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Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown

Christmas at Carrington's

A deliciously indulgent read and the follow up to Cupcakes at Carrington's. Set in Carrington's Department Store this is perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan. Georgie Hart loves Christmas time at Carrington's Department store. Running the luxury handbag department, Georgie adores helping customers in the hunt for the perfect gift for the perfect someone. And this year is no exception - now she has the hunky Tom, Mr Carrington himself, to spend the special day with. But when Tom springs a surprise, Georgie's plans are thrown into chaos. Carrington's is getting a fresh lease of life in a hot new reality TV show, featuring formidable retail guru, Kelly Cooper. As the first show airs, Georgie is shown in a far from flattering light. Worse is to come when Kelly's vile daughter appears to get her claws into Tom. Georgie fears this will be the worst Christmas ever, but Santa still has a little surprise for her stocking this year - she'll just have to wait until Christmas to find out...

I first visited the the Carrington's department store last year. Cupcakes at Carrington's was author, Alexandra Brown's, debut novel and was one that I enjoyed immensely leaving me eagerly waiting the next installment in the promised trilogy and again, Alexandra Brown has delivered a brilliant novel.

Christmas at Carrington's finds us back at Carrington's, Georgie is happy in the beginnings of her relationship with Mr Carrington and looking forward to Christmas. However, a reality TV show lands in Carrington's and day to day life for both the store and the staff is not the same again.

I had saved this book to read over Christmas and I was not disappointed. it was great to go back through the doors of Carrington's and catching up with staff members. As well as regular characters from book 1, there are new characters, mainly from the production company who are making the programme; most of whom I had an instant dislike to.  I was upset that Tom Carrington's relationship with Georgie did not continue through the book, however with many hunky actors walking Carrington's shop floor I was hopefully one would catch her eye. It was great to see that Sam, owner of the cafe, and Georgie's closest friend also featured heavily within the book, never far from Georgie's side. 

Although this book has Christmas in the title, most of the story is not festive - the grand finale is the Christmas party but it could be read at anytime of the year and enjoyed.  All the beautiful and expensive bags that Georgie sells would make a great shopping list for any bagaholic! 

There is lots of humour throughout the story, Eddie, Mr Carrington's personal assistant, provides much of this and I would love to meet him. He reminds me of Are you being served? - I imagine him as a cross between Mrs Slocambe and Mr Humphries. His scenes  always left me with a smile on my face. 

Alexandra Brown has written a fantastic second novel. She has continued to bring Carrington's to life and has managed to include Britain's love of docu soaps and fly on the wall documentaries within the book.  However, there are also great storylines outside of Carrington's: Georgie's relationship with her father and Sam's desire for a baby to name two. 

The third installment, Ice Cream at Carrington's, is due for release in June 2014 - I will be placing this on my 'Books to look forward to in 2014' list. There are so many directions that this could go in and I look forward to seeing what Alexandra has planned for Georgie, Sam and Tom!

This book is the second book in the trilogy and I would recommend reading Cupcakes at Carrington's first, however it is possible to read this as a standalone book if preferred. 

The book finishes with a number of delicious sounding recipes from Sam's cafe and also Georgie's guide to the perfect festive party. I love when the book contains extras written by the characters.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins and Net Galley, for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

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