Category: Melissa Hill

The Guest List by Melissa Hill

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My Rating: 5/5

Cara is so happy when her boyfriend Shane proposes. She seems to have it all going on, a great job, a new fiancé and a great circle of friends and family. Their excitement quickly disappears whe…n they tell their respective parents and their ideas for their bog day aren’t quite what Shane and Cara had in mind. Cara was an easy character to like and as soon as I started reading about her and Shane, I couldn’t help thinking this was a lovely couple that seemed to have everything in place for them. When Cara and Shane make a stand and decide on a beach wedding on a Caribbean island, there is uproar from both families.

There were quite a lot of characters in this book but they are all introduced into the story with a little background about each of them. One thing Melissa Hill has done is create a very `real’ family. I would be surprised if there are people out there that don’t have at least one family member that behaves a certain way?!? Cara’s sister-in-law Kim was my favourite character and she brought a real calm to the storm kind of feeling right throughout the book. I loathed Shane’s parents from the outset but as the story progressed my feelings started to change.

I think was surprised me was the fact that I got so engrossed in a book that is essentially not that original. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, just that weddings and engagements have been written about time and time again. Hill manages to get the reader that little bit more attached to all the characters, whether it to love them or loathe them. She has taken a traditional story and made it into a bit of a drama, with all the characters playing their part in it all.

The thing that also surprised me with this book was the ending. Well, what can I say I did NOT see that coming! Normally I pick up on things like that, and although I had suspicions about what the past held, I was way off the mark. I absolutely love it when a story does that and genuinely takes you by surprise. I can honestly say that I loved this book and as a person that has actually done the whole “wedding abroad” thing, I could actually relate to some of the stuff going on in Cara and Shane’s lives. I really would recommend this to people; it was a fantastic read and one that I finished in a matter of hours rather than days

The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill

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Synopsis: Every charm bracelet tells a story and Holly O’Neill knows this better than most. Many years ago she was sent one mysteriously, just a single charm attached. Some time later another charm appeared, and the same happened until the bracelet was almost full. Each charm proved significant, as if her anonymous benefactor knew she needed a little bit of magic in her life. So when Holly stumbles across another bracelet – one that somebody else has lost – she recognises a lifetime spelt out through the charms, and knows she must try to reunite it with its owner. Using each charm to help discover more about the bracelet’s owner, Holly gradually begins to piece together details of this other charmed life. And her quest leads her somewhere she never expected…

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I only recently picked up my first Melissa Hill book; her most recent Something From Tiffany’s. When I realised she had a new book The Charm Bracelet I really looked forward to reading it. The first thing I noticed when it arrived was the very pretty front cover. Simple yet elegant and once I had read the synopsis I got started.

Holly O’Neill lives with her son Danny in New York. She works for a Vintage Clothes store which seems to perfectly fit her personality. Straight away the reader gets a feel for the sort of woman Holly is. Romantic notions are what set her going as she learns the history of each piece of clothing that comes into the store and becomes insistent on sharing her knowledge with customers. Many years prior she had received a charm bracelet yet she had no idea who it was from. Each year she receives a charm relating to her life even though she still has no idea who she is getting them from. Her charm bracelet is always on her wrist so when she discovers somebody has left one in an item of clothing she is determined to reunite it with its rightful owner. Holly uses each charm as a clue and slowly she works her way through them all looking for clues as to the owners identity.

I realised before long that this book, like Melissa’s last, has a very old school romance feel to it. Melissa Hill manages to convey the old fashioned romance that many people wish for. The characters that appear in this book are very readable and we meet Greg who decides to start a new career much to the disdain of his girlfriend Karen. We also meet his father Jeff and as the story progresses we learn about somebody pivotal to both of them.

Towards the end of the book I was mesmerised by it all and found I wasn’t prepared to stop reading so sat down and finished the last quarter in one sitting. I began to piece together parts of the story as the book went on but by the last few pages found I was shocked. I certainly didn’t see the ending and thought it was a lovely way to finish the book. This isn’t typical to the very modern chick lit books but has a very charming feel to it. If I am being honest, although this wouldn’t normally be my first choice of story I was completely mesmerised by the magical feeling the book creates. Overall, an absolutely fantastic read, and certainly one that I would recommend for all you `old romantics’ out there.

Something From Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

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My Rating: 3/5

I have never read a Melissa Hill book before and was looking forward to reading something light hearted. After reading the synopsis on the back I figured this was just the sort of ‘feel-good’ read I could do with. The book starts off set in the wonderfully romatic city of New York and we meet two men on completely different trips. Ethan is making a special trip to Tiffany¡¦;s with his daughter to collect an engagement ring for his girlfriend Vanessa. Meanwhile Gary is shopping until he drops and at the last minute decides on a short trip to Tiffany¡¦s to get his girlfriend Rachel a charm bracelet. What follows the trip is an accident where the two bags get mixed up and Rachel ends up with the ring and Vanessa the bracelet.

The first few chapters were a great introduction to the two main male characters and I have to say that I took an instant dislike to Gary and his awful attitude. Ethan on the other hand was a joy to read with his charming and well mannered ways. With both couples back in their respective homes the story then takes a turn where we see Ethan and his vain attempts to track down the missing ring.

I really liked the character Rachel and enjoyed reading about her a lot more that Vanessa. The story did stretch a little in the middle and I felt like it was missing something, however towards the end it picked up again. A lot of previous reviews I have read seemed to complain that the synopsis gives it away, and although I know what they mean, the book is still a great read. The characters are engaging and the storyline interesting. The best part about this book for me was the ending. I managed to do that smug self satisfied grin to myself because I knew what the ending would be. Thankfully I was proved totally wrong and the ending was great, especially as it managed to wipe that smug self satisfied grin off my face º

No the book is not original, and it certainly isn’t the best that is out there in this genre. Having said that, it is a really easy to read book with good characters and it kept me interested. I will certainly be looking out for more Melissa Hill books in the future.