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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson

It Started with a Kiss!

From the author that gave you the Sunday Times top 10 selling title, Fairytale of New York, join our heroine Romily as she discovers how far she will go to find the man of her dreams. As the singer in a wedding band, Romily Parker has seen her fair share of happy endings, even though her own love life isn't quite as simple. On the last Saturday before Christmas, (shortly after disastrously declaring her love for best friend Charlie), Romily has a brief encounter with a handsome stranger whose heart-stopping kiss changes everything. Determined to find him again, Romily embarks on a yearlong quest, helped (and sometimes hindered) by enthusiastic Uncle Dudley, cake-making Auntie Mags and flamboyant Wren. Will she find the man of her dreams? Or could true love be closer than she thinks? The ONLY book that you'll want to curl up with this winter -- perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella.

I have loved Miranda's previous two books and have been looking forward to this book for sometime, and Miranda has not disappointed! It is a great read and has a Christmassy theme although the book covers the following year too.

Miranda Dickinson is a local(ish) author to myself and this book is set in Birmingham, again close to me. As I began to read the book I was able to picture the scene and this really made the opening scene at Birmingham's Christmas fayre even more special. I also really enjoyed the 'Birminghamisms' which littered Uncle Dudley's speech throughout the book.

The book begins with the main character, Romily, telling her best friend, Charlie, that she is in love with him, and want them to be together, however Charlie does not take the confession well and Romily walks out of the coffee shop and around Birmingham. Charlie manages to find her and shouts after her, but Romily runs away - and into a soft toy stall within the Christmas Market. Of course the market is very busy but nobody offers to help Romily to pick up the toys and just stand around watching or recording on their mobiles. However, help does arrive, a gorgeous man, who helps pick up the toys, before being called away by a friend before they can swap names and/or numbers. Following this encounter, Romily decides that she wants to find this handsome stranger, and gives herself until Christmas Eve the following year to find him. Her family and friends think she is mad but Romily is determined. Her only real supporters are Uncle Dudley and Aunt Mags.

Romily is a singer in a band and alot of the book is about the bands gigs, often wedding entertainment and some of the weddings sound like the perfect experience, whereas others are peoples worst nightmares. I enjoyed reading about all the weddings and also the friendships between the band members. Charlie is also in the band and I realised that through the book, Charlie's feelings towards Romily are changing and this is another big storyline within the book. I will not spoil the ending for readers of my blog but it does reach a who will Romily choose - Charlie or her handsome stranger.

The band are also major characters within the book and all appear to be a great set of friends. I was unsure about the manager D'Wayne but towards the end of the book, he won me over. However, my favorite characters were Uncle Dudley and Aunty Mags. They seemed like Romily's second mother and father and cared for her like a daughter - I enjoyed the history of their relationship and thought it bought another side to the story. As I have also said, I loved Uncle Dudley's Birminghamism's - with 'bab' and localisms littering the text. It all added to the character of him in my imagination.

Miranda also adds references to blogging in the book - a popular pastime for many in this virtual world we live in and it is through her blog that she tries to find her gorgeous stranger. There are copies of her posts intermingled within the story and I enjoyed this modern style and its inclusion within the text.

The front cover is beautiful and is one which will jump off the shelf in the shops. However, I was disappointed to see the cover was featuring London, the book does finish with a trip to London but it would have been great to include a scene of Birmingham Christmas Market where it all began.

Miranda's writing style is a really easy read. It is one of those books that you can loose yourself in for an evening. I really enjoyed, as I have previously said, the scenes around the Birmingham Christmas Market and I also enjoyed the winter scenes in London, they were beautifully written and very descriptive.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves chick lit or a good romance, with a reference to Christmas but not the entire book. It is a great read and one you could loose yourself in on a cold winter's afternoon.

Thank you to the publishers, Avon, for sending me the book to review.

I am looking forward to meeting the author, Miranda Dickinson, at my local Waterstones, in Worcester, this Saturday.

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