Cover Image: The Present

The Present

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Member Reviews

A nice novel, but that’s all to say about it.
The present is a nice novel to read, with a story based on a box of Christmas ornaments found in the attic of gran. The story of gran is great. It would be great to read in a second timeline of the history of gran as a land lady. Now the story is all about Lucy, Rod and Jack and a little long-winded. Lucy dealing with problems of her mother who’s never be around, and Jack with the loss of his brother.
It was a nice read, but it was hard to get to the end. A Christmas novel needs more sprinkling, something I really missed.
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I don't usually read romance, but I was intrigued with this book as it goes hand in hand with a book of the same title but by a different author, which I am yet to read.

This story had a bit of mystery to it, and the characters were all likeable (except for one). I did find it was a bit repetitive towards the end but overall I really enjoyed reading it.
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Quick, sweet, cute, intriguing, lovely and heartfelt. This book is more than just a Christmas romance is about discovering an old love while building a new one. The mysterious twelve presents keep the story entertaining while motivating a quest to discover a love story back in World War II.
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My three-word description of The Present by Charlotte Phillips is sweet, exciting and heartwarming.

Book Synopsis:
12 magical gifts, one love that lasts a lifetime…
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me … one romantic Christmas you won’t forget.

When helping to clear out her beloved grandmother’s home, Lucy Jackson discovers twelve beautiful Christmas decorations hidden in the loft. As she discovers their heartbreaking story, a touching romance develops with the handsome gardener next door. The one he loves most, is the one he knows least.

My Musings:
I found this a compelling and very sweet story. Lucy is in the process of sorting through her Gran, Olive's knick-knacks and finds a box full of antique decorations themed around the twelve days of Christmas, but with a mystery surrounding them. Stir into this mix an intolerant boyfriend and a sexy joiner/repair guy, and the result is a spicy blend of fun and romance.

I enjoyed travelling in Lucy's pocket as her journey led to her various discoveries, and what they meant to her much-loved grandmother. Charlotte Phillips delivered some strong characters in this novel, and I grew rather fond of Lucy with whom I had a connection, as she did many things I might have done in the same circumstances. Lucy was good-natured, kindhearted and determined, though she could also be quite needy. Charlotte Phillips' mesmerising tale relates some wise lessons on life and love, whilst exploring themes of family and friendship. 

 Overall, I had no issues with The Present but it didn't bedazzle me. 

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from HarperCollins via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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A really heartwarming festive story! An easy read and a proper page turner. Would definitely recommended!
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Lucy was a journalist who when clearing her Gran Olive’s attic out came across a beautifully carved wooden box. Olive was really unwell and in hospital. Lucy wanted to try to find out about the mystery box and it’s contents before it was too late. 
Jack, her Gran’s handyman/gardener started helping her clear the attic. He was happy to do anything that meant he could forget about Christmas which was only a couple of weeks away.  Lucy had so much to plan and achieve in those couple of weeks, and wished she had more time.  Todd her boyfriend was busy with the long term plans and not helping her with the short term stuff. Jack’s support became invaluable and Lucy wondered why Olive had always said that Jack’s relationships were all 5 minute wonders. 
Beautifully written book, Charlotte is definitely an author I’ll be reading in the future.
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A lovely story about finding family treasures in Gran's loft and retracing her history as a Land Girl. It is so important to connect with our older relatives before they are gone and there were a few times this left me with a lump in my throat as I remembered something I hadn't asked my own gran before she passed. It isn't a depressing book though: it's rather lovely, in fact. Recommended.
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The present  by Charlotte Phillips. 
When helping to clear out her beloved grandmother’s home, Lucy Jackson discovers twelve beautiful Christmas decorations hidden in the loft. As she discovers their heartbreaking story, a touching romance develops with the handsome gardener next door.
A lovely Christmas read. Loved it. 4*.
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Lovely read. Christmasy theme that hits all the right spots. Sit back with this book and a blanket this winter and be drawn in.
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This was a lovely feel good romance with a great story line behind it.   As the story unfolded you were willing the ending to turn out the way it eventually did!    Easy and enjoyable read.
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Really enjoyed this novel. The writing flowed and the characters were depicted very well. Couldn't wait to find out what happens next.
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This is a  warm love story, which takes us to young love in the world war II period, as well as a blossoming love in the contemporary age. It's beautiful and very unforgettable! The main characters are poles apart, and their bickering- while annoying for the reader- makes the book quite passionate. As does their eagerness to solve the long buried love mystery. Wise lessons on love and life, are explored which make this an especially touching read, as well as themes of family and friendship. I do recommend as it's a distracting, and heart-felt read but I couldn't comprehend one of the main plots of the book.

Lucy, a journalist, and Jack, a gardener/handyman, unite on a mission to unravel the mystery behind a set of thoughtful presents- Christmas ornaments- found in Lucy's grandmother's loft.  While working together, they learn a lot about each other. Lucy is a planner, she loves to-do lists and stability. She bickers with Jack on this, she doesn't agree with his spontaneous, risky and adventurous lifestyle. It wasn't a big deal, I couldn't understand the bickering. Particularly because it was serious and not always said in a funny manner.

Lucy- You don't have to agree with his lifestyle, you're not being forced to live it! And vice-versa. Though it was mainly Lucy vs. Jack. If anything, I'd rather- and thought it more plausible- that she'd admire his crazy, fun and wild life. That they'd bond over his risky adventures. I didn't like the unnecessary back and forth, it was tedious and kept going on and on... I didn't understand the need for it, why did they have to be so extremely different anyway? They could have clashed over something that mattered more, for the compromise to actually matter at all. Nonetheless, I digress.

Other than that, the book was light and thoughtful. I loved the characters and their shared enthusiasm for such a project. It was a realistic ending too. The attitude toward the elderly individuals was not pleasant to read, especially since all the characters seemed to share the exact same attitude. But for a book with such a central mission, it was well rounded and perfectly concluded.

I received this book for review consideration. All opinions are honest and completely my own.
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I also downloaded this by mistake thinking it was another book with the same title. What a joy this book was! A cute little Christmas story that makes you feel good, with a happy ending.
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Lovely cover, well thought out characters, a storyline that is written with detail & depth. A good book that is definitely worth a read. 
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for my arc.
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Digging in the loft you find twelve beautiful Christmas ornaments. We each with their own unique storyline. Each with a beautiful story about love, life and family and friendship. From years ago. A lovely Christmas book. That will have you smiling from ear to ear.
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Lovely romantic tale. It’s another book that gave me warm squishy, happy feelings. Unashamedly romantic and so atmospheric , wonderfully tale

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I really liked this book. An easy but fun read that was ideal to read during a family holiday.   The main characters were relatable and fun, and the various timelines of the story held my interest well. With thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for the copy..
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The Present is a Christmas story where Lucy, a super organised young woman whose views on life clash with those of her grandmother’s handyman, a free spirit who loves to travel and live with a no-strings-attached policy. Two perspectives they will somehow reconcile in a yet predictable, but sweet budding romance, all the while trying to figure out who sent her grandmother a beautiful Christmas present during the Second World War. A past romance that will lead Lucy to reevaluate her own expectations on life and relationships. An interesting plot and a quick read, but I thought it lacked something original. It felt like a rather conventional romance like so many others.
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What a great idea to centre a Christmas story around 12 baubles each with its own significance. Lucy intrigued me and at times made me mad but this added to the books charm. I read the book in record time as I couldn’t wait to see what happened. The hunky DIY guy added some extra excitement to the story. A great Christmas read for anyone looking for some Christmas magic.
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A beautiful heartwarming Christmas read full of characters to love and loath and some great little surprises.
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