The Present

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Member Reviews

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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The Present is about Lucy, who is in the middle of trying to clear her beloved Grandmother Olive’s house to ready it for sale. Olive has had a fall and is in hospital so Lucy wants to move her in with her and her partner. It’s close to Christmas and Lucy is busy with planning for the holidays and really struggling with going through Olive’s belongings as it’s bringing up so many memories of her own childhood.

This novel is everything I want in a Christmas story, it really is a beautiful read. I felt so moved by Lucy having to sort her Gran’s things out, and not having support from her partner. I know what it’s like to have to clear out a loved one’s home and it’s so hard to let their things go. The antique Christmas ornaments that she finds in a dark corner of the attic are described in such a way that I could really envisage them and was excited to follow Lucy’s journey to work out what meaning they held for her Gran.

Olive’s handyman Jack is busy fixing up the house and he ends up helping Lucy empty the attic and gets drawn into the mystery of the ornaments. It was so lovely that Lucy found someone who wanted to help her and took an interest in what she’d found as her boyfriend just seemed so cold and disinterested. I was rooting for Lucy to find happiness throughout this novel and really hoping she would find a way to hold on to her Gran’s house.

Both Jack and Lucy begin to feel more reflective about their own lives as they discover more about Olive’s past. They each carry sadness about the people they’ve lost and gradually seem to help each other by sharing memories as the novel goes on. I loved this aspect of the novel because it is how grief is, it catches up with you eventually and when you find someone who really understands it eventually helps ease some of the pain you carry. There is a real message in this book about remembering and finding a way to carry lost loved ones with you, it’s so beautiful.

This is a gorgeous novel is set in the lead up to Christmas and all the nostalgia of the ornaments and then the back story of Olive’s life makes for a lovely, heart-warming read at this time of year. I definitely recommend this book!
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THis story follows the life of Lucy, who believes she's happy in life, having followed her plan. Then along comes a mystery find in her grandmother's attic, twelve days of Christmas decorations. What then follows is a look at her grandmother's life and her own. Whistling through the Hertfordshire countryside, using her journalistic skills, the book looks into true love and happiness. A tear jerker and perfect Christmas read!
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3,5 stars

Lucys grandmother is in hospital after an accident, and is questionable if she can ever return to her own home and live by herself again. Thus Lucy makes use of her month-long vacation and clears out gran's house. That's the plan, anyway. But when she finds a box with 12 beautiful small Christmas tree ornaments she gets side-tracked. The accompanying letter sounds soo romantic that Lucy is dying to find out who gave them to her grandmother 70 years ago - and if this someone is still alive.

I know what it's like to clear out your family home. There are so many things where it just doesn't feel right to simply trash them, for various reasons. But on the other hand, you cannot keep all the stuff!! Lucy is normally a very organized person. At least that's the feeling I got, what with all the To-Do-Lists she writes herself. But sorting through her grandmothers stuff is obviously a different matter. (But why did she have to go through every single thing right there and then on the spot. Why didn't she take a quick look - decide if it goes in the skip or keep it to look at it more closely later on. Would probably be a bit more efficient). Although I also have to say: she shouldn't let herself rush so much by her boyfriend Rod. Luckily, gardener Jake totally supports Lucy search for and in the past.

A book about old loves lost and new loves found that I enjoyed reading. Most of all I liked that there is no black and white in there all around. Rod for example seems quite unlikeable in the beginning, but he also shows understanding towards Lucy. He is not a bad guy, he just is set in a certain way and can't/won't change. That's just the way he is. Same goes for Lucys mother I think.
So while they are searching for a Christmas Past, the Christmas Present is slowly creeping up, and who knows what will await them in a Christmas Future.
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Just finished this book and absolutely loved it! I loved the relationship between Lucy and olive. The fact that making sure that her gran was happy and that nothing in lucys life that was all that mattered before, mattered anymore.
All the stress of her life and all the plans and life steps didn't matter anymore and the journey was a big wake up call for her, It spoke volumes . So many woman think they want Mr dependable and certain but do they! When you get down to the heart of it what they want is the fire and the feeling that this is true love. I think the author has written this perfectly. And who doesn't love a happy ending.
Jack's journey was also written beautifully, how he had to keep busy and moving to not focus on the grief. And together they both helped each other what life and love was truly about. 
Look forward to more from This author
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I struggled to finish this book and really didn't want to carry on with it after a couple of chapters.  The writing was poetic and descriptive but the characters were all boring and didn't come to life for me.  The synopsis drew me in and I was expecting a romantic Christmas read but in the end I finished it only so that I could give an honest review.
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This book is an easy light read, somewhat reminiscent of woman's magazine fiction at Christmas. A tale of entwined relationships both past and present. No real surprises in the storyline. I feel Rob was cast as a bit like the 'bad prince' in a fairy tale but infact I felt sorry for him. His situation and career track is a realistic picture of what life really is like out there for these guys ....he deserved more support in my opinion! Having said that it was a sweet modern day romance with rather predictable outcomes. What we all need from time to time.
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This was a really lovely, festive read that I couldn’t put down - I finished it in a day!

Lucy finds some antique Christmas decorations in a box in her grandmother Olive’s attic, each representing the 12 days of Christmas. With help of her grandmother’s gardener Jack, she sets about uncovering the mystery behind the decorations. 

I really enjoyed reading about Olive’s past and seeing all of the threads of the story come together. This was a well-written, enjoyable, romantic read, and is perfect for the Christmas season. I’d definitely recommend it.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and Harper Collins for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I loved reading this book, it was so wonderfully written. The finding of the vintage Christmas ornaments put Lucy on a path that was never visioned in her future. Jack was the 'get away' from Christmas man, who wants to help Lucy and also find out the history of the ornaments. The two get together and follow the trail, which leads to a blooming friendship.
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