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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: Meet Me Under The Mistletoe

Author: Abby Clements
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Publisher: Quercus

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel's lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Laurie is living in London and dedicated to her career, keeping track of her friends on Facebook. Rachel is seemingly living the family idyll in a cottage in Yorkshire - except she worries her marriage is starting to show cracks. When Rachel's mother in law falls ill and needs treatment in London, and Laurie decides she needs to get away for a break, a house swap falls into place. Soon Rachel is braving the mean streets of London while trying to keep her family together, while Laurie tries to figure out how to work an Aga and befriend the locals - and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home in time for Christmas?
 
“Rachel took in the proposal. A house swap – she knew a couple of friends who’d arranged holidays that way and swore by it. It wasn’t a bad idea – she and the kids would be able to come and go as they wanted, visiting the hospital, without being in anyone’s way. For the few days Aiden was in Skipley he could stay at Bea’s, leaving the cottage free for Laurie.” – Finished Copy pg. 52
 
“Laurie laughed too, in spite of herself – their parallel love droughts had gone on for over a year, and they’d shared every step. They’d both kissed enough frogs in their twenties – and in their mid-thirties were looking for something more – but the quality and quantity of available men seemed to have dropped through the floor.” – Finished Copy pg. 41
 
“She put on a CD and went over to light the fire. After a little while the small flames on the logs flickered into life, and Laurie settled down at the kitchen table with a doorstep sandwich laden with Stilton. Things in Skipley were definitely looking up.” – Finished Copy pg. 208

My immediate thought after reading was that this book reminded me of the movie called “The Holiday” starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law. Two strangers who desperately need a break from their daily lives end up swapping houses and lifestyles for a few days. Only in this book the switch happens between two long lost friends whose lives have taken some unexpected turns. One of the friends, Rachel, is a mother to two children and needs some medical answers and relief for her mother-in-law, Bea. The other friend, Laurie, is a high end fashion designer who has recently lost her touch and possibly her heart. This story is set with a holiday theme in mind, and that makes it all the more enchanting.

I loved reading about Rachel and Laurie and how they each adjusted to the other's home and everything that essentially came with it, including Rachel and Laurie’s variety of eccentric, yet warm neighbors. At the start of the novel I could tell that each of the characters were in their own little rut and needed a pick me up. I saw two different characters by the end of the novel and was really happy that a change of scenery and a new cast of characters could help each woman mend what needed mending. The chapters do countdown to Christmas, and lots of warm holiday festivities take place closer to the end. I can’t tell you how pleased I was that this story was set around Christmas because I just don’t think that it would have read the same being set in a different season.

I have to admit that I was Team Laurie. I don’t know why but I just liked her chapters better and I felt that I could really relate to her, but I still loved Rachel and her enormous love for her family. I was just rooting for Laurie to find love or some type of happiness that could help keep her mind off Jay (heartbreaker) and help get her career back on track. She was a big city kind of gal and much more accustomed to the fast paced lifestyle. I love books like this one where I feel really, really connected to one character. I think this shows the author’s ability to write to all different types of personalities.

This book really helped to build my Christmas spirit and really set the mood for the upcoming holiday. I fell in love with all of the characters and honestly reading this book was like taking a mini break for myself. I enjoyed following them all of their brief holidays away from home!

***Many thanks to Lucy, at Quercus, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***








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