REVIEW: The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts – Blogmas Day 3


the snow globe, sheila roberts, books, reading, blog a book etc, fay, blog tour, fiction, christmas, festive

Back of the Book

‘When Kiley Gray discovers an enchanting snow globe in an antique shop, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kiley shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends-two women with problems of their own-they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.’

My Thoughts

Romance, festive cheer and a good dash of hope on the side. Sheila Roberts surely does know how to get you in the Christmas spirit. Kiley and her two friends Suzanne and Alison are like a triangle with extremely pointy edges when it comes to personalities. The three friends are out shopping when Kiley recently out of work finds that she really does need a miracle right about now. Whilst perusing an antique (Junk – in Suzanne’s words!) shop she comes across the delightfully festive snow globe and can’t take her eyes off of it. Despite being way out of her ‘budget’ after speaking to the shop owner and listening to the story there is no question that she simply ‘has to have it’. The deal done and snow globe in hand Kiley and her girlfriends continue with their day. Kiley has told her friends the beguiling story and despite the women having their own issues that we find out later in the book one remains incredibly sceptical about the back story of the stunning ornament. Surely a snow globe cannot make miracles happen? Well think again and read on my learned friend.

Let’s dissect a little more . . .

Kiley – completely obsessed with her ex boyfriend however after not fully getting over her current obsession she bumps into a hot hunky stranger who appears in her snow globe and falls madly in love and marries him. Now I am not saying that it is not possible to fall for someone and get married extremely quickly but I would make sure that I was over my ex first – would you not?

Allison – Losing a relative that you are close to is definitely one of the most upsetting things you can go through. After losing her grandmother – the lynch-pin in her messed up family – Allison meets a random old lady (that she saw in the snow globe!) and seems to get over her bereavement for her dear relative pretty quickly. Once again not staying fully on the negative side of things – it is wonderful to find someone out there that reminds you of the good traits of loved ones but after such a long grieving process being instantly attached to an elderly individual because you saw her in a snow globe is a bit far-fetched.

Suzanne – This character did it for me – where there is a thin line between like/dislike Suzanne was pulling on the ropes for me. Her home life suffered because she cared so much what others thought of her and she worked herself into an early grave to provide unnecessary trinkets for an already spoilt child. Her husband was beginning to resent her but only after breaking her ankle/leg did she slow down and look at her life. Not really a near death experience but whatever floats your boat. Suzanne’s story out of all three saw me thinking that Sheila Roberts really did want to link this to reality but had a very loose grip.

Despite many negative issues this book is definitely full of the fluffy goodness you want out of a festive romantic fiction read. For those sickly romantic christmas lovers out there this book is most definitely for you. That being said and sounding quite negative I would like to find out what happens next as the book was definitely left with room for continuation.

Overall an incredibly relatable read as the problems the friends face were those that every day people go through on a daily basis. This made the book readable however I became slightly sick of this reality – this may just be me as when I read a book I like to completely get lost in the fictional world created not take a long hard look at reality.


rating2*Grainy Blend

Thank you to Little Brown for sending me this book to review.


REVIEW: The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan

The Christmas Surprise, Jenny Colgan, Fiction, Books, Reading, Chick Lit, Festive, Christmas, Winter, Little Brown Books UK, Sphere, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

The Back of the Book

Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it’s going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together.

After all, don’t they say it takes a village to raise a child?

My Thoughts

Jenny Colgan has done it again ladies and gents. A festive continuation of where we left off from the previous Rosie Hopkins book and my, my what a tear jerker it is. This book is nothing short of a christmas surprise therefore it really does live up to its’ title.

We start with a non intrusive reminder of how the previous book finished – this is something that I found extremely helpful and a great reference point for those that have not read the previous book. This quick recap covers the location, the characters and many other good points to get us up to speed. For someone who has already read the previous books even I found this useful as I have not read the book prior to this for some time.

It was lovely to read about previous characters like Edison returning to health even if not as great a before and his genuine friendship with Rosie as she continues to charm her way through the village. With Tina’s wedding coming up the shop is in a frenzy as is general life around the village. Organisation has taken over and when a significant loss is thrown into the mix Rosie and her little family are at the forefront of this.

Without giving anything away as this is book that definitely should be read for yourself when such sadness takes over it can take a while to shake it off and this book really does hit a few home truths for myself.

With a tissue in one hand and cup of coffee in the other I continued reading and through a lot of modern references such as Westfield shopping centre, Made In Chelsea (TV series) this was not ‘just another book’. Colgan was on fire when this was written and her feelings were off the chart.

This book not only identifies with a whole horde of political issues such as Poverty but touches on Homosexuality and Racism to boot. This book is nothing short of a christmas miracle let alone surprise! Of course being a fictional story there has to be a touch of the unreal such as a free house, social worker disappearance and easy adoption. But once again I will not be giving anything away and this is where I will leave you to read the book for yourselves.

Just remember this – when you reach the end think about David Attenborough as we span out over the country side and look at what we have just read and think about the future. Much like a movie voice over this ending is just lovely and will bring a tear to the coldest of eyes and hearts.


rating5* premium java, rating, 5*, rating 5*

Just a little note to say – To Jenny Colgan I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Times like this are really hard but I can only hope it will get better for you.

REVIEW: From Notting Hill with Love . . . Actually by Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill with Love Actually, Love Actually, Notting Hill, London, Love, Romance, Chick Lit, Fiction, Reading, Books, Ali Harris, Little Brown Book Group, Sphere, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

The Back of the Book Says

A fabulously fun romantic comedy debut, referencing all those much-loved chick flick classics: Four Weddings; Sleepless in Seattle; When Harry Met Sally, to name just a few!

She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy . . . wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant.

Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiancé? David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now . . .

When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her favourite movies – Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life-like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too.

Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

My Thoughts

If you love movies, if you love books, if you love romance. Well there are many other things if you love you will LOVE this book. At the beginning I have to say I was not completely enamoured by the style of writing however after getting to know the characters bit by bit I really did enjoy this book.

Scarlett our main character lives in Stratford-upon-Avon with her father whom which she is extremely close to as he bought her up as a single parent. Scarlett is a loving daughter and absolutely obsessed with movies (something that she must have clearly got from her mother!). David who is Scarlett’s more than boring fiancé is quite well off but seems to have a moth lined wallet and DIY pipe dreams. Whilst Scarlett is part owner of the family popcorn business, David’s family run a successful chain of cinemas. You would think that this would be a match made in heaven but as the story unfolds David seems less and less an attractive candidate for our dear Scarlett’s attentions.

On moving to Notting Hill to ‘house sit’ for a month Scarlett first bumps into Oscar who’s fashion sense seems to rival an 80’s pimp but his warm heart draws Scarlett in and they become fast friends. Time for the moody brooding hot type (straight of course!) or have they met before! Well yes of course but you will have to read the book to find out how!

In a place where everyone seems to know everyone else it is hardly a surprise that when one goes to a dinner party you will bump into someone who knows someone else! Is that confusing enough for you?! Sean is to be Scarlett’s neighbour for the house sitting term and she just cannot get rid of that hard thumping in her chest every time he catches her eye.

Time for a wild goose chase to search for Scarlett’s long-lost mother and the pair start to become quite close. Adamant that she loves her oh so boring and tight ass fiancé Scarlett is blind sighted by the beautiful man who is Sean. When you think of David think of Phoebe’s David in Friends – BORING!

So whilst running around like a headless chicken Scarlett manages to rack up a fair few chance happenings where the movies really do translate into real life. She even gets lucky with meeting some stars that would only be in the average persons’ wildest dreams or in Scarlett’s case day dreams!  From Johnny Depp to Hugh Grant this chick is racing across London in a wedding dress and jumping on empty London Eye capsules filled with champagne and roses. Magical right?!

This book is a wild ride of the cinema lover and even more for the full of girly girl. With dreams flying left right and centre this is definitely a fantasy land that I enjoyed entering (and leaving to come back to reality – with a bang!).

I am looking forward to the next installment. Up next is . . .

Love Actually, Notting Hill, London, Love, Romance, Chick Lit, Fiction, Reading, Books, Ali Harris, Little Brown Book Group, Sphere, Blog A Book Etc, Fay, From Notting Hill to New York . . . Actually


rating4*, rating 4, 4 Star, Worthy Fix worthy fix, 4* rating

From Notting Hill with Love . . . Actually was sent to me by Sphere as an ARC a while back.
My review contains only my opinion and nothing written has been influenced due to the book being a gift.

REVIEW: The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews

Christmas, Party, Season, Winter, Books, Reading, Review, Fiction, Carole Matthews, Little Brown Book Group, Sphere, Blog A Book Etc

The Back of the Book

‘Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself . . .

Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It’s going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party.’

My Thoughts

When the postman rang the door bell and handed me a package I did not expect this. It is months before December after all. However what a better way to warm up to the Christmas period. Carole Matthews has a way with words that just enchants readers into a coma like sense of not wanting to put the book down. This book was one of many that did not disappoint.

Living at home is hard as I know from moving back but I cannot imagine having to do it with a child in tow. Louise is trying to make something of her life after being left with the raw end of a bad relationship and she has finally got her foot out of her parents front door and hopefully on the way to her own space for herself and her beautiful daughter Mia.

Throughout the book I felt for Louise as she had to deal with the countless advances from her disgustingly lecherous boss but towards the end you may find yourself like me howling with laughter as she gives him a horrid taste of his own medicine.

Christmas is a time of year for loved ones to share, children to enjoy and adults to clearly make slight fools of themselves at the work’s christmas do. Well this year Carole Matthews made no exception. From mansion fires to slashed tyres this office christmas party is one that will be remembered by all for years to come.

Carole Matthews most definitely does not scrimp on the romance side of things for the girly swoon factor as there are parts that will truly melt the frostiest of hearts. When Louise finally gets her chance at falling in love it is the point where you may not want to put the book down.

Full of girly fun, christmas frolics and cheer this book is definitely one that you will enjoy snuggled up with a cuppa of a chilly day.


3* Rating, Rating Scale, 3 Stars, Mediocre Mediocre Beans, 3 Star Rating, 3*, Mediocre The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews was sent to me by Sphere an Imprint of Little Brown Book Group UK as an ARC. My review contains only my opinion and nothing written has been influenced due to the book being a gift.