Review of ‘Humbug’ by Amanda Radley

‘Humbug’ is the Christmas cuddle we all want and need this festive season. Once again Amanda Radley has given us characters we can love, a gentle romance and a setting we never knew we needed. Ellie Pearce is ‘Christmas Girl’ to everyone in the company she works for. Although an accomplished and brilliant statistician, she has, through circumstance, ended up in the marketing department of a recruitment firm. It’s not her ideal job. The CEO of the company, Rosalind Caldwell, is the archetypal Ice Queen – or is she? She may like to come across that way in business but as Ellie soon discovers, there’s a heart of gold underneath. When Rosalind is left in the lurch a few weeks before the big Christmas party, she needs someone to organise it from scratch – and who better than Christmas Girl? Despite the fact that Ellie has never been a PA or organised anything in her life, she is promoted upstairs, to the very top floor of a Canary Wharf building. Her extreme fear of heights is just the start of her worries. A growing crush on the boss is the last thing she needs, but try telling that to her heart.

This was a lovely story, full of kindness and joy. It was fun to see the thawing of an ice queen as the temperatures plunged in the corporate centre of London. Rosalind was firm, but fair. She needed the right person to let her see that love was possible. Ellie was completely adorable – the kind of friend we’d all like to have. Her enthusiasm was infectious and I couldn’t help but get into the Christmas spirit with her. This sweet story will open your eyes to the wonder of Christmas. I loved it.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Chosen’ by Brey Willows

chosen

Brey Willows makes me feel, really feel – and that’s a rare skill in a writer. It’s her attention to the small intimate moments as well as the overall arc that stands out for me in ‘Chosen’. A group of scientists from all over the world have been chosen to escape the predicted extinction of the human race as the planet slowly dies. Devin Rossi and Karissa Decker meet on a compulsory convoy to the base where the planned move to another world will start. But will they want to go – and will they get any say in the matter anyway? A raider group trying to help those destined to live out their lives on Earth may change everything.

The journey the scientists take is fraught with danger. The descriptions are so brilliantly drawn, I could feel the rain and was in the storms, experiencing it all with them. Climate change is in full force and so much worse than anyone thought. Following those dealing with the results was engrossing and immersive. The writing was faultless and took me to the places the author imagined. I was gripped and didn’t want to let go. I needed to know what happened next.

The love story through it all took place amidst chaos and difficult life-changing decisions. I ached for the women as they dealt with their growing feelings and passion, never knowing how it would all end. Finding someone to love and being faced with such huge dilemmas was truly emotional. ‘Chosen’ is an excellent novel and makes me realise that Brey Willows can write in any genre she wants -I’ll be first in line to read it.

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes for review.