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5.0 out of 5 starsDefinitely the right book!
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2014
I felt terrible for the other reviewers who got the "wrong" book when they downloaded it. Glad I saw their reviews bc it made me make sure I got the "right" book! Now I wonder what they read that was so disappointing. This book was awesome. I couldn't put it down. So much I never saw coming! Great characters/development. Great story. Looking forward to Carole Matthews next book!
I really like her writing, kept my interest the whole time. There were a lot of exaggerated characters and funny situations. I plan on reading more of her books when I need a break from serious reading, a great, light chick lit offering!
By far this was not the best chic lit book I've ever read. It tended to ramble at great length over something and nothing. The story line centres around what happens when staff attend their annual Xmas party at a beautiful country house ( It's obvious from the title). From the chairman & his wife, a sleazy salesman and a new member of staff. The plot /story line wasn't believable, it was quite ridiculous to be honest, particularly the drunken magician which was utterly ludicrous. I didn't read to the end of the book as I got so fed up. I didn't care about the characters, who were basically the same selfish stereotypical individuals that are churned out time and time again. Sorry because I hate leaving negative reviews, but this is definitely a novel to avoid.
3.0 out of 5 starsIt’s almost time for the Christmas party and for once Louise is determined to have a good time and enjoy the party
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2015
The Christmas Party – Carole Matthews
The nights have drawn in, the weather has got cold and rainy, even a touch of snow and soon every house will be adorned with Christmas lights, so it’s time to start getting in the festive spirit by reading a few festive tales.
I’ve bought several Christmas themed books this year to read over the festive period, the first of which was The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews. The story follows Louise, a single mum, starting a new career as a PA working for a rather unscrupulous and handsy boss. It’s almost time for the Christmas party and for once Louise is determined to have a good time and enjoy the party.
Set in a beautiful country house he office party takes off introducing a variety of employees each with their own drama going down behind the tinsel. The party takes place the day before Christmas Eve and we then follow the lives of Louise and several of her co-workers through to Christmas Day.
I wanted to enjoy this book, I wanted to feel festive and I wanted to laugh and chuckle at the Christmas party antics but unfortunately I didn’t find the book as festive as I wanted it to be. The characters are well developed and you could probably find similarities if you’ve ever worked in that kind of office. However I find the story lacked closure on a number of aspects. The Handsy boss was a bit too over the top for me and the comical events at the party itself pushed in to the absurd.
This is the first Carole Matthews book I’ve read and while it’s not my favorite festive read I would consider reading her other work. I just think this book wasn’t the warming Christmas read I was looking for.
5.0 out of 5 starsFun, frolics and festive treat from an author whose books never disappoint
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2014
Louise is a young single mother who is devoted single parent to Mia. After the break- up of her relationship she has been forced to move back home to her parents. Although she loves living with her parents she yearns for her own place once again. Once a woman with a career she is determined to get back on the career ladder. After a series of dead end jobs she lands the job of a personal assistant at the corporate giant Fossil Oil. The book opens just as all the employees are getting ready for the annual Fossil Oils Christmas Party where it is rumoured that careers (along with relationships) can be made an broken. With all the mayhem of a Christmas Party – parts of this book will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended an office Christmas Party however big or small. There is festive fun and frolics along the way but there is a slightly darker side to the tale – a warning to all those who live to work …… In all this is a superb festive book full of twists and turns but also plenty of laughs. Perfect to curl up with on a cold winters evening with as glass of mulled wine. Once again Carole Matthews has not disappointed. It is not any surprise that this is her 25th novel! I am slightly disappointed that I won’t be attending my office Christmas Party this year if it is going to be anything slightly like the party held by Fossil Fuels.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnother brilliant book from Carole
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2015
Meet Louise Young, the new PA working for the international oil company `Fossil Oil'. Her boss is the slimy, hand-wandering Tyler Benson, the company's golden boy. Tyler is used to getting what he wants and that usually means that his PA's bend over backwards for him, literally. But not Louise. She has sworn off all men since her now, ex-boyfriend upped and left, leaving her homeless, in a huge amount of debt and with a young daughter, Mia, to support. Anyhow, even if Tyler was the last man on Earth, she would turn him down.
Kristen is Tyler Benson's wife, who knows all about his extra marital affairs and up until now has chosen to turn a blind eye. Once again though Tyler is showing all his usual signs of having another affair and this time Louise is her prime suspect. Can this possible, new affair, be the last straw for Kristen even if she isn't 100% sure he is playing away?
Josh Wallace is the up and coming star of `Fossil Oil'. He is the complete opposite of Tyler and he has his eye on Louise, but are his good looks and charming personality enough to change her opinion of men?
Lance Harvey is the company chairman. He is more focused on his job and drinking than his own family. His grown up sons don't have anything to do with him and his wife is at the end of her tether. To the outside world they have the perfect marriage, but can Melissa keep on putting up with Harvey, especially when he gets so intoxicated at the Christmas party it leaves him falling off his chair and unable to stand up. He hasn't even done the Christmas welcome yet, together with the announcement that he has been dreading for days that will affect nearly all of the staff.
The party is in full swing and the rumour mill is working over drive with whispers that the new face at `Fossil Oil' is present. No-one but Lance knows who he is. For Kristen though, the sight of the new employee sends her spiralling into her past. Simon is her ex-boyfriend and the love of her life, whom she hasn't heard from nor seen since his departure to the other side of the world in order to take up a new job. Did Simon try to keep in contact with Kristen though? Was there a third hand meddling in their lives, keeping them apart?
With the free drinks flowing and everyone in a merry mood, what will happen if all of the secrets, lies and deceptions are revealed?
The Christmas Party starts off on the 23rd December and the first few chapters are quite slow as we are introduced to the characters, of which there are many, and delves into their lives. The main part of the story surrounds the Christmas office party. With the story mainly focusing on just a few hours, I was a bit dubious about how Carole would keep the pace and interest going. I shouldn't have been though as with all the twist, turns, unexpected events and action that takes place in those few hours, there was enough to keep the story moving along and the keep reader interested.
The story is told from different characters' perspectives and for me this is normally one of my bugbears about a book. I prefer for the story to either stick to the one, or at a push, two peoples accounts. With "The Christmas Party" though, if we didn't have the perspective of different people, the story wouldn't work. One person wouldn't know all the goings on in other peoples lives and there is a lot going on with each of the characters in the book.
Vividly written scenes and narrative help the readers to imagine the atmosphere at the party and the feelings and emotions that are transmitted by each of the characters, especially the women who have a rawness and resentment running through them.
The book is more than just about an office party. It's about how different people cope in varying situations and about how those that are supposed to love you the most can be the ones that hurt you the most. It's full of romance, sadness, hurt, humiliation and heartache alongside lots of funny moments that will have you laughing along.
The saying `what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' is certainly a phrase that would sum up the women in this book.
A festive read that you will enjoy at any time of the year.
5.0 out of 5 starsPerfect winter read, get a cuppa, some chocolate and clear your day!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2014
I always eagerly await the new Carole Matthews release, two books a year are never enough. I've only recently been introduced to Carole's books having been given a copy of That Loving Feeling a couple of years ago. I've now read all of her 25 books, which I think says it all! Carole writes with humour, in short, page turning chapters and as a consequence I finish each one too quickly! I'm not a particular fan of Christmas yet I always enjoy the Christmas release and the Christmas Party is no exception. This book is different to most in that it is set over just three days but what action packed days they are. We follow the fortunes of Louise, a single mum attending her first big Christmas party at her new place of work. Running alongside are the stories of several other company employees including Tyler her lecherous boss. Carole's love for the festive season shines through and we are transported to the party watching with hilarity as the story unfolds. You'll find yourself either booing or cheering pantomime style at the characters. Not everyone will get their fairly tale happy ending but one thing is certain, you'll want to keep turning the pages until you find out. It's the best type of party, no outfit or bad hair woes, no aching feet or embarrassing glances to workmates the morning after!