ever After – Sarah Morgan
Skylar Tempest has never understood Alec Hunter’s appeal. So what if he’s a world-renowned historian? He’s also cynical, aloof and determined to think the worst of her. So when a twist of fate finds her spending the lead-up to Christmas with Alec and his family, she’s not expecting the season to be either merry or bright.
And I still haven’t read anything by Sarah Morgan – something I must try to put right soon. Julie Williams wrote a great guest review for Boon’s Bookcase though…
When career-girl Holly Brice learns that her estranged father has died, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find out about the man she never knew.
This book has been everywhere over the last few months, with a really successful blog tour helping to bring it to people’s attention. Sophie at Reviewed The Book – one of my favourite book blogs – has a wonderful feature called Christmas in July when she catches up on Christmas reads, but I’m delighted to see she reviewed this one a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a direct link.
It’s bad enough to be perpetually single, without also being the dating journalist for a major lifestyle website. And Genie Havisham has just been set her toughest deadline yet: find a boyfriend by Christmas or find a new job.
I “met” Jenny recently on Twitter – as you do – and I’d really hoped to read and review her book. It was a book too far for me – next one Jenny – but I was delighted to see that Rachel enjoyed it. Rachel’s Random Reads is another of my favourite blogs – I’m not sure when Rachel sleeps, with the number of books she gets through, and her reviews are always honest and really excellent. Here is her review of this one, but do have a look around while you’re there.
Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER. Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. But this year things are going to be different.
I remember loving Sue Watson’s Fat Girls And Fairy Cakes – and most of her other books are sitting on my kindle. I really do want to read her again very soon, but I’m glad Rachel has an excellent review of this one too.
Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper – Debbie Johnson
For single mum Maggie, Christmas has always been a family occasion – her daughter Ellen filling the house with her bubbly warmth and mistletoe, her dad Paddy having one too many festive tipples, and the traditional family Christmas tree looking like a drunken elf vomited a rainbow all over it. But this year, with both Ellen and Paddy away for the holidays, Maggie’s facing a truly blue Christmas – alone with nothing but a bottle of Baileys and an M&S turkey dinner.
Another book I really wanted to read, but time ran out – I really like the sound of Debbie’s writing, and I’ll keep an eye on whatever she does next. Jo at Jaffa Reads Too wrote a lovely review of this one – here. In fact Jo always writes great reviews, and has some excellent features too – do have a look round while you’re there.
When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life. Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…
Oh, doesn’t this sound wonderful? It really must be top of my list for next Christmas – I buy every single book Kate Lord Brown writes, and she must now be one of my favourites on my “authors I haven’t read” list.
OK, that’s (almost) all of the books I had waiting. And I haven’t even included all those great novellas and shorts from some lovely authors like Zara Stoneley, Michelle Betham, Talli Roland, Michele Gorman, Jan Ruth…
And if you’re still looking for great Christmas reads, you’ll find many others on the blogs I’ve featured as well as on Being Anne. I’d like to give a special mention to two of this year’s full length favourites – Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington and Mandy Baggot’s One Wish In Manhattan (links to my reviews). And from previous years, do take a look at The Little Book Of Lost Hearts by Valerie Anne Baglietto – only short, but with a touch of real Christmas magic…
I’d like to promise to run a Christmas in July feature so everyone gets a share of the spotlight – but I just know something will happen to stop me doing it. And Sophie always does it so very well on Reviewed The Book, I think I’ll leave it to her.
Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who have allowed me to link to their blogs to help with my “wrapping up”…
So I think all that’s left to do is to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year. Being Anne will be taking a short break until 2016 – but I have so many great features planned for you next year! I won’t be reviewing for a couple of weeks, but I will be reading. I’m particularly looking forward to two recent releases from Choc Lit, As Weekends Go by Jan Brigden and What Doesn’t Kill You by Laura E James, which I’ll be reviewing when I return.
To all the authors, thank you for giving me such pleasure over the last year with your wonderful books. To all my blogger friends, thank you for your friendship and unstinting support. And to all my readers, thank you so much for being there – I so enjoy telling you about the books and authors I love, but there wouldn’t be a blog without your support. See you all in 2016…