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Jacqueline R. Levy
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Sequel
Reviewed in Canada on November 11, 2019
Excellent sequel to the series, couldn't put it down!
4.0 out of 5 starsGirl Well Read's Review of Royal Holiday
Reviewed in Canada on October 25, 2019
Vivian's daughter, Maddie, has been given the opportunity of a lifetime when she is asked to style a member of the royal family and she's asked her mother to accompany her. Vivian is excited to take in the sights and spend Christmas in England, but what she never expected was to meet a dashing man who holds a very prominent position.
Malcolm Hudson is charming, formal, and has the loveliest English accent. He is also the longtime private secretary of Her Majesty—he doesn't usually share this part of his life, but he is utterly enchanted by Vivian and takes her on a private tour. Soon the two are exchanging flirty letters and kisses under the mistletoe.
They have mutually agreed that their romance must end on New Year's Day. With their time together winding down, Vivian and Malcolm maintain they are fine ending things...or are they?
This is the fourth instalment from Guillory's Wedding Date series and it is filled with festive touches, charming dialogue, and a budding romance. You do not need to read Guillory's other books (The Wedding Date, The Proposal, The Wedding Party) before reading this one—there are subtle references to other characters/storylines from her previous books, but there is nothing that would prevent the reader from not following what is going on in this story.
Royal Holiday is a little bit of a detour in this genre because it features characters that are more mature with age. The couple are navigating some unchartered territory—both have been single for years. This was refreshing and I think important to have this demographic represented. And can we just talk about the cameo from the Queen? Amazing!
What I love about Guillory is that she pens character that are interesting and engaging, yet are relatable. Her stories flow effortlessly and ooze charm. Jasmine's writing is charming, flirty, and clever. Like her other books, the premise is lighthearted, but smart and spirited.
Twinkling lights, festive food, a holiday romance, and the royals—what more could you ask for in a book? It was simply delightful!
3.0 out of 5 starsA Holiday Read to Enjoy Year Round
Reviewed in Canada on August 5, 2020
As much as this story is set around winter and the Christmas/holiday season, I say from experience (reading this book in July) that the story can be enjoyed year round.
I really liked that this main character was in her fifties in comparison to the main characters in the rest of the series. Each of those main characters were in their twenties (I think) so this gave a different perspective of love and romance from a character with more life experience and struggles.
It may be due to the novel's shorter length but I felt like the ending was rushed in comparison to the rest of the story. The novel could have benefitted from a longer length so that it was concluded adequately and with more detail.
In my favourite of the Wedding Date series, the protagonist is Vivian Forest, mother of Maddie whose story was introduced in Book 3 of the series. Maddie is chosen to dress the Duchess of Sussex over the Christmas holiday in Sandringham and invites Vivian to accompany her so that they can spend some time together over Christmas. While Maddie is busy dressing the Duchess, Vivian meets Malcolm Hudson who works for the Queen. Vivian is not only smitten by Malcolm, but star struck by the environment she is spending Christmas in. Malcolm encourages Vivian to spend a few extra days with him in London prior to her return to California and with a push from Maddie to live for the moment, she agrees to extend her stay. Life at home alone becomes a lot more depressing once Vivian returns to her everyday life, as she begins to learn more about herself and realizes what she really wants in life.
I was thoroughly entertained by this book. I enjoy books about the holiday season and books that highlight the differences in cultures. The book was sweet and full of charm. The story really spoke to me as someone over 40 and wish that more rom-coms were targeted towards this demographic. I rate this book 4/5 stars.
Thank you to Edelweiss + and Berkley Publications for the opportunity to read an ARC of the book in exchange for the honest review provided here.
I really wanted to like this book and was looking forward to a holiday read. I love that the main character is NOT a 20 something woman but in her 50s, I love that it was focused on a romance during the holidays. But I am listening to it on Audible and on Chapter 5 and there is nothing happening in this book. The writing is on the juvenile side and it is very repetitive (references to hot guy as "black chocolate", cant be braless, that she is a black woman...over and over...), and the romance is very slow and painful. Perhaps it gets better but its just not for me.
Oh my. At first, as a twenty-year UK resident, I was irked about how MUCH Jasmine got wrong about the UK. And I was rolling my eyes at Vivian living with Megan and Harry. But Malcolm and Vivian were perfect, both individually and together. And very quickly I forgot about what was wrong and began admiring what was right. The Queen was perfect! And I loved their conflicts and how they would get offended but then work through the difficulties. They were excellent at “using their words” even if sometimes it was hard. They were so good for each other. And as an American who is married to a Brit, their whole relationship after Vivian got home felt real. They were mature and intelligent. I LOVED this one.
3.0 out of 5 starsMemorable cosy Christmas read, but I didn't warm to the hero
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2020
I think this story will stick in my mind for a while (especially the Sandringham setting), it was a cute enjoyable read.
I appreciated the more mature characters (both are in their 50s), and the food descriptions were brilliant (although I did start to tire of the scone references). The “we have lives 5000 miles apart” conflict was believable and a solution wasn’t obvious from miles off.
The writing style didn’t entirely work for me though. I felt there was a lot of telling not showing, rhetorical questions about how the characters felt (with no answer), and the (third person) descriptions of how they did feel felt clumsy.
I was also put off by Malcolm’s reactions and inner thoughts a few times. I know he’s “older” and set in his ways, but his reaction to something she tells him that is very important (don't want to give away too much) was rather harsh to say the least!
(Honestly, he's a little too grumpy and I don't think she'd put up with that forever. I give them a year...)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2020
This was an easy and enjoyable read - exactly what I needed to get myself out of my reading slump. I did find the story very predictable & lacking substance.. also found the epilogue rushed - I wanted a ring..!!
Still remain a fan of Guillory’s & will be reading Party of Two ASAP!