Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Ebury, for the advanced reading copy. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…
His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…
It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International.
But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?
Mandy Baggot is definitely up there in my list of favourite authors. She melted this cynical reader's ice-cold heart with a previous Christmassy novel, One Wish in Manhatten, but this one is even better.
The characterisation is perfect. We have Isla, the main protagonist; single, feisty and desperately loyal to her sister, she's not on the look-out for romance. She's quite put-out when she is singled out to be the new CEO's 'go-to girl'. Who wouldn't be, when they have their own projects to manage? Isla is great; she's not afraid to speak her mind most of the time, and she is fiercely protective of the people and places she loves.
Isla's sister Hannah, is a beautiful character. She's not bitter about being in a wheelchair, but is trying to assert her independence, something quite hard to do with a bossy big sister around. But she is sweet, and young, and she is yet unsullied by her sister's cynicism over romance. The one thing she dreams of is sharing a Christmas Kiss with someone special - if they can see beyond the wheel chair.
Then Chase Bryan sweeps in, and turns Isla's world upside down. Painfully aware of her job and reputation being at risk, she struggles to balance her priorities, whilst trying to fight the growing attraction she is feeling to her new boss. Because that just wouldn't be right, would it? After all, he is The Boss, he has kids, and he lives in New York. But he is utterly gorgeous, and charming without any hint of smarm at all. He loves his kids, and he always wants to do The Right Thing. But that's not always easy, especially with a truculant teen and a wide-eyed younger daughter in tow.
Another, utterly brilliant character is Raj, the postman. I love the way Mandy has written his dialogue - it's very fresh and real, innit? He's fantastic!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and became immersed in the story. I've never been to Notting Hill, but I felt as though I myself was right there with them. The surroundings, the sights and smells are very evocative, and I even found myself pulling a blanket around me against the cold, cold snow in London.
I utterly loved this book, so you should buy yours here!
About the Author
Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer represented by The Kate Nash Literary Agency. In 2017 she was signed by Ebury Publishing (Penguin Random House).
The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016.
Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1's Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.