Book Review: The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk

I’ve previously enjoyed books by Lindsey Kelk – so when I saw she had a Christmas book out, I requested it from NetGalley and was lucky enough to be sent a review copy. Here’s the blurb:

“Newly single lawyer Gwen Baker is hoping that a family Christmas – countryside, a mountain of food and festive films –
will salve the sting of her career hanging by a thread and her heart being trampled on. Because everyone else has their life sorted: even Dev, her boy-next-door crush, is now a tall, dark and handsome stranger with a fiancée. She can’t help wishing her future was clearer.
Then Gwen wakes up to discover it’s Christmas day all over again. Like Groundhog Day but with turkey. And family arguments. On repeat.
As she figures out how to escape her own particular Christmas hell, Dev is the one bright spot. He might be all grown-up but underneath he’s just as kind and funny as she remembers.
Maybe, just maybe, her heart can be mended after all.
But how do you fall in love with someone who can’t remember you from one day to the next?”

I enjoyed the book from the start with Gwen and her cousin Manny travelling to their family home town from London for Christmas. Although not specified exactly where – later on in the book it’s evident that it’s walking distance to Chatsworth House – so clearly near my Aunt and Uncle in Derbyshire!

Gwen and Manny clearly have a close relationship as cousins – and as the book continues, lots of the backstory for the whole family is filled in. They are a really mixed bunch – but you’re rooting for them all. You’re also definitely rooting for Gwen and Dev!

The Groundhog Day element is brilliant! Each day Gwen wakes up and it’s Christmas morning again – and she needs to work out what has gone wrong and why she’s gone back in time again, and again. It’s so clever – and each iteration affects the next in some way or other.

It’s well written, intricate but still very funny and relevant. I had one tiny niggle (because I’m a d*ck) and that’s in one version of the day, Gwen grabs a bacon sandwich as she leaves the house – but a few pages later is starving because she hasn’t eaten all day. Now maybe she didn’t eat the sandwich she grabbed – or maybe I just spotted the one tiny continuity error in it!

It’s a perfect book to curl up with at this time of year – and it’s bargain on Kindle at the moment. I would thoroughly recommend it with a glass of Baileys / box of celebrations / log fire / cozy blanket (delete as applicable)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.

Book Review: One In A Million by Lindsey Kelk

This book has sat on my bedside table for what I thought was months – but upon further investigation was actually years! (I suspected when reading it that it might be – given it’s based around social media but is pre TikTok) However due to a Kindle with no charge, I started reading this one night – and enjoyed it so much it took priority over my Kindle book (which I eventually gave up on altogether). I follow Lindsey on Twitter – and I have a dim recollection she pointed out this was for sale on Amazon for 99p and I actually paid hard cash for it – which is very unlike me when I’m lucky enough to get lots of book freebies!!

Here’s the blurb:

“Everyone wants that special someone….
Annie Higgins has one goal this year: to get her tiny business off the ground. But – infuriated by the advertising agency across the hall making fun of her job – Annie is goaded into accepting their crazy challenge: to make a random stranger Instagram-famous in just thirty days.
And even when they choose Dr Samuel Page PhD, historian and hater of social media, as her target, Annie’s determined to win the bet – whether Sam likes it or not.
But getting to know Sam means getting to know more about herself. And before the thirty days are out, Annie has to make a decision about what’s really important…
Funny, real and heart-meltingly romantic, Annie and Sam’s story is My Fair Lady for the social media age – and the perfect feel-good read.”

I liked Annie from the start – she just seemed a ‘good egg’. The way she fitted into her work life with her work friends, and her family life with her sister and sister’s family – was lovely and completely believable. I particularly loved her relationship with her best friend and business partner Miranda.

The banter with the other people in her building was also really well written, modern and amusing.

There are some excellent twists and turns which make it even more of a page turner – and I loved the fact that it wasn’t a ‘simple’ romance.

A fabulous read – yet again Lindsey Kelk has written a great book. It’s made me want to explore her back catalogue even more. Although it’s also made me realise how quickly a contemporary book can be out of date – as Annie would be all over reels and Tik Tok now!

Book Review: On A Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

I’ve really enjoyed previous books by Lindsey Kelk, and so when I saw she had a new one coming out in November 2021, I asked for an ARC from NetGalley and my wish was granted. Here’s the blurb:

“Within days of wishing she could change her life, Fran Cooper is acting assistant to a celebrity, on a yacht in the Mediterranean, and en route to a tiny Italian island and the glittering Crystal Ball, along with the world’s rich and famous.
When she – quite literally – bumps into a handsome American called Evan, a man able to keep his cool in the face of chaos, the magic really begins.
Evan makes her a promise: no last names, no life stories, just one unforgettable night. Yet Evan belongs at the Crystal Ball and Fran is a gatecrasher. They may be soulmates, but their homes are an ocean apart, and their lives a world apart. They’ll never meet again – unless, on a night like this, everything can change forever…”

The book starts with Fran in Sheffield – where she’s got no job and is in a seemingly very boring relationship with her uni boyfriend, and now fiancée, Stew. You know ‘something’ happened which made them move back from London up North – but you don’t know what, it’s just obvious Fran feels very guilty about it all. Initially I thought Stew was just a wet blanket – but as the book went on it became more evident that actually he was horribly controlling and emotionally abusive – but back to the beginning of the book!

Fran is an experienced and competent PA who has been temping for ages but is currently between jobs. Her fiancée reckons she should retrain as a primary school teacher – but Fran isn’t so sure. She’s then offered a mysterious job for a few days to be PA to celebrity.

We then jump on the train, plane and yacht to follow Fran and her new celebrity boss. (In my head the celeb in question was essentially Anne-Marie but probably more high maintenance, not knowing how high maintenance Anne-Marie is in real life!)

I loved the different settings – especially the yacht and the incredibly glamourous Crystal Ball. They were described brilliantly and you really felt like you were there. At the moment – with the lack of foreign travel – living vicariously the different locations through fiction books is even more welcome than usual!

All of the characters were well written – and you liked or disliked them accordingly. A random favourite character was the make up artist who changed the course of Fran’s life completely – she was ace!

I have to say that I guessed who the mysterious Evan was fairly early doors – but that didn’t stop me enjoying the book (it just made me feel quite smug when I was proved right!!)

I had a horrible thought that the book would be left open ended – and don’t get me wrong, there’s loads I’d like to know about what happened once it finished – but lots of loose ends were tied up in a brilliant way.

A really fun read – I’d definitely recommend it. It would also make a great film with all of the amazing locations – and who doesn’t love a film fundamentally set in Sheffield?!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my ARC in return for an honest review.

Book Review: In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk


In Case You Missed It

I was going to say I recently read a Lindsey Kelk book, but turns out it was almost 4 years ago!  Time flies when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic and all that….

Anyway – when I saw she had a new book out, I jumped onto NetGalley – and was kindly given an advance review copy.  Here’s the blurb:

“When Ros comes home after three years away, she’s ready to pick up with life exactly where she left it. But her friends have moved on, her parents have rekindled their romance, and her bedroom is now a garden shed. All of a sudden, she’s swept up in nostalgia for the way things were.

Then her phone begins to ping, with messages from her old life. Including one number she thought she’d erased for good – the man who broke her heart. Is this her second chance at one big love? Sometimes we all want to see what we’ve been missing…”

Yet again – a fabulous book from Lindsey Kelk.

I liked Ros from the off – and her relationship with her friends was great. Despite the changes they all had going on in their lives they all looked out for each other completely (the exact opposite of the group of friends in the book Olive I read recently). And I was a bit sad that Ros didn’t share everything with them – as I knew they would have understood.

The description of Ros’s relocated childhood bedroom into her parent’s shed is hilarious – ALL of the 90s references right there!

Ros’s evolving relationship with her parents and sister was also explored. I loved the chats she had with her Mum later in the book.

Some of the romance storyline was a bit predictable (Patrick was a d*ck, John was ace) – but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book.

The section about the teenager gaming sensation was very apt as I currently have a nocturnal 15 year old who is living his best lockdown life communicating with his friends online through his x-box. Sadly he hasn’t made millions out of it (he would say ‘yet’!!)

It was a book I really enjoyed and kept reading ‘one more chapter’ – and now I want to know what happened to all of the characters afterwards!

It’s out in a couple of days, and definitely worth ordering for an easy, fun, enjoyable, escapist read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.

I’ve also remembered I have a hard copy previous book by Lindsey Kelk in my TBR pile (having been easily persuaded when someone (Sarra Manning I think – although it could have been Lindsey herself!!) tweeted to say it was 99p on Amazon) – so I will be reading it soon and adding it to the community library my friend has set up in her porch whilst the real library in our village is shut due to Covid19!




Book Review: We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk


I had seen this book around (probably Red Magazine and Twitter – but those are guesses, just my usual sources of book advice) and was v keen to read it just because of the title as:

a) It’s one of the most memorable ‘Friends’ quotes ever
b) I was the other party in a ‘they were on a break’ issue back in 1999 after having a holiday dalliance (holiday ‘romance’ would be pushing it) with a guy who was ‘on a break’ from his girlfriend.  She is now his wife and mother of his children, and I am happily married with my own gaggle of children, but even 17 years on she can’t speak to me and struggles to even look at me.  #awkward

Anyway, my dealer (of books rather than any other substance) offered me a copy to take to Disneyland Paris with me – which sounded like a very good plan (anything to dilute Disney is a good plan).

Amazon appears to be scant on blurb – so this is from the back of the book (which means I actually have to type it and not cut and paste #commitment)

“There’s nothing worse than the last day of holiday. Oh wait, there is.  When what should have been a proposal turns into a break, Liv and Adam find themselves on opposite sides of the life they had mapped out.
Friends and family all think they’re crazy; Liv throws herself into work – animals are so much simpler than humans – and Adam tries to get himself out of the hole he’s dug.  But as the short break becomes a chasm, can the find a way back to each other?
More importantly, do they want to?”

Heads up – I absolutely LOVED this book from the off!  It is told from both Liv and Adam’s points of view (and this confused me the first time it switched – but there may have been wine involved) and I really liked both characters.

It is funny, well written, emotional, true to life and with really relevant reference points (I’m assuming it’s true that you’re more likely to be murdered by your Uber driver home than the internet date you’ve met in a bar?!)  The supporting cast of family and friends are great too – all very different but well fleshed out and interesting, and not predictable. In a ‘style of Bridget Jones’ you expect that David the veterinary nurse will turn out to be Liv’s gay BFF – but he most definitely isn’t (despite the Kardashian love / hate) – and one of her best friend’s Cass, is something of a ‘smug married’ but then ‘goes the full 2007 Brittany on the situation’ (which is a quote I hope to use in the near future as it’s so excellent!).

It reminded me very much of the style of Mhairi McFarlane whom I have sworn allegiance to before (and from a small amount of Twitter stalking it would appear that Ms Kelk and Ms McFarlane were recently out together with Giovanna Fletcher too #welljel #Iwanttobeintheirsquad)

The book twists and turns and keeps you interested in what is going to happen to Liv and Adam and Daniel Craig (the cat, not the actor).

I am suffering with the worst ever cough (I’m blaming Mickey Mouse for the germs and wondering if Lionel Messi is also suffering) – but the one benefit of being unable to sleep and having to sit up all bl**dy night is that I’ve been able to read this fantastic book.  I am DELIGHTED that there is a plentiful back catalogue of other books by Lindsey Kelk and proposed downloading many to my Kindle right now!