It’s a delight today to be helping launch the blog tour for Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency – the third in a planned four-book series – by Daisy James, and sharing my review. Published on 27th August, it’s now available for kindle via Amazon in the UK and US. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to Daisy for my reading e-copy.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Cornish Confetti Agency – you’ll find my review here – but things turned a bit busy and I just couldn’t fit in the second in the series, Summertime at the Cornish Confetti Agency, no matter how much I’d have liked to. But I’m delighted to revisit the series with this latest book to find out how things have been going for Lexie and Theo. I see that the fourth in series, Tropical Skies at the Cornish Confetti Agency, was published on 27th October: and I’ve also noticed there’s an unexpected fifth book, Tuscan Dreams at the Cornish Confetti Agency, coming in January and now available for preorder.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – Christmas first!
It’s Christmas at The Cornish Confetti Agency!
When Lexie Harrington is asked to choreograph Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas-themed wedding, she can’t wait to create the perfect winter wonderland – elegantly dressed fir trees, glossy garlands of holly and mistletoe, baskets of yule logs and pine cones, and the mouth-watering fragrance of gingerbread, cinnamon sticks and warm mulled wine floating through the air.
With handsome wedding columnist-cum-fledgling scriptwriter Theo Barker at her side, she’s confident that she can create the perfect festive ambience the bride and groom have been dreaming of since their engagement in the Swiss Alps; no rampant hosepipes, no mechanical mice, no confetti-filled hairdryers.
But this is The Cornish Confetti Agency, and the words ‘plain-sailing’ and ‘hassle-free’ do not feature in the promotional brochure. So, when a much-loved portrait of the groom’s father is adorned with pirate eye-patches and black plastic moustaches, and his expensive cologne is switched for toilet cleaner, Lexie and Theo must once again don their metaphorical deerstalkers and unravel the mystery before the wedding dissolves into Christmas-themed chaos and calamity.
A perfect Christmas wedding? Is there such a thing for The Cornish Confetti Agency?
A glittery, feel-good story perfect for the festive season, and the third book in The Cornish Confetti Agency series.
Do you know, it was one of those days yesterday – we all have them sometimes, don’t we? I just wanted to pull the blankets back over my head, forget everything that was going on in the world, and to escape into a world where everything was a little bit sparklier, somewhere life was fun, some romance maybe that would make me feel all warm and fuzzy – just to read something that would really put a smile on my face. If you ever feel that way, this is the perfect book for you. I read it in one glorious afternoon sitting, and when I was done everything in the world just felt a little brighter.
If you read either of the first two books in the series you’ll already know a few of the key characters – but if you didn’t, it won’t matter for a moment. The book pitches you straight in to the lead-up to Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas wedding. Lexie is a wedding planner in a lovely part of Cornwall, but it’s nearly time for her to move on and hand the reins back to the business’ owner – other than the catwalk show she’s planning for her best friend’s wedding dress shop, this will be the last event she organises, and she wants it to be perfect. There’s a whole series of Christmas-themed activities – decorating the Christmas trees on the drive to a theme appropriate to the happy couple, an archery competition (where one of the targets is a snowman), making things out of gingerbread, putting together a snow globe – all leading up to the big day. The large cast of wedding guests tackle everything with enthusiasm and a nice competitive edge – and a considerable amount of originality.
But Lexie’s events never go entirely smoothly, and it seems someone is trying to sabotage things – and Lexie and boyfriend Theo need to find out who’s behind it all, just to be sure that the little things going wrong don’t become anything more serious. The prime candidate has to be Phoebe’s young brother Zac, bouncy and just a tad exhausting as he photographs all the activities from every possible angle. But then might it be Tara, the perfectly turned out bridesmaid – she certainly seems to be hiding something? Or then again, might it be… everyone’s a suspect, several have secrets, and Lexie and Theo really have their work cut out to stop the big day becoming a potential disaster. There’s nothing too heavy – and everything’s finally resolved without any real damage to the wonderful Christmassiness that surrounds it all.
And then comes the catwalk show – with Lexie’s track record that really might be a disaster, and this event is so very important that it really needs more elaborate and tightly-controlled tick lists than usual. But when something does go very wrong – and it’s entirely unexpected and out of her control – she needs to come up with something to save the day and make it an event to remember. And the whole story – every little twist and turn of it – is just wonderful. She might just have found the perfect venue, but she needs the help of friends old and new to bring things together and make it a day to remember.
The romance in this book is just glorious – not just the happy couple, or Lexie and Theo, but coming at you from every possible direction. The settings are simply perfect – I’d just love to lie on a blanket in that wonderful tree house and watch the stars! The whole cast of characters is beautifully managed, every one a well-drawn individual – and if you did read the first book, it was lovely to see some of the original characters turning up and doing their bit to save the day. There’s an edge of sadness at times – Lexie’s need to move on from her past, the challenges facing Freya and Harry – and the emotional touches are really well handled, given appropriate weight but never overshadowing the overall ambience of tinsel and sparkling lights. The writing is really excellent – great story telling, so smooth and easy to enjoy – and every touch of Christmas is quite perfect. And that ending – just everything I wanted it to be, in every possible way.
This was a gorgeous read, and Daisy James’ writing has never been better. I know wedding planning and full-on Christmas might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or hot chocolate with spiced rum and marshmallows…), but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and this book was everything I needed and wanted it to be. Sheer joy from beginning to end – I loved it, and it might be just the book for you too.
About the author
Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.