Book Review: A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn

Book number 5 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn.

‘Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?’ (Thanks Amazon!)

That’s right, I returned to my Christmas themed novels (sorry, but December is just too long to wait!).  After the beautiful, but harrowing Code Name Verity, I needed a lighter read and this was the one to catch my eye.  A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas combines the vibrant city of New York with the story of two best friends whose love for one another begins to evolve (finally!) from a life-long friendship into something more.

As with many books of this genre, there were no surprises.  It was not surprises that I was looking for however, and this book delivered.  The blindness of one to the others feelings was expected, as was the expectation of others that they were meant to be.  The significant event of a wedding in New York threw them together, placing them into a situation that forced them both to explore their own feelings.

I must admit that I found Lucie to be a little annoying.  In fact she was annoying to the point that I wondered why Dale stuck around! I enjoyed Dale’s character though, even if I was willing him to move on for a good three-quarters of the book.  As we are now almost in April, the daffodils are blooming and the sun is shining, I would probably say that now is not the right time to read this book (although I am not trying to put you off – Christmas cheer at any time of year is always good!).  However once we hit November, when the shops have been full of Christmas for a good couple of months already but you are only just starting to feel Christmassy, give this book a read.  It’s a light, easy read that will be most enjoyable to you, sat beside the fire with a glass of wine and good slab of cake!

Rating: 📖📖📖

 

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Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Book number 4 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge was Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

‘ ‘I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.’

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive.  When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in ‘Verity’s’ own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they’ve ever believed in is put to the test . . . ‘ (Thanks Amazon!)

As you are probably already aware, I do love a novel set during World War II and Code Name Verity did not disappoint. This is a beautiful story about the love and friendship of two very different women thrown together due to the onset of a world war.  Queenie and Maddie come from two very different walks of life: one a Scottish aristocrat, the other a girl from Manchester from a working class family.

Whilst the story is fictional, the description of Maddie’s work with the Air Transport Auxiliary and Queenie’s amazing bravery in the face of her terrifying German captors highlights what really would have been faced by those who assisted the war effort during the 1940’s.  Wein captures beautifully the unwavering love and loyalty of two women whose friendship carried them through the worst of times.

There’s very little that I can say about this novel as I don’t want to give anything away.    All I ask is that you read this novel, and let me know what you think!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Book Review: Scandal with a Prince by Nicole Burnham

So book number 3 in my Goodreads reading challenge is Scandal with a Prince by Nicole Burnham.

‘A one night stand. A lifelong obsession.
One magical summer, Megan Hallberg met—and loved—Prince Stefano Barrali. But his royal duties took him home, and when she discovered she carried his child, she also discovered he was engaged…to a beautiful, worldly aristocrat.

Ten years later, Stefano runs into Megan at the grand opening of a Barcelona hotel, and it’s his every sensual fantasy come to life. His memory of the stunning blonde and their passionate summer has haunted his dreams, and a night under the stars gives him the perfect opportunity to reclaim the woman he thought lost to him.

Megan finds herself torn between passion with a prince and a fierce need to protect her daughter. Can the man who captured her heart so many years ago be her destiny…or her downfall?’ (Thanks Amazon)

As you can see, I have been enjoying my chick lit since Christmas!

Megan is an independent, highly successful woman who will do anything for her daughter, Anna.  She is fiercely protective of her, having brought her up all alone for a decade. When Prince Stefano walks back into her life Megan becomes flustered as her memories threaten to become a reality once again.  This is a story full of secrets and passion, as two people who were briefly involved in a passionate love affair come back together by chance, whilst discovering long held secrets.

This is a typical chick lit, with an infusion of sauciness for good measure!  This was a great light read, and i’m sure i’ll be reading Honeymoon with a Prince, the second book in the Royal Scandals soon enough!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖