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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst #Review

I am delighted to introduce a great romcom, a debut novel by Phoebe Luckhurst. The Lock In was published by Michael Joseph on 27th May. 

 Ellen and Alexa have survived hangovers, dodgy landlords and most of their twenties together.

But can they survive this?

One Saturday morning a flooded kitchen leads best friends Ellen and Alexa into their attic.

But when Ben - Alexa's date from the night before - walks in, the handle breaks, and all are trapped.

While Ellen nurses her hangover, she watches her best friend fall for this gorgeous stranger.

Only to come to the horrifying realisation that she knows him from somewhere.

Frantically searching her memories, Ellen wonders: is Ben really who she thinks he is?

And more importantly, what on earth is she going to do about it . . . ?

Fans of Beth O'Leary, Mhairi McFarlane and Dolly Alderton will LOVE this oh-so relatable tale of friendship, love, house-shares and what can happen behind locked doors . . .

My Thoughts

I was genuinely amused by this book. The premise of them being locked in the attic worked and meant that when they were all 'imprisoned' together, the dynamics between the characters came to the fore. Each of the four characters emerged as individuals. You are given the story through each character so you see them all as humans with their own insecurities. Ellen and Alexa have a long standing friendship but as the book develops, you see the four of them as they get to know each other better. 

    Alexa and Ellen seem to be quite a contrast. Alexa is much more guarded than Ellen who can be impulsive but together they work as friends. I enjoyed the references to life in the 90's when MSN was one way teenagers used to communicate. You can absolutely sense the awkwardness of their conversations. The comic episodes are the best part for me, particularly their landlord from hell and  a few other unexpected visitors which I hesitate to describe because of spoilers. It is a cheerful romcom with great characters and laugh out loud moments.

In short: A romcom with life and vigour.    

About the Author

Phoebe Luckhurst is a journalist and author, who has written for publications including the Evening Standard, ES Magazine, ELLE, Grazia, Sunday Times Style, Guardian, Telegraph and Grazia. The Lock In is her first novel, and she is currently writing her second.


You can follow Phoebe here: Twitter  |  Website 

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Phoebe Luckhurst, and Sriya Varadharajan of Penguin Michael Joseph for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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