Blog Tour and Book Review: Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers. And Oliver Cartwright. Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.
Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is. Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.
This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different. There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers. No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too. But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy's life forever…
Zara Stoneley writes charmingly British romantic comedies that are very much in the vein of Bridget Jones, and Four Christmases and a Secret fits perfectly into that niche. We meet Daisy Dunkerly, our heroine, at a Christmas party when she’s still in her teens, about to sit her A-levels, with a bright future ahead.
Fast-forward 13 years to the same relative’s annual Christmas Eve bash and Daisy is somehow completely failing out of life, with a dead-end job, a tiny room in a friend’s flat, and a boyfriend who’s just dumped her. She’s no longer in the same league as childhood friend Ollie, a successful surgeon, and feels like an even more massive failure as the inevitable comparisons are made. When you bring a rescue dog as your date to a party, things are looking pretty dire.
This is a romantic comedy, though, with a guaranteed happy ending, and we do get to see Daisy muddle her way through to find her happiness at last, though not without a lot of angst and a few false starts along the way.
I do need to put in trigger warnings for past miscarriage and death of a major character, someone who is a significant presence in Daisy’s life and throughout the book. I was pretty devastated at this particular death, so be warned if that’s something which might set you off.
Five stars for a poignant, charmingly British rom-com.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources.
Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of 'The Wedding Date'. She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron. Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'. Zara’s bestselling novels include 'Bridesmaids', 'No One Cancels Christmas', 'The Wedding Date', 'The Holiday Swap', 'Summer with the Country Village Vet', 'Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage' and the popular Tippermere series - 'Stable Mates', 'Country Affairs' and 'Country Rivals'.