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6 December 2014

Weekly Feature: Once Upon a Christmas Story...

 'Once Upon a Story' is a weekly feature in which we go back in time and focus  on a specific novel that was released in the same month we're in right now. Since it's Christmas month on my blog, I thought it would be fun to look back at Christmas novels that were released during the past few years. So, if you're still looking for a lovely festive read, be sure to check out any of the novels mentioned below!  

This week, we're travelling back to 2011 to look back at the Christmas novels that were released in that particular year!

Scarlett Bailey - 'The Night Before Christmas'

All Lydia's ever wanted is a perfect Christmas...

So when her oldest friends invite her to spend the holidays with them, it seems like a dream come true. She's been promised log fires, roasted chestnuts, her own weight in mince pies - all in a setting that looks like something out of a Christmas card.

But her winter wonderland is ruined when she finds herself snowed in with her current boyfriend, her old flame and a hunky stranger. Well, three (wise) men is traditional at this time of year...

Cally Taylor - 'Home for Christmas'

Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox - a charming but rundown independent cinema - and has a boyfriend who's so debonair and charming she can't believe her luck! 

There's just one problem - none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn't look like Aiden's going to say it any time soon. 

Desperate to hear 'I love you' for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and instantly wishes she hadn't. Just when it seems like her luck can't get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he's determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. 

Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?

Trisha Ashley - 'The Magic of Christmas'

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her serially unfaithful husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Good job she has welcome distractions in the form of her Christmas Pudding Circle, a circle of friends swapping seasonal recipes, and a simmering rivalry with cookery writer Nick Pharamond – a rivalry set to come to boiling point after he snatched the Best Mince Pie prize away from her at the village show.

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Mystery Play which takes place on Boxing Day. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch Rainford, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it will certainly be a hard act to follow next year!

Karen Swan - 'Christmas at Tiffany's'

Three cities. Three seasons. One chance to find the life that fits.

Cassie settled down too young, marrying her first serious boyfriend. Now, ten years later, she is betrayed and broken. With her marriage in tatters and no career or home of her own, she needs to work out where she belongs in the world and who she really is.

So begins a year-long trial as Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with each of her best friends in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris and London. Exchanging grouse moor and mousy hair for low-carb diets and high-end highlights, Cassie tries on each city for size as she attempts to track down the life she was supposed to have been leading, and with it, the man who was supposed to love her all along.

Melissa Hill - 'Something From Tiffany's'

Doesn’t every girl dream of getting… something from Tiffany’s?

On 5th Avenue in New York City, two very different men are shopping for gifts for the women they love. Gary is buying his girlfriend Rachel a charm bracelet. Partly to thank her for paying for their holiday-of-a-lifetime to New York. But mainly because he’s left his shopping far too late. Whereas Ethan’s looking for something a little more special – an engagement ring for the first woman to have made him happy since he lost the love of his life.

But when the two men’s shopping bags get confused, and Rachel somehow ends up with Ethan’s ring, the couples’ lives become intertwined. As Ethan tries to reunite the ring with the woman it was actually intended for, he discovers this isn’t that easy. Does fate have other ideas for the couples? Or is there simply a bit of Tiffany’s magic in the air…

Ali Harris - 'Miracle on Regent Street'

Evie Taylor, a girl with a big heart, gets lost in the big city. For the past two years, Evie has lived an invisible life in London. Her neighbours think she’s just moved in, her sister mistakes her for a live-in nanny, and even Evie’s manager at work can’t remember her name. But all that is about to change …this Christmas has brought a flurry of snow and unimaginable possibilities into town.

Evie works in the stockroom of an old-fashioned, family-run, London fashion department store. Hardy’s is a beautiful, wood-panelled jewellery box of a building, but it’s in dire need of a makeover. One day Evie overhears that if the entire store’s takings don’t turn round by Dec 26th – 3 weeks’ time – the family who own it will be forced to sell to one of the big chains. Hardy’s is in need of a Christmas miracle. Determined to save her beloved store, Evie hatches a plan to secretly transform it into a magical place to shop again. 

But has the time come for her to be noticed too? When an accidental romantic encounter with handsome, enigmatic Joel gives her the chance of a whole new identity, she takes it.

Carole Matthews - 'Wrapped Up in You'

A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing?

Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson's single status is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after too many nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster, and news that her ex is getting married, Janie realizes it's time to do something dramatic with her life. It's time for an adventure! Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she's mad and Janie thinks they may very well be right, but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide—and fully fledged Maasai Warrior—Dominic. But can Janie now face spending a snowy Christmas back home without him?

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