Chick lit

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The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance – Kirsty Greenwood

The Vintage Guide to Love and RomanceTitle: The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance
Author: Kirsty Greenwood
Publisher: Pan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
My rating★★★★★

I have won this book via a Twitter giveaway of This Chick Reads. At that point I had just decided to read a few Christmas novels first, but as soon as the holidays were over, I grabbed this on from the bookshelf.

Over the past months I have been a bit annoyed with the main characters of chick lit novels, but Jessica Beam was quite a lovely character and I did like her.

What the book is about

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras!

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off…

What I think about the book

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance was a lovely read and I really enjoyed it. Jess Beam is crazy and I totally envy how she is up for partying and enjoying her life. But, like all people who live a wild life, there are two sides to the story. Jess has lost her mother when she was still quite young and has never known her dad. That has left a certain scar on her soul and she has trouble opening herself up for love.

So when she gets a chance to be transformed in to a vintage lady and try to win over London’s playboy Leo Frost, she only sees it as a quick way to earn some cash and a bit of a game. First of all she doesn’t believe in the vintage Good Woman guides, but she also doesn’t believe in falling in love. Of course she is completely wrong there. You can see that coming from miles away, but that’s no problem because it is written so beautifully. I was totally able to picture all the venues and the pretty dresses and I completely fell in love with Leo & Jess as a couple.

This book is a great choice if you are up for reading something seriously romantic!

Mistletoe Mansion – Samantha Tonge

Mistletoe MansionTitle: Mistletoe Mansion
Author: Samantha Tonge
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 384
My rating★★★✫✫

This Christmas novel was on my to-read-list for 2014, but I never actually finished reading all the books on my list back then. That’s alright, as there is always a next year and a new holiday season! This year I only read four Christmas novels, so once again I am saving the rest for next year.

What the book is about

Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.

So, newly single – and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined?

What I think about the book

I enjoyed myself while reading this novel, but it wasn’t my favorite. Mostly because I don’t really believe in supernatural stuff. So when Mistletoe Mansion seemed to be a haunted house, I was like “Whut?! That’s not possible.” But then I thought about all the fantasy novels I am reading. Yeah. Right. Do vampires, werewolves and faeries exist? How about ghosts or spirits? It’s not all that different. So with a different mindset I went back to reading the book and just enjoyed what was there.

It wasn’t your average romance novel. Well, that’s also a good thing of course. It is nice when a story is different from others. In the beginning I didn’t really like Kimmy, the main character. She was a bit of a dreamer and her goals and thoughts weren’t very realistic. I thought she was a spoiled little girl. Her sensible boyfriend was a bit too sensible though, so I didn’t like him either. With him out of the picture, she seems to start thinking for herself and that made Kimmy a much nicer person. I liked how she changed a bit throughout the book, into someone smart and more responsible. She was still a dreamer, but it is okay to have a dream and work for it.

In the end the book also made me a bit hungry. Kimmy and her cupcakes… all those flavors, I could almost taste them. She inspired me and I ended up baking some chocolate cupcakes for myself as well.

Make My Wish Come True – Fiona Harper

Make my wish come trueTitle: Make my wish come true
Author: Fiona Harper
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400
My rating★★★★✫

I randomly picked another one of the Christmas novels on my Kindle. This one didn’t have Christmas in the title, so I was wondering if it would put me in the right mood for the holidays, but since it was still November, it didn’t really matter whether that was the case or not.

What the book is about

Family-orientated and Christmas-dinner cook extraordinaire Juliet is trying to keep it together in the wake of her marriage breakdown two Christmases ago, but the cracks are beginning to show. Bright and vivacious Gemma was always the favourite daughter… So she has no qualms about leaving Christmas in her sister Juliet’s capable hands; and escaping the pressures of her glamorous job, and the festive madness by jetting off to somewhere warm.

When Gemma shirks responsibility once too many and announces she’s off to the Caribbean (again!); Juliet finally snaps. Gemma offers her sister the perfect solution – to swap Christmases: she’ll stay home and cook the turkey (how hard can it be?) and Juliet can fly off into the sun and have a restorative break.

In the midst of all the chaos, there’s Will, Juliet’s dishy neighbour who’s far too nice to float Gemma’s boat and may secretly harbour feelings for her sister; and Marco, the suave Italian in the villa next door, who has his own ideas about the best way to help Juliet unwind. Will the sisters abandon caution and make this a Christmas swap to remember?

What I think about the book

In the beginning this novel didn’t give me the happy holiday feeling that other Christmas novels did. The story is about two sisters who are not getting along. They’ve got their reasons, for sure, but they hardly want to spend Christmas together. In the end they don’t have to. Gemma is giving up her fancy holiday in the sun and sends her sister Juliet to the tropical island instead. Gemma will stay at home with Juliet’s four children. A swap that will ask for certain problems.

Juliet and Gemma both get to overthink their life away from where they were supposed to be in the first place. That gives them a new perspective on life. It changes them, which is a good thing. Still it does not seem to be enough to bring the two sisters back together. In fact, it even seems to screw things up worse for them. The end of the book is really sweet though and that brings back the Christmas spirit to this story.

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