To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
3.0 out of 5 starsI prefer books that are not R rated for foul language
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2019
Too many F words, and I don't appreciate F words previous to Christ's name. If you are writing with the purpose of drawing teen boys, the subject would need to change. That being said, I enjoyed the story line, but would not purchase books from this author in the future because of the use of way to much vulgarity.
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2019
Okay, it's almost Christmas, so my reading tends more to the light and funny, particularly with the overtones of this season of loving kindness so necessary and more easily tapped at this time of year. But this author, this book, might be overlooked as too Bridget Jonesy, too contrived except for a stunning honesty of character and realistic people that cannot be denied. Ms. Stoneley can construct real people doing real things to make their dreams bloom. How refreshing when done with humor and just enough pain to avoid sticky treacle. Daisy lives somewhere in the UK and I would like to meet her and Ollie in the book shop to see her recommendations for a good book, a cup of tea, and a lovely friendship, and a mad swipe of her dog's tongue. I think she might be very like Ms. Zara Stoneley, and I would like that very much.
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2020
Since the start of November, I’ve been on a Christmas book spree. I’ve been slowly putting together a list of books to read during the holidays and this one was included. Now, while I enjoyed Daisy and Ollie’s story, this was NOT THE CHRISTMAS BOOK I was expecting. The story only has a few chapters with Christmas in it and because of this, I was really disappointed. The title of your story should give readers an idea of what to expect within the pages and this title is NOT fitting to the story. It’s not festive at all ☹️. Luckily, it wasn’t a total bust as I enjoyed reading about Daisy and watching her grow (there are even some emotional aspects to it that warmed my heart). However, I have to give FOUR CHRISTMASES AND A SECRET 3 stars because it wasn’t what I expected and there were a few things that bothered me about the story as a whole. You can see my specific likes and dislikes below.
𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗜 𝗟𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗗 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞
❄ Daisy is a wonderful character and I enjoyed getting to know her throughout the book. She may not have it all together in the beginning (but who really does) but she steadily grew into the woman she had always wanted to be (with a little help from those closest to her) and it was nice to see.
❄ This book has a beautiful friends-to-lovers romance going on even though it took most of the book to get there. This is the norm in chick lit books though. Chick lit novels tend to be more about the heroine and her journey rather than the romance. I wasn’t expecting anything more than what we got.
❄ The secondary characters (especially Stanley the pooch) were fantastic additions to the story. I love when I connect with secondary characters and I had no problem doing that in this story.
𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗜 𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗟𝗜𝗞𝗘𝗗 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞
❄ It’s not a CHRISTMAS BOOK like I was led to believe. This one shouldn’t be marketed in the holiday department because most of the book has NOTHING to do with Christmas. Yes, there are Christmas scenes but they are short and don’t really define what’s happening in the story (aside from uncle T and how he fits into the story- you’d have to read to know what I mean). I was really disappointed!
❄This book felt SO LONG. It says it’s only 300 pages but I’m telling you, it felt like I was reading a 600+ page book. Perhaps it’s because the story wasn’t what I thought it was that made it drag? I don’t know for sure, but it didn’t feel like a shorter book as it says!
𝗦𝗨𝗠𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗜𝗧 𝗨𝗣
FOUR CHRISTMASES AND A SECRET is a nice story with meaning, but it wasn’t the book I expected when I purchased a copy. Thankfully, I did enjoy Daisy and the rest of gang, but I was hoping for something more in terms of Christmas and the festivities involved in the holiday. If you’re specifically looking for a holiday read, I recommend trying another book because you’ll be disappointed in the lack of Christmas from this one.
Daisy and Ollie have always been around. Their mothers met in the hospital where they were born. The mother's became friends. They shared their fist kiss when six. But the next kids didn't happen till they were much older. Twelve years later he is back. Their journey has many ups and downs. Can their mothers back off enough for them to figure out that they belong together?
5.0 out of 5 starsThis was my first Zara Stoneley book, and it will not be the last!
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2019
This was my first Zara Stoneley book, and it will not be the last! I loved her funny and playful writing, and the story, which had a small local community feeling and childhood friends to lovers romance.
Very sweet and endearing with quirky characters that you can't help but love. Uncle Terrence's christmas parties sounds like a blast, and who wouldn't want to meet the lovely Ollie under the mistletoe. Full of Christmas sparkle and wit. A perfect story for Christmas.
2.0 out of 5 starsDoes not feel like a Hallmark movie
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2020
About a quarter of the way into this book, I was ready to give up. Then I came and read all these 4-5 star reviews and I kept on keeping on... I finished it, and that’s about all I can say.
This book could use a serious look from an editor. There were times when I had no idea if she was thinking or had said something out loud or had just THOUGHT she said something out loud. There were entire sentences that just didn’t make sense to me at all. And really, Uncle T and Ollie are the best characters. Without them I would not have finished this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsI admit I love Christmas stories.
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2019
I had not read one of Stoneley's books before. I completely enjoyed this book and yes, as others said - it does remind one on Bridget Jones and is a bit predictable. But it is the holidays. That is ok. I will research the author's other books and I know I will enjoy them too.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2019
Four Christmases in one Zara Stoneley novel? Could it get any better?
Actually yes it could, because in Four Christmases and a Secret Zara Stoneley also serves up a cast who are quirky, characterful and truly well-drawn. She also filled my head with pictures of fabulous festive settings and wonderfully described detail. Not only was there lashings of Christmas to enjoy, but thanks to a certain dog called Stanley, there was also cuteness by the snow-shovel-load. This lovely story is like a film; cosy as a warm winter blanket, it drew me in and wrapped me up, It should really come with a warning, because this book is impossible to put it down. As I raced through the pages I lost count of the LOL moments, but alongside the sparkle and hilarity there was also a wonderful depth, and poignant moments that had me reaching for my tissues. These highs and lows make for a fabulous journey that took me all the way to the happy ending Daisy deserves. And in a story packed with friends, parties, a secret and as many laughs as you could wish for, Stoneley has delivered a story that shows us, a book is for life, not just for Christmas – this is one I'll re-read and enjoy all over again, all year round.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2019
This story centres around Daisy, Ollie, Uncle Trevor and his book shop. Daisy has history with Ollie going back to their childhood, staying with their first snog at the age of 6 and another drunken one at the age of 16, however they went their separate ways and not meeting up for years until one of Uncle Trevor's calls Christmas Eve parties. Ollie has done really well in his life, Daisy not so much. The story follows their lives over the next year as Daisy's fortunes waxes and wanes, with details of the reason for her present situation gradually unfolds. With a mixture of humour, romance and sadness this story is well worth reading.
A brilliant read. It is set at Christmas with the run up to uncle Terrence christmas eve party which is annually. Then the book goes from one christmas eve to the next and it opens up your heart because things have changed. The christmas eve party held at the bookshop no longer has uncle Terrence and everyone misses him terrible. Daisy is struggling because on his deathbed she found out a secret and doesnt know what to do with it. Time prevails and as lives go on, daisy falls in love with her old friend ollie who happens to be the pompous prick of all time. It's a great story and I couldn't put this down. I received a signed copy of this from a charity auction and I will be keeping this close to me.
5.0 out of 5 starsI loved it, hooked from the first kiss x
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2019
Thank you Zara for another super book. I was hooked from the first kiss 😉 This book has made me smile, get angry, laugh and cry (sobbed actually on a commute to London 😢). Loved all the characters, they all had played their part in the story and loved the ending, which was as i hoped (some might say predictable, but who cares) 😍
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2020
I really wanted a story that was more Christmassy. It wasn’t. The only time Christmas was mentioned was at a yearly party! I didn’t enjoy it at all, I kept feeling it was too similar to Bridget Jones! Found the characters annoying and the leading lady was particularly hard work to like.