Saturday, 15 November 2014

Home for the Holidays - Ellen Faith

About the book...
When Lexi and Ryan make the decision to venture home for the Christmas holidays, neither of them can wait to catch up with their families. What the pair don’t anticipate is the series of life changing events their families have been going through while they’ve been continuing with their American adventure, including a newly nudist father.

As they try to weather the storm, they discover that being back in the UK is creating more questions than answers for them as a couple and their American dream is beginning to fade. Fast.

*This novel can be read as a follow on from The Story of Us or as a standalone*





About the author...
Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England where she spends most of her time baking, eating, baking, and eating. Occasionally she does leave the house to go to the cinema or do some food shopping though.
After spending years with an overactive imagination, she decided to put all the magic in her head to some good use and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel.
She loves to travel, her favourite destinations so far have all been in America, hence the love of all things, and all people, American. The food rocks pretty hard too, she ate until her jeans begged her to stop whilst she was there. True fact.
Aside from day dreaming and eating, Ellen is a sucker for a lolcat, penguins and monkeys - she has never claimed to be normal.
Connect with Ellen:  TWITTER / FACEBOOK / FACEBOOK PAGE
My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by the author as part of a blog tour organised by Tay at Chicks That Read.
This is Ellen Faith's second novel and for those that read The Story of Us, the second time we've met Lexi and Ryan.  I'm never convinced when someone says it's possible to read a second book as a stand alone, I'm always worrying that I won't get and connect with the characters.  I hadn't read The Story of Us, Home for the Holidays was the first of Ellen's books and I can categorically say - I didn't feel I missed out by not reading them in order - nor did she waste pages and pages of text re-telling the first story, Ellen told us just enough.
Lexi and Ryan are home from the US for the Christmas holidays to visit their friends and families and makes some decisions as to where to live after they get married, stay in San Francisco or come back to the UK to live and it's all happening.  Rosie, Lexi's best friend is about to give birth, has zero patience and an acidic tongue but you can't help but be drawn into their friendship, there is no real malice and Ellen has created a character that is naturally hilarious without even trying. Lexi meets Ryan's dad and new girlfriend for the first time and not without trepidation either.  It's fair to say that there are some conversation stopping, hilarious moments and a few tales to tell and when they visit Lexi's parents her mum takes the pair down memory lane when she gets the old family albums out. 
Prepare to be spoilt with this book, it is such a feel good book, just what the doctor should prescribe if you're feeling a bit down.  We have a couple, clearly in love with each other, so very in sync with each others feelings, demonstrating with words and actions how much they care for each other. It's christmastime and who wouldn't love that - all the decorations, tree, presents, food, friends, family and laughter anyone could need in one little book - just perfect and then to top it off we have a fly on the wall position for their wedding planning, a birth and christening.  All of this making the decision of where to settle even harder for Lexi and Ryan.
Ellen has such an up-tempo style of writing, add that to the time of year and an afternoon whizzed by whist reading Home for The Holidays. This is a book that will wrap itself around you like a comfy blanket. It made me smile and laugh out loud on occasions but, there are sensitive, reflective moments that are woven into the story in such a way that they enhance the story keeping the warm glow going.  Ellen has given us everything that is important in life, extended family and friends each coming together at special times, providing love, kindness, support and loyalty. 
A perfect bit of christmas cheer, thank you Ellen.