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Publisher's Summary

The Perfect Present is glamorous and festive read from Karen Swan, author of Christmas at Tiffany's.

Haunted by a past she can't escape, Laura Cunningham desires nothing more than to keep her world small and precise - her quiet relationship and growing jewellery business are all she needs to get by. Until the day when Rob Blake walks into her studio and commissions a necklace that will tell his enigmatic wife Cat's life in charms.

As Laura interviews Cat's family, friends and former lovers, she steps out of her world and into theirs - a charmed world where weekends are spent in Verbier and the air is lavender-scented, where friends are wild, extravagant and jealous, and a big love has to compete with grand passions.

Hearts are opened, secrets revealed and as the necklace begins to fill up with trinkets, Cat's intoxicating life envelops Laura's own. By the time she has to identify the final charm, Laura's metamorphosis is almost complete. But the last story left to tell has the power to change all of their lives forever, and Laura is forced to choose between who she really is and who it is she wants to be.

©2017 Karen Swan (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Perfect Present

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Enjoyable listen

I really enjoyed this book. Lots of ups and downs. Interesting story with an ending that is happy.

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Excellent concept

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think the blurb does this story justice. The h is a jeweller with lots of secrets and pain. She is approached to make a necklace with charms as a birthday present to Rob's wife, Cat. Each charm is to represent Cat's relationship with the individual that Rob considers important to Cat. This involves the h interviewing each of them. The h meanwhile lives a very safe life with a good man but we are aware that she is very troubled. When Rob and the h meet, she ends up throwing him out of her studio because he's so arrogant. When the h decides to buy her partner a beach hut for Christmas, she goes cap in hand to Rob because he will pay her a small fortune for Cat's necklace. As the h begins the interviews, she is drawn into Cat's world. In order to finalise a number of the interviews, the h goes to Verbier for a skiing weekend. That changes the h's life in many ways and not all of them are good. The secondary characters are very interesting and mainly Cat's friends and former lovers. The h's best friend and her partner are also great characters. I loved this book and didn't want it to end.

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Perfecto

Loved the story and it had a surprise twist that Inwans expecting. Imogene Church was fantastic as she always is.

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Narrator's Voice Intonation is a Downer

I love all of Karen Swan's books which have been read by other narrators. Unfortunately the narration by Imogen Church of this book ruins the book for me. Imogen's voice intonation carries like that of a pessimistic newscaster. Somehow she manages to make much of the text into sounding pessimistic like it's bad news. It's a real pity. Otherwise, I believe the actual text and book would be an enjoyable read. But, I feel like it's being read by a Debbie Downer.

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Not this author’s best

I recently started reading this author’s books .... I believe this is one of her earlier books. I would definitely recommend her later books, and to probably give this one a pass. I found it superficial and not reasonably believable.

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Laura and Lily

I almost didn’t read this as someone said it was sad!! Not sad to me! Great Story with a glorious ending!! Thank you Karen Swan for such a interesting story once again! Thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters ❣️
Imogene Church well done❣️

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Really painful ...

That was really really painful, to say the least. Even Imogen couldn’t make it worth your time ....

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Always a pleasant surprise

I love her plot twists. You can’t guess in advance what the issues are with the main character. Also love that her characters are such strong females.

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  • C M Kelly
  • 02-09-19

A different book by Swan

A Somewhat Different Karen Swan Book. Really enjoyed listening, as it kept my attention with all the twists and turns.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-18

No words

No words can describe how brilliantly written and narrated this book was. laugh, cry I did the lot.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Diana Adu
  • 10-31-18

The perfect read

Fabulous book keeps you interested and makes you want to keep reading I have enjoyed the book

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  • rebeccah prince
  • 10-26-18

just wonderful

one of Karen Swans best. lots of little mysteries about each character to be unravelled. charecters are complex. as usual i love the focus on the woman's life and job etc rather than focus being mostly about her feelings towards the love interest. beautifully read. never wanted it to end. really liked the ending. felt female charecter 'rescused' herself and created her own happily ever after rather than the man being the hero

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  • Truffle Guernsey
  • 08-24-18

Irresistible summer listen

Having listened to several Karen Swan books and enjoyed Imogen Church’s reading of other novels I decided to give this a listen. The more I listened the more I struggled to switch this off, listening late into the night. I even looked forward to ironing as I couldn’t walk the dog further to listen to the story...

The prologue sets the scene for Laura and Lillie’s loss and it soon becomes clear that there is more of a mystery and that the main character is hiding something as she is asked to create the ‘perfect present’ for a clients wife. This is not the only secret and at times I felt on edge waiting for the inevitable to happen, but still desperate to know what would happen next. Not as predictable as I first thought, a well paced story.

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  • S A Webb
  • 05-08-21

Simply Perfect

Karen Swan has such an amazing way of putting a story together. I found this book riveting and the narrator brought it to life brilliantly.

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  • Louise
  • 02-13-21

Captivating journey!

Absolutely loved this story from start to finish! I usually listen to audiobooks to help my active mind wind down to sleep ☺️ but once this story began to truly unfold itself, this captivating tale kept me up ‘til 5.30am this morning 😉

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  • L
  • 01-16-21

A fab festive story to listen to anytime anywhere

I found the story took a little while for me to get into it and to become gripped but once I was there I listened to it whenever I could grab even just a chapter. The characters were an interesting lot and I found myself thinking about them when I was wasnt even reading the book. I loved Imogen as the narrator!

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  • NikkiNakkiNoo
  • 11-10-20

Beautiful book

Love the book but don't like Female narrators doing men's voices. Have the paper copy of this book and love it!

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  • Sylvia cooper
  • 10-11-20

Wonderful

It’s just as the reviews had to say just couldn’t put it down and l will be reading this book again the best as yet

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  • Lynne Elliott
  • 10-14-19

Beautiful

What a beautiful story, I loved every chapter. This is the second book of Karen Swan’s I have read. You are truly an amazing storyteller.