Review: A Christmas Kiss by Vicky Pattison

Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Title: A Christmas Kiss
Author: Vicky Pattison
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Amber Raey is working all the hours God sends as assistant to one of the country's top fashion designers, and her boss is a complete nightmare. Amber's dream is to launch her own fashion line one day so, for the time being, she just has to grin and bear it. And then opportunity comes knocking and Amber's suddenly on the fast track to the top.

The parties, the glamour, a whirlwind romance - Amber loves every second of her new life. But there's more to this world than its glossy exterior suggests, and when a face from Amber's past reappears, she finds herself in real trouble. With Christmas fast approaching, Amber is drifting further and further away from her family and friends. Can she get her life back on track before it's too late for a merry Christmas?

I am unashamedly a huge Vicky Pattison fan and I couldn't wait to read her first fiction novel All That Glitters earlier this year. I loved it and eagerly awaited the release of A Christmas Kiss and was thrilled to get my hands on an early review copy. I loved the character of Issy Jones in All That Glitters but I have to say that Vicky completely surpassed all my expectations with A Christmas Kiss and has created a character in Amber Raey and a story that I loved even more than All That Glitters. I read A Christmas Kiss in less than a day because I got caught up in the story that much and just had to see how it would end.

Amber Raey is our main character and she soon finds herself going from being the lowly assistant to a bitch of a fashion designer, Diana Grant, to creating her very own designs for a famous (and much more likeable) Italian designer, Alessandro Rossi, much to the chagrin of Diana. I was picturing some Wilhelmina Slater style showdowns on the catwalk between Amber and Diana but Vicky adds drama to the story in other ways. Amber soon makes a name for herself as an up-and-coming designer, but she finds it a struggle to achieve a work/life balance and starts to neglect her family and friends, especially when she catches the attention of a world famous, bad boy singer.

Amber is a wonderful character and one who I found very easy to imagine as a real person. There's lots of similarities between Geordies and Scousers and so I easily pictured Amber as somebody I could be friends with in real life. She's likeable, down to Earth and doesn't take any shit from anybody which is something I really liked about her. She's an ambitious person, but not in a greedy way and so the mistakes she makes are both natural and believable, and as a reader I hoped she could overcome all of the problems she started to face. There's a couple of men for Amber to choose from throughout the book and one who I think readers will fall in love with themselves. On the one hand we have a famous singer who splashes the cash to impress and on the other a model described as somewhat of an Adonis, an East Ender with a nickname for Amber of Geordio Armani (I think I was more impressed with the name than Amber was). One is a major - to borrow Vicky and Amber's favourite word - twat and the other is simply perfect for Amber.

There's a great cast of characters in the book, not least Vicky's fellow flatmates in Tinder Towers (it'll make sense when you read!) Jess and Tom. I loved the friendship between these three characters which felt very believable. For me though what I particularly loved was the part that Amber's family played in the story, and Amber's relationship with her mother and sister which was just so realistic that it could have been a real family I was reading about. I love Christmas and, presents aside, it really is about spending time with your loved ones and there are some truly heartwarming moments throughout the book that I so want to talk about but which I obviously can't! The relationship between the three characters felt so real, and everything develops so naturally throughout the story. It was definitely one of my favourite parts of A Christmas Kiss.

The story itself really is a bit of a whirlwind and so much happens including a number of developments that I didn't see coming. There's one scene in the book when Amber is returning to Newcastle on the train that would probably have had me hyperventilating had a certain person sat opposite me but Amber handled it quite well (I'm jealous of a fictional character!). Issy Jones also made an appearance which I enjoyed because I like it when authors set their stories within the same 'world'. Having loved both of Vicky's fiction books I am hoping we see more releases from her in the future and I would love to read about Amber and Issy again. For now though these two books are brilliant reads and I thoroughly recommend them. A Christmas Kiss is the perfect book to read this winter.

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