Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"Coming Home for Christmas" by Jenny Hale

During the Christmas season, I watched Hallmark's new movie Coming Home for Christmas. I really enjoyed it, and when I saw it was based on a novel, I knew I wanted to read the book, too. I checked out the ebook using the Kindle Owner's Lending Library ... and then promptly forgot about it until New Year's Eve, when the movie aired again on Hallmark. I started reading while the movie was on, and soon the novel had all of my attention.

Christmas is a time for family... isn't it?

Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out...

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at them all from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen... even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own...

Coming Home for Christmas is such fun! It's quite different from the movie, so it's best to take them as two distinct entities so as not to be disappointed with either one 🙂.

It's obvious from the beginning that Allie and Robert are meant to be together—but they spend much of the book physically apart, with Allie at Ashford and Robert in New York and Spain. Most of their interactions take place via email or phone call—yet author Jenny Hale is able to make those conversations sizzle. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down because of how strong the connection was between Allie and Robert.

While Allie is getting to know Robert via email, she's also dating his brother Kip. This was the one aspect of the novel I didn't enjoy, as Allie didn't even want to date (or make out with) Kip, yet she did anyway. It all felt very high schoolish, even though Allie was around 30, and it continued far too long.

Of course, things do end up working out for Allie and Robert (despite her best attempts to not fall for her boss), and the book ends in a really sweet and fitting way. 4-1/2 stars.

Content note: The book contains a smattering of very mild swear words. The sexual content never goes beyond semi-detailed kissing (though it's very clear that Allie and Robert will begin sleeping together immediately). Think upper end of PG or mild PG-13.

Buy the book.

Jenny Hale is a USA Today and Amazon best-selling author of romantic women’s fiction. The film adaptation of her novel Coming Home for Christmas aired on the Hallmark Channel this year. Her stories are chock-full of feel-good romance and overflowing with warm settings, great friends, and family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book with my Amazon Prime membership and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I'm not sure if I noticed the Hallmark film was based on a book or not... but I'm glad to know now if I didn't before. Makes me think I should totally mark this one to possibly read next season and then re-watch the movie. :) Thanks for the review.

    1. This is the first year I've actively looked in the opening credits to see if the film was based on a book, and I had such fun searching out books and then comparing the two. I know I missed some, but there's always next year :-) And yes, do check out this book--it's such fun, though fairly different from the movie.


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