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Friday, December 8, 2017

Covent Garden in the Snow

Title: Covent Garden in the Snow
Author: Jules Wake
Publisher: 20th  October 2017 by HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: holiday-Christmas, fiction, romance
My Rating: 4 crowns

Tilly Hunter has fabulous friends, her dream job as a make-up artist with a prestigious opera company and Felix, her kind and caring husband to be. It looks set to be the most perfect Christmas yet!
But when a monumental blunder forces her to work closely with new IT director Marcus Walker, it's not only the roast chestnut stalls on the cobbles of her beloved Covent Garden that cause sparks to fly…
Super serious and brooding, Marcus hasn’t got a creative bone in his sharp-suited body. For technophobe Tilly, it's a match made in hell.
And yet, when Tilly discovers her fianc√© isn’t at all what he seems, it's Marcus who's there for her with a hot chocolate and a surprisingly strong shoulder to cry on … He might just be the best Christmas present she’s ever had.
My Thoughts

I am a fan of Jules Wake’s books and this one is right up there with the best of them. Always up for a Christmas read this time of year, this one was loads of fun without being over the top in any area. I like that this book incorporated more of a holiday feel, especially the wonderful Covent Garden descriptions and traditions, rather than full on commercialism. It was very relatable with all the family traditions, looking for gifts and sharing a meal - comfort reading at this time of year.

“Christmas back then, when we were young had been fun, when lunch was a long-laid back affair, in which Mum insisted we all wore our cracker crowns.”

One of the unexpected surprises about this book is learning all about the behind-the-scenes action of the opera. The main lead, Tilly,  works at the London Metropolitan Opera Company in the make-up department and loves her job except having to learn about updating stock etc on the computer. This makes for many an amusing situation. That aside, it was absolutely fascinating to learn about what goes on backstage for a production, things I had never really considered. A lot of research must have been done around everything from wig making, to costume design, to the frantic change overs - I learnt so much!

“Backstage we became shadows cocooned in a world between reality and fantasy. I loved these moments, tucked out of sight but so close to the action unfolding on stage. They held a special indefinable magic that I always wanted to hug close to me, a time when nothing else from the world intruded.”

Of course there is also some fun chick lit and the chemistry between the two leads was highly entertaining, frustrating, frivolous and rewarding.  To match the creative Tilly with the IT savvy Marcus was always going to produce some amusing encounters. You will quietly smirk or giggle with what Tilly frustratingly does to technology and how gently Marcus tries to coach her. Typically, you know what’s coming, but good writers like Jules make you enjoy every step of the journey.

All up I can highly recommend this book as there are many facets to it, not being a one dimensional chick lit read. So snuggle up this Christmas as this book is sure to put a smile on your face.

“Christmas brings out the fanciful in me. I can’t help myself. I loved this time of year and the infectious attitude in the streets.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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