‘Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise thinks she can handle him. What she really hasn’t got time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace. Louise usually says no to evenings out, but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself . . .
Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It’s going to be a night to remember at … The Christmas Party.’ (Courtesy of Carole Matthews' website.)
With a lovely festive cover I was drawn to this book and happily read it in October. Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been to an office Christmas party, I actually feel like I’ve been to one after reading this novel...and what a great action-packed party it is.
With a linear narrative, I wondered how a novel focused on one event would span a whole novel, but it soon became clear that there were several other characters other than Louise whose viewpoints we were given. In fact, Louise is the nice one out of a bunch of characters that all had their secrets which would unfold, to the reader, if not to everyone else, during the eventful night and the day after.
As well as Louise, her lecherous boss Tyler and wife feature, as well as Tyler’s boss Lance and his wife plus a few other interesting characters. The narrative switches a lot between these different characters (and also a couple of other characters), keeping the novel fresh throughout and maintaining a fast pace which allows the plot to thicken as there are various misunderstandings, awkward as well as dangerous moments throughout the novel which we get to see through different viewpoints. I know multiple narratives aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea but I would say the switches are easy to follow, there are subtle recaps for the reader of each narrator’s situation without it spoiling the enjoyment of the novel.
Whilst there are a couple of characters to like and laugh with, I have to say I really enjoyed the stories of Tyler and Lance and their respective wives. I felt sorry for both wives initially, with Tyler as a philander and Lance as an alcoholic neither wife had it easy, but as the novel develops my feelings changed, with secrets emerging. I felt a bit like they needed some girl power rather than just being passive about their situations, but I wasn’t disappointed with how things unfolded. This is a book which delivers well on comeuppance and karma to the point where I was a little surprised, but not disappointed by the ending. There is definitely room to bring some of these characters back in future novels and I’d love to see how they’re getting on, dare I say it, particularly Tyler!
I thought The Christmas Party was the perfect book to get anyone into the party spirit and this is definitely my favourite of Carole’s books I’ve read to date. Go and enjoy the party, without the hangover, and if your own office party is mundane, read this and be grateful!
Thanks to Sphere for the book in exchange for an honest review. And thanks to Trafalgar Square Publishing for sharing copies of Carole's previous Christmas books with THREE lucky US readers!
What you can win:
Calling Mrs. Christmas
With Love at Christmas (reviewed here)
Wrapped Up in You (reviewed here)
Each winner gets a set of all three books!
How to win:
Tell us what puts you in a holiday mood.
One entry per person.
Entries without contact information (e-mail address, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc.) will NOT be counted (and we do NOT count "Google +" as contact information).
US only. Giveaway ends December 14th at midnight EST.