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20 December 2013

Review: 'Coming Home for Christmas' by Jenny Hale (2013)

Allie Richfield loves  Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out…

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at everybody from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen… even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own…

The cover of Jenny Hale's 'Coming Home for Christmas' has to be one of the prettiest Christmas covers of 2013. The colours, the couple sitting underneath the umbrella, the snowflakes at the top, the swirly font of the title... I love all of it! There's nothing like visiting grand houses or country estates during the holiday season; I'm a sucker for pretty houses and festive decorations, so the plotline of this novel, which centres around the heroine getting a job as the house manager of a large estate around Christmas time, immediately caught my interest and I was absolutely delighted when I found a review copy in my mailbox. I simply knew this had to be a good read!

Thirty-something Allie Richfield seems to be back at square 1. She's single, just lost her job as a nanny, and is back living with her mother. With a little bit of help from her sister, she manages to land herself a job as a house manager at a gorgeous family estate in Virginia. It's not something Allie saw herself doing, but from the moment she meets Robert Marley, the oldest son and the person resposible for Ashford House, she is intrigued by him. It doesn't take long before Allie gets to know the other members of the Marley family, including matriarch Pippa and Robert's brother and sister, Kip and Sloane. Allie takes it upon herself to bring the Marley family back together for one last Christmas at Ashford House, but this turns out to be slightly more difficult than she expected...

I loved the plotline of this novel. I really enjoyed reading about Allie's experiences as a house manager at Ashford House, and seeing how she developed different relationships with all of the Marley family members. Robert is the slightly broody business man whom Allie can't quite read, Kip is the youngest and carefree sibling who just wants to have some fun, Sloane is the older sister who has been through a lot and is trying to redefine her role in life, and then there's Pippa, the owner of the house who seems a bit grumpy at first, but turns out to be one of the most fascinating characters of the novel. There's a great mix of different people with a wonderful and enjoyable storyline behind it, including a touch of romance, which is the recipe for a great read, if you ask me!

Besides the fact that the story mainly takes place in December, around Christmas time, the novel suits this time of year perfectly because it focuses on themes like family, forgiveness and hope. Keywords which embody what Christmas is all about. Jenny Hale's writing is easy to get into and she managed to completely take me in with her words, not wanting to put the novel down. 'Coming Home for Christmas' is an enchanting holiday romance that will make you feel all warm and happy inside, the perfect feeling with which to start this festive time of the year!



  1. Sounds like a perfect Christmas read :)

  2. It's a great book! Loved it!