Sunday, 10 November 2013

Christmas at Carrington's - Alexandra Brown

About the book… 
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....

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About the author… 
Alexandra Brown is the author of the Carrington series, set in a department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry-on-sea, it follows the life, loves and laughs of sales assistant Georgie Hart.

When she isn't writing, Alexandra lives to Tweet too much whilst watching trashy TV. She lives near Brighton, on the South Coast of England, with her husband, daughter and a very shiny black Labrador puppy.

My thoughts…
Wow - I was really looking forward to this book - The things I'd heard about the book and the beautiful artwork on the cover were what drew me in. I fully intended buying a copy but won one in a competition run by the author Alexandra Brown and along with it came my first xmas card of the year! :-) 

I wasn't disappointed at all.  It's was a really lovely book that has me rooting for Georgie the main character from the very first chapter. Alexander has a magnificent way of describing the characters and the settings that made me feel I knew them all personally.  I hadn't read any of her previous 'Carrington' books but didn't feel any description of the store or characters was lacking.  If you didn't know any different it sits well as a stand alone book.

Carrington's sounds like a lovely old department store where customer service and loyalty are put before commercialisation and profit for profits sake.  It's described in such a way that I feel I 'know' it. As a reader I can fully understand why it's so special to Georgie. Who when she finds out there is going to be a fly on the wall series to improve business isn't altogether happy.  The first episode was filmed without her knowing and doesn't paint a glowing picture.

As the story unfolds I feel Alexandra could  easily have been describing friends of mine. Georgie came across a bit 'Bridget Jones' like. A really lovely, sensitive, happy girl who didn't always get it quite right but her heart was in the right place. It was easy for the TV company to take advantage of her because she believed everything was being done for the future good of the store. Sam comes across as a real friend, loyal and sensitive to the needs of her friends always there for them putting their needs before her own anytime day or night. Eddie is always there for Georgie. He's always on hand to pick up the pieces and put a positive slant on turn a bad situation with his humour.  

The book as the right mix of 'feel good', romance, drama and humour.  Allowing you to love and hate all the right people in all the right places. I read this in almost one sitting, starting late afternoon yesterday and finishing it this morning.   I highly recommend this book and will be leaving 5 stars on good reads and amazon to prove it.  Can't wait for the follow up in June 2014 - can't you bring it forward Alex?  In the meantime I'll have to make do with reading backwards through the previous books.

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