Friday, 18 November 2016

Book Review & Giveaway - Deck The Halls by Emily Harvale

Amazon UK
Title: Deck The Halls
Author: Emily Harvale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied review copy
Publisher: Crescent Gate Publishing
Publication Date: 11th November 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Will Harriet’s Christmas sparkle?

Harri (Harriet) Hall thinks Christmas will be perfect in her ancestral home, The Hall, with roaring log fires, scented pine trees, sparkling decorations, and mouth-watering, festive feasts. She’s been abroad for the last two years and is excited about introducing her, admittedly quirky, family, and The Hall, to her boyfriend, Art (Arthur) and his family, the Camlan-Browns.

She soon finds things have changed. The family funds are dwindling fast and The Hall looks like a dilapidated pile. But Harri has her savings and it won’t take long to spruce it up. Although letting Lance Knightly do the renovation, may be a big mistake. There’s something about the man, Harri really doesn’t like. She needs to keep an eye on him. 

Snow is gently falling and preparations are going well – until Harri’s stepbrother blows up the cooker; water leaks through the roof and blizzards arrive before the Camlan-Browns. Will Art get through the snow by Christmas Eve, and will Lance finish work on The Hall in time? Harri’s perfectly capable of dealing with a crisis as well as any man, but it seems Christmas may not turn out quite as she expected.

Deck The Halls shows off Emily Harvale's writing in a completely new direction from her previous few books. This one is written in the first person and has one central character's focus, and as a result I felt as though I really got to know Harriet, and through Harriet the rest of her family. 

Harriet has come back from 2 years in Australia to spend Christmas at The Hall, her family home. She is coming a week ahead of her boyfriend who she hopes is on the verge of proposing and will be meeting his family too over the Christmas period for the first time. 

When she arrives back she discovers things have changed in her absence, and the whole Hall needs a overhaul and a lot of titivating to make it look Christmassy, but they don't have a huge budget. Enter Lance who seems to be best friends with most of the family despite Harriet never having heard of him, 

Lance is gorgeous, and has connections with everyone, and seems to be able to get everything needed from a friend or two who have things laying about unwanted, or at the best possible price. However Harri just doesn't know whether she can trust him properly. 

Between them and the rest of Harri's rather large family the start the task of decking the Hall for Christmas, and in doing so, we get to discover all sorts of things, including what Harri is feeling, 

I loved all of her various family members, from Merrion her half sister who drives like a maniac, to the four year old twins, who are responsible for quite a few comic scenes, one including a tray a paint. Then there is Reece another of her half brothers, who is a teenager with a fondness for Chemistry experiments and has a habit of blowing things up. 

Harri is a huge fan of Christmas, and I loved seeing all the family traditions they have at the Hall, including lots of fun and games, not that their guests were as keen. The question running through my head for most of the book was whether Harri's relationship with Art would last through their time apart, given he is the only character I didn't really get a strong feeling for in any direction.

Deck the Halls was easy to read, not too long and flowed very well. If I had to pick any faults it would be that I still had some question marks about Lance after the story finished, but they weren't major, just would have liked to know more about him, but as Harriet barely knows much about him, I understand why as a reader I don't either. 

I've been a long time fan of Emily Harvale's books, and this has to one of my favourites of hers, I really fell for the Hall and also felt very invested in the family too. There was definitely a festive feel to it, as well as a family feel and I just really enjoyed the whole book from start to finish. 

Thank you so much Emily Harvale for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Giveaway to win 1 x signed copies of Deck The Halls (Open Internationally)

Emily Harvale as she often does, has given me a signed copy of Deck The Halls to give away to one lucky winner. 

Giveaway open internationally, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 23/11/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Win 1 x signed copy of Deck The Halls (Open Internationally)

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