Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Book review: A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill


My edition: Paperback (proof copy), to be published on 24 October 2013 by Simon & Schuster, 405 pages.

Description: Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man… literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wrecked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aiden. As she discovers the mysterious stranger's world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aiden be the happy ever after she's always imagined?

Rating:



Darcy is obsessed with books and particularly the dashing gentlemen that appear in the Jane Austen classics. She often dreams about her namesake Mr Darcy and the equally handsome Mr Rochester in between her shifts at a small independent bookstore in New York, which is the perfect job for her. Despite this match made in career heaven her aunt fruitlessly tries to convince Darcy she deserves a better paid job and an eligible rich man to boot, but no-one can compare to the men in Darcy's dreams, especially not the often snobby and/or peculiar people her aunt tries to fix her up with.

One day when maneuvering her bicycle through the busy New York traffic Darcy accidentally slams into a man, knocking the both of them to the ground and into puddles of the snow slush covering the city's streets. While Darcy is not badly hurt, the man is unconscious and is taken to the hospital which sets into the motion the rest of the story. Feeling guilty that she is the cause of this mysterious stranger's accident and the memory loss that follows, Darcy takes it upon herself to take care of the dog the man was walking and in the mean time find the loved ones that are surely missing him.

I saw the cover for this book a few months ago and was blown away by how stunning it was; the paper cut-out images perfectly represent the focus on literary works within the novel and the cool blue and white colours makes it seem like a magical winter read (which it is indeed).

The story sounded right up my alley as well so I was very excited when I got the chance to read an early copy of the novel. I thought that perhaps by really looking forward to picking this read up I'd inevitably set myself up for disappointment, but I needn't have worried as I adored everything about it.

Darcy was a very pleasant character to read about, likeable and her love for books and disinterest in fashion and the glamour of New York was something I could really relate to. Besides, who hasn't dreamt of gorgeous (but fictional) men before? I'm sure if the choice existed many a woman would opt for a perfect literary hero over the often disappointing reality.

And while this is mainly the story of Darcy and Aidan (the man she knocks over on her bike), to me the second main character was actually Aidan's gorgeous dog Bailey. The husky is the reason that Darcy has a valid reason to visit Aidan in the hospital after the accident and keep in touch. And the dog's company is not only very welcome to Darcy herself, but also helps her connect to other people in her life. I am normally not a dog lover myself (give me a cat any day!) but Bailey sounded so sweet, well-behaved and beautiful that even I am now convinced I need to get myself a husky one day.

What I also thoroughly enjoyed about this novel is how each chapter from Darcy's point of view started with a literary quote relevant to her situation. Some of them I had heard before and already loved (such as, "I've always imagined that Paradise is kind of a library" and "Money can't buy happiness but it can buy books, which is kind of the same thing"), but others were new and enlightening to me (I particularly liked, "Reality can be beaten with enough imagination").

Anyway, that's enough gushing for now - in short: I really, really enjoyed A Gift to Remember and highly recommend it. So purchase a copy either for yourself or for someone else (which I'm sure will be a gift to remember...) now. You can pre-order the novel from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Waterstones or your own preferred retailer.

By the way, tomorrow I'll be attending an event for this book by Simon & Schuster and get the opportunity to meet author Melissa Hill! *excited*



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: www.melissahill.ie

Facebook: facebook.com/melissahillbooks

Twitter: @melissahillbks


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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