Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publishing Date: 27th September 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers. And Oliver Cartwright. Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.
Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is. Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.
This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different. There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers. No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.
But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…
Daisy has just lost her boyfriend, her job and probably her dog. The only thing keeping her sane is the annual Christmas party at Uncle Terrence’s bookstore. She loves these parties, they bring all her favourite people together, and they are in her favourite place, bookstore. However, every single Christmas party, she has to endure hearing of Oliver Cartwright – they grew up together and were best friends for ever, but now they are not as they went their separate ways after Ollie went to university and became a doctor and Daisy… well, Daisy’s dreams of being a vet have never came true. Her mum and Oliver’s mum are best friends but they both love to boast about their children, and Ollie, well, Ollie wins at life, right? But then, after 13 long years, Oliver also comes to the party and oh boy, he’s hot! And lovely, and friendly and soon Daisy finds herself sharing an apartment with him…
As usual, the book is full of brilliant, sharp and witty banter between the characters, especially between Daisy and Oli. I loved their dialogues, they made me smile so often, and it always makes reading so much nicer and lighter. There is a lot of character development in the story but I think that the biggest self – discovery journey was Daisy’s one, she for sure was a totally different person at the end, a person that I liked much more than at the beginning – as I only had a teeny, tiny problem with Daisy, to be honest, as I had a feeling that the author has tried too much with her – to make her too funny, too dramatic, too lost, and this altogether has made her simply too overdone. I liked her, oh my word, I really liked her but because of all these “too” I couldn’t warm to her completely. Also, I am not a biggest fan of creating holly characters, characters who could do no wrong, who are always right and full of wisdom, and so the whole subplot with Uncle Terence, instead of making me weak at the knees, made me roll my eyes a bit.
The read was so engaging that I honestly haven’t spotted the three Christmases. Oops. The writing style so sentimental and light and chatty that I haven’t noticed time is passing by. The author has so easily drawn me into her characters’ lives and worlds that I really didn’t want to leave.
Altogether, it was a fun, witty and heart – warming rom – com, filled with quirky characters, some secrets, embarrassing situations, just what you could expect from this kind of book and from this author. However, it is not only a light – hearted, not too demanding read, it’s full of deeper and more serious moments, and I loved this perfect mix of fun and poignant. It was the perfect Christmas story to start getting you in the festive spirit. Let’s be honest, Zara Stoneley has did it again, she delivered another brilliant read full of great characters, the perfect blend of will they/won’t they, filling the book with a self discovery journey full of secrets, discoveries, friendship, love and stealing dogs. Truly recommended!