Saturday, 3 January 2015

Book Review: Misletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge



Title: Mistletoe Mansion
Author: Samantha Tonge
Published: 10 November 2014
Publisher:  Carina

Twitter: @SamTongeWriter
Blog/website: samanthatonge.co.uk 

Synopsis 

Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.


So, newly single - and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined…? 

Review 

What can I say except that I loved this book! I was looking for an easy Christmas read and Mistletoe Mansion fits the bill perfectly. I love a bit of chick-lit and this one had the added bonus of some Christmas cheer and a somewhat unusual plot.

When we first meet Kimmy and her boyfriend Adam, it is actually the boyfriend who I could relate to more. Kimmy is a typical ditzy, celebrity-obsessed WAG wannabe. Adam is safe, dependable, reliable but boring. They are two totally different types of people and this causes a huge amount of tension in their relationship. The story follows Kimmy and her friend Jess as they become housesitters for Mistletoe Mansion. It is there that we meet the supporting characters - surely, rude Luke, real-life WAG and prima donna Melissa, the flamboyant Terry and his micro pig Frazzle and the loveable dog Graucho.

We watch Kimmy grow throughout the book, from her initial superficial, immature, 'head in the clouds' self to a young woman demonstrating friendship, loyalty, ambition and a huge heart. Whilst I disliked Kimmy at the start of the book and found her incredibly irritating, as the plot developed I found myself warming to her and her antics - albeit with a sense of frustration at the scrapes she gets herself into!

The supporting characters are all entertaining, if slightly stereotypical of the demographics they represent. I particularly liked the kind-hearted  Terry, who fast becomes a loyal and supportive friend to the girls.

There are some mysterious goings-on at Mistletoe Mansion which Kimmy and Jess need to get to the bottom of in order to help sell the house. The ghostly high-jinks move this story away from the usual chick-lit romance novel and adds an air of intrigue that made me want to keep ra

The story is a bit far-fetched, however readers should simply accept the story for what it is, rather than criticising it for what it's not. If you want a serious piece of literary fiction, try Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy. If you want a modern Christmas fairytale, then Mistletoe Mansion is the perfect choice.

The story involves mystery, intrigue, romance and comedy, all entwined into a perfect light hearted, upifting read that left me thoroughly entertained throughout. This was a lovely story and just right for the holiday period. I think I would say that this was the favourite of my Christmas reads for 2014.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The book is released in electronic format and is currently priced at £0.59 on Amazon UK

About the Author



Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and two cats who think they are dogs. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels and short stories is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women's magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from CarinaUK Harlequin, bestselling "Doubting Abbey", was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award, 2014. Its fun standalone sequel is From Paris With Love. Mistletoe Mansion, a Christmas novel, is out now!
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