Monday, 18 November 2013

Book review: Christmas at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown


My edition: Paperback, to be published on 5 December 2013 by Harper, 365 pages.

Description: Georgie Hart loves Christmas time at Carrington's Department store. Running Luxury Handbags, Georgie adores helping customers in the hunt for the perfect gift for the perfect someone. And this year is no exception - now she has the hunky Tom, Mr Carrington himself, to spend the special day with.

But when Tom springs a surprise, Georgie's plans are thrown into chaos. Carrington's is getting a fresh lease of life in a hot new reality TV show, featuring formidable retail guru, Kelly Cooper.

 As the first show airs, Georgie is shown in a far from flattering light. Worse is to come when Kelly's vile daughter appears to get her claws into Tom. Georgie fears this will be the worst Christmas ever, but Santa still has a little surprise for her stocking this year - she'll just have to wait until Christmas to find out...

Rating:



I've been very fortunate with the books I've had the pleasure to read in the past few weeks as they were all absolutely brilliant. I don't often post several five star reviews in a row, but it seems it's not only the season to be jolly but also the season of fantastic books!

Christmas at Carrington's is a continuation of Alexandra Brown's excellent first novel Cupcakes at Carrington's, which was released at the start of the year and I thoroughly enjoyed reading (find my review HERE). In this sequel Georgie still works in the luxury handbags departments at Carrington's with her beau Mr Tom Carrington himself now out in the open about who he is and her best friend Sam still manning her cafe, so she's close by for when Georgie needs a cheer-up cupcake or simply wants to hear the latest gossip.

Georgie is pretty happy with where things are in her life, until one day she's watching a reality TV show and she sees herself dancing to BeyoncĂ©'s Single Ladies in a cringe-worthy way. It turns out that without her knowledge she was filmed on the shop floor because Carrington's is going to be part of a new television series in which the store will get a major make-over, in the hopes of bringing in some much-needed new customers.

It's all pretty fun at first when Georgie and her co-workers get the chance to be on telly and getting rewarded with brand-new wardrobes in the process, so they look presentable both on TV and for the new customers, but with Tom away filming scenes halfway across the world surrounded by beautiful women and the presenter of the show seemingly having it in for Georgie, it all quickly turns into a nightmare. Even worse, she suspects that the show may just be a ruse and the store itself is at risk of being bought up!

I love Georgie. She an incredibly likeable and funny main character and from a reader's point of view you can't help but root for her throughout the novel, even when she's being a bit of a drama queen. And with the addition of her wonderful best friend Sam, the gorgeous Tom (who I am a little bit in love with myself) and the theatrical but ultimately very sweet Eddie as another good friend, they are the heart of the books and an important part of what make the Carrington's stories such a joy to read.

Once again the cover to the novel is incredibly inviting, it emanates the feel of the luxuries products that Georgie sells in Carrington's and the image goes perfectly with that of the first cover, but with added festive flair to it in the form of the red and icy blue pops of colours. However, don't let the gorgeous cover and the depiction of a perfect Christmas deceive you into thinking this is a fun and frothy read with little depth. Of course there are plenty of mentions of gorgeous clothes (and handbags) and there is a love story at the heart of it all, but there is so much more to it than that.

Author Alexandra Brown actually took me by surprise about two-thirds in when something unexpected and absolutely heart-breaking happened to one of my favourite characters. I had a lump in my throat while reading it, but she handled the situation very delicately and this, combined with the Georgia and Tom story, which felt unpredictable this time around, really elevated the novel above many others within its genre.

Where Cupcakes at Carrington's, befitting its title, was a sweet and addictive introduction to Georgie and the gang, Christmas at Carrington's still funny but also heartfelt story really establishes the series as a strong new addition to the women's fiction genre and I personally cannot wait for more.

You can purchase Christmas at Carrington's from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred retailer.



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

Website: www.alexandrabrown.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alexandrabrownauthor

Twitter: @alexbrownbooks


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

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