Hi guys, hope you’re having a WONDERFUL Thursday! I sure am, I couldn’t wait to share my review of Sue Moorcroft’s new book and the day is finally here! Today’s my stop on THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE blog tour and I have not only a review of this FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC book for you but also a guest piece from lovely Sue. Enjoy & DO READ THE BOOK!
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft
Published by Avon
Published on 6.10.2016
Genres: chick lit
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
Countdown to Christmas with your new must-have author, as you step into the wonderful world of bespoke hat-maker Ava Bliss…
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
The Christmas Promise is the first book by Sue Moorcroft I’ve read but it definitely won’t be my last one. Being a big fan of chick lit/women’s fiction/contemporary romance I honestly have no idea why I waited so long to read some of her books. My blogger friends, whom I dearly love and trust with all my heart, have nothing but praise for her books and now I finally see why.
First off, don’t be fooled by the title! It’s a festive read alright, but don’t expect the usual fluff. On the contrary, expect a book that will draw you deep inside, a story that will speak to your heart and make you ponder on many serious topics (such as trust, friendship, social media etc).
Ava Blissham is a milliner. I swear a had no bloody idea what a milliner does, but here I am now after reading this book feeling a true expert on hats and their making. She’s trying hard to make ends meet, lives with her best friend for years, Izz and is as single as it can get. She’s an only child and her parents were really career focused, so the only memories of Christmas she has involve those moments spent with her Gran. But with her gran being gone for some years, she really sees no reason to be in a jolly Christmas mood. Christmas is approaching, she’s got some hats she can’t sell no matter how much she tries and fears she’ll be forced to contact her parents for help. Something she hasn’t done for years. She tags along with Izz to a party with Izz’s colleagues from work and suddenly ‘miracles’ start to happen. After a weird encounter with Izz’s boos, Sam (or the Big Important Man, as she calls him) she realizes this Christmas might just be the best Christmas in her life. While faux dating Sam she notices real genuine feelings starting to develop, but the situation with Sam and his mother, Wendy doesn’t let her get her hopes up. And there’s Harvey, the irritating bastard of ex who does EVERYTHING to make her life miserable. Harvey has some pictures he took while he was dating Ava (involving some nudity) and he’s willing to use them against her simply because she doesn’t want to be with him.
Oh boy, there’s just so much stuff going on in this book, which was surprising because the first 50 pages felt too slow for my liking. I started fearing I won’t enjoy this book, couldn’t really feel Ava or her relationship with the other characters. But I really didn’t have to worry as after those 50-ish pages things start really happening. I was completely immersed in the story, biting my nails, hoping for the best outcome for Ava. She started growing on me, more and more with each new page. The romance with Sam was absolutely amazing, gradually built and so realistic. Sam is brilliant! I’m telling you, when shit hits the fan you want to have someone like Sam in your life. He is one of the most amazing, supportive male characters I’ve ever read about and I have nothing but respect for him. Yes, of course they have few rows with Ava along, but he has best intentions at heart. While I liked Ava, I was absolutely blown away by Sam and I do hope Sue will bring him back in some other book. Caring, strong, not to mention dishy, Sam is the man!
As I mentioned earlier, don’t expect the usual festive fluff. The book raises some serious question regarding loyalty, importance of family, trust, revenge… I totally loved this! One sentence that I will ALWAYS come back to in hard times (which I wrote down with big black marker on my notebook) is SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE! Ha! SO amazing and so deep. Love it! Write it down, stick it somewhere where you can see it daily and LIVE BY IT! Next time your demanding boss, kids or partner piss you off just remember Sue’s words.
What did feel strange a bit was Ava’s friendship with Izz, but I won’t go into details as I fear I’ll spoil the book for you. And believe me, that’s the last thing I want to do. On the contrary I want to encourage you to pick up this book, despite not yet being Christmas or whatever. Not a fan of chick lit/contemporary romance? Fear not! This book’s got a substance enough to keep your mind busy even DAYS after you’ve read it.
I really could go on and on about all the cool messages contained in this book. But as I took enough of your time already (thank you for reading my review, guys!) I’m gonna end it now. Just read the book! Don’t hesitate, don’t over think… just go to amazon and order a copy. The e-book was released just a few days ago and the paperback (which is so bloody gorgeous) is out on 1st December. Whatever the format, just read the book. Promise me that? It’s a true gem!
Going viral- Guest post from Sue Moorcroft
“Going viral’ is the name we give to something that’s shared over and over again on the Internet, its reach growing and multiplying until it even appears in the sidebars of social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter as a ‘trend’. Going viral can be a fantastically good thing … or an incredibly bad thing. If good, it can bring massive attention to a business, money to a charity or power to the wheels of justice. It can share a joke and make us all laugh. #MyPromise is that when bad, it can, frankly, bring misery.
Both good and bad occur in The Christmas Promise. Very cleverly – because he’s my hero and so, obviously, incredibly intelligent and determined – Sam takes the prospect of images going viral in a bad way and turns things around to help not just Ava but also a WAG, Ruby Glennister. It’s useful that he has his own communications agency and so he also has all the resources and expertise he needs but, still, his is a great idea that works in ways he could never have dreamed of. (Bear in mind that dreams can be good or bad, too.)
That Ava benefits from his great idea and amazing resources isn’t just because Sam has a thing about her but because he admires her valiant attempts to combat all kinds of conflicts. She’s also nice to his mum when his mum desperately needs people on her side.
From the writing point of view it’s one thing to decide a character’s going to have a great idea but quite another to decide what that great idea is to be and to show in action on the page. I had to have the great idea in order to give it to Sam.
Whenever my ideas are not quite great enough I have a secret weapon – great connections. Among my many writing friends is the head of a PR company, Adrienne Vaughan, who not only helped me create Sam’s comms agency and showed me how it would work but collaborated on creating Sam’s great idea, the great idea that was going to save the day and also my plot. I was able to contribute an idea about an electronic Christmas card and over dinner and a glass of wine our imaginations flowed, liberally sprinkled with the magic dust of her expertise.
So next time you see something on the internet going viral (hopefully in a good way) take time to look at what’s going on. Is this publicity generated through a happy accident?
Or has someone in PR had a great idea?