Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: The Christmas Party...plus a special giveaway

By Becky Gulc

‘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.

54 comments:

Janine said...

Seeing Christmas decorations and lights really puts me in a Christmas mood.

Melanie Backus said...

Watching Christmas movies puts me in the Christmas mood.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Bonnie Franks said...

When my children and grandchildren were very young, it was the sparkle in their eyes. Now I feel like Christmas when I see the Grinch cartoon original version. It's my movie. Don't like the Jim Carey version although I like Jim Carey. But Grinch and Maxx?? The original for sure. Merry Christmas!!

tracy said...

happy people and lots of christmas lights and carols

rubynreba said...

I love Christmas stories. When we put up our tree and lights I really get in the Christmas mood. And then I know it is time to start baking the goodies!

Jencey Gortney said...

jenceyg at gmail dot com

I love the little towns who have decorations up and the town tree lit.

OnDBookshelf said...

Decorating definitely puts me in the Christmas mood. I just love Christmas decorations, although taking them down in January?.....not so much :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter's face when her elf comes on Thanksgiving. Followed by lights, trees, hot cocoa and Christmas Movies. We love Prep and Landing and Jim Carrey's the Grinch.
jpoellinger@yahoo.com

Rosemary Huelsebusch said...

sDecorating shopping and baking. I love everything about the holidays!

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

I enjoy reading Christmas stories and this sounds like my cup of tea! Seeing the faces of my grandsons as they open their presents is priceless!

Cindy Crawford said...

Plugging the lights in on the tree for the first time=immediate Christmas spirit

Anonymous said...

Christmas music, lit Christmas tree and scented cinnamon candles! Linda W frogz60@hotmail.com

Linda Kish said...

Christmas music after December 1st. And, all of the cute Christmas movies. I watch a lot of them. Lifetime and Hallmark have them every weekend and now ION does too.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

traveler said...

Spending time with family and the precious little ones who are so happy. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Baking and preparing wonderful meals with the entire family who enjoy and look forward to these unforgettable times. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

lifewithjoyblog said...

I absolutely love the holiday decorations that my neighbors put up. Driving down the street and seeing everyone's homes lit up and festive puts me in the holiday mood. I especially love the lights that are simple white icicles. They make homes looks like they're in their own winter wonderland! -Arielle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArielleDeltoro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArielleDeltoro
email: arielledeltoro@gmail.com

Wall-to-wall books said...

Love this giveaway! These books look great!
Honestly - everything puts me in the holiday mood!
I love Christmas music and start playing it right after thanksgiving. I totally decorate the house, inside and out (I was giddy yesterday putting the lights up in our front trees!) I love Christmas movies. And last of all - I love Christmas reading! For the whole month of Dec. all I read is Christmas themed books! I have done this for years.

forevereading@gmail.com

Uma Kayla G said...

What gets me in the Christmas spirit is putting up all the decorations and seeing all the lights. It is such a pretty time of year!

bookloverfl12@gmail.com

Marsha Bachmeier said...

Several things put me in the Christmas mood... the holiday music, holiday lights, holiday movies, and Hot Apple Cider! :)

Connie said...

Actually getting out and shopping, especially for children's toys, gets me really geared up. After all, the happiness on the faces of the little ones is the best.

Bridget Taylor said...

I like watching the holiday movies on TV.

Iambtinrb@aol.com

Lori Weller said...

Watching Christmas movies and spending extra family time
ldwrncpn(at)comcast(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Watching Christmas movies and putting up the decorations and tree is what puts me in the mood. Thanks for having the giveaway.

ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

Bonnie K. said...

Listening to Christmas carols, putting up the tree and decorating with ornaments and watching Christmas movies puts me in the holiday mood.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

susieqlaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita said...

Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Shelby N. said...

Seeing all of the pretty Christmas lights out while I'm driving around town definitely puts me in the Christmas mood! And seeing my favorite Christmas movies! :)

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

Working in retail it sometimes takes a little longer for me but I would have to say putting the tree up and finding the perfect gift for someone.

Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

Britney Adams said...

Reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies always puts me in the holiday mood! I also love decorating for the holidays! Thanks so much for the fun giveaway.

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

holiday music

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Terri. said...

Decorating the tree puts me in the Christmas mood!

AtTheMapleTable at yahoo dot com

debb1955 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debb1955 said...

Decorating my home and listening to Christmas music puts me into the Christmas mood.
debbren309atgmaildotcom

Kimberly V said...

Reading Christmas-themed stories puts me in the holiday spirit.
k3kdpv at gmail dot com

Summer Grinstead said...

I love driving around and looking at all the pretty Christmas Lights. So fun!

sumsum085@aol.com

Melissa Seng said...

Hearing my 2.5 year old nephew talk about Santa, then seeing his smiles!

Vivian Vereeke said...

What always gets me in the mood are the Christmas songs or reading the the Christmas story from the Bible.

Debbie Rhoades said...

Listening to my Christmas CD's at home. My grown son and I try to add at least one new CD each year after Christmas.

Bridget O'Neill said...

Decorating our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music!

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Jilleen said...

Christmas Music is a must for putting me in the Christmas mood! Also all the beautiful outdoor lights! Thanks for the great giveaway.

Jill at Seasidebooknook @ yahoo dot com

Emily Lewis said...

Christmas movies starting on 10/31

RW1010 said...

Christmas carols!
RW620{at}aol{dot}com

Carol Sigle Doscher said...

Putting up the Christmas decorations inside and outside the house puts me in the mood. Love when all the Christmas movies start!

Crolovr@yahoo.com

rhonda said...

Decorating the house sending out cards. Baking cookies.
Lomazowr@gmail.com

Emily Lewis said...

Forgot email...oops
Lewis.emilyann@gmail.com

Topazshell said...

Christmas carols and seeing a crowd of shoppers rush through blowing snow flurries can make me shop forever. This year I've only shopped online. Would love to win the books.

Meg Dean said...

The smell of cookies baking, all the lovely decorations, and Bing Crosby on the 33 :c)

Meg Dean, hippiewiccan@gmail.com

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Being surrounded with all the gifts I have to wrap for family and friends, watching "It's a Wonerful Life" or "White Christmas" and drinking egg nog.


Smithjl1981 at yahoo dot com

Cindy Crawford said...

Watching the Chtistmas tree lights on the tree in an otherwise dark room, cold weather, Christmas songs that ibe heard every year of my life....

susieqlaw said...

I feel joy when I sing Christmas carols with family.
sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

Rhonda J G said...

Rhondajgothier@yahoo.com

When the dishes are done from Thanksgiving and the tree goes up, Christmas music starts on radio, and baking begins!

Rosie Dunningham said...

Munching away on Quality Street, Celebrations, Heroes and Lindt Lindors (if I'm lucky!) while reading in the living room with the tree all lit up - all of that snuggling up really puts me in the Christmas mood :)
Wonderful giveaway! Rosie x
www.rosebudbakes.wordpress.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and sharing what gets you into the holiday mood.

Smelling the fried potatoes and oil from the latkes gets me into the mood for Hanukkah.

Thanks to Trafalgar Square Press for sharing the books with our winners.

Random.org chose THREE winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
Jessica (Smithjl1981)
Jilleen
Jennifer Huelsebusch