Don’t you always plan the perfect Christmas?
Don’t you always think it will be the best one ever?
And doesn’t something always come along and screw it up?
Katy’s been stuck in the office away from her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael Bublé Christmas album, whatever it takes.
There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. But Katy isn’t so sure she's ready yet…
Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy's mum's 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day?
From the no. 1 bestselling author of No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, this book will make you cry with laughter, and then book your flights abroad for the festive season. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Milly Johnson.
Praise for Tracy Bloom:
‘I utterly adored this book. It's extremely funny and has your eyes bulging out in excitement waiting for the next page... It's emotional in every different way possible and really will have you not wanting to put it down.’ The Book Geek Wears Pyjamas, 5 stars
‘This has to be one of my favourite and most memorable books I’ve read this year.’ Book Drunk, 5 stars
‘Wow!... a real page turner!... will be looking forward to hearing much more from this author in the future!’ Fabulous Book Fiend, 5 stars
‘In the first few sentences the book had captured my attention and I was glued to the scenes that were unfolding before me… I was bursting out with laughter, and on more than one occasion I was asked by others what was so hilarious! But it's not only very funny, it is also very heart-felt and full of emotion too… truly fantastic… I honestly cannot wait for Tracy Bloom to bring out another!’ Megan Reading In The Sunshine, 5 stars
‘Within the first few pages I was already laughing out loud… I continuously switched opinions on how it would or should end so it definitely kept me on my toes… I look forward to more from this author!’ V Family Fun, 5 stars
‘Hilarious… addictive to read… I was touched by these characters and their journeys.’ Novelicious
‘This hilarious book will sweep you up in its sheer brilliance.’ Marie Claire
‘Loved this book. Tracy Bloom had me in stitches. Again.’ Milly Johnson
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not having read the earlier books in this series, it took a bit of time to connect all the dots, even as Bloom did make an effort to provide some backstory for each of the separate vignettes that were progressing in this story. First up is Kate and Ben, with their three-year old daughter, Ben’s best friend Braindead, and Kate’s bestie Daniel. Kate is the working parent here – her salary from her marketing expertise allowed Ben to stay at home to raise Millie, and now with her at school, he’s been hired on as a teacher at her preschool. Ben is all things lovely: committed father, good friend and supportive partner. He’s also over-the-moon excited about this coming Christmas: it’s Millie’s first to really understand Father Christmas and the surrounding hoopla, and they are in a new house which he has decided to decorate. Extensively. But then, the complications start: Katie’s parents are divorcing, her mum has a new “toy-boy” and is coming to spend Christmas (uninvited) bringing Carlos and his myriad of requirements, a single son and smashing Ben’s plans for a quiet and cozy holiday to bits. When a last-minute pitch for a new client for the agency lands on Katie’s desk, and the company owner is pushing for her to up stakes and move to Australia for a new job –putting Ben’s desire for another child on hold and sending her best friend Daniel, now single after his Italian lover left without a word. If that wasn’t enough tumult to add to the mix of the Christmas preparations, Ben has been handed the reins for the Nativity pageant at school, and is brought face-to-face with new students, a set of twin brother and sister with a rather obsessive and difficult mother, a nanny who finds him attractive, 23 3 year olds who all (with a couple of minor exceptions) want to be Joseph or Mary, and an encounter with his past. The twins father is Katy’s ex Matthew, his wife Allison is heavily pregnant with their fourth child, and she is borderline obsessed with her children’s advancement. When you add in Matthew’s friend Ian – divorced and playing the field, disliked by Allison and having a crush on their nanny – the story just twists up more and more. Oh there are serious concerns hidden within the never-ending barrage of demands from Katy’s mother, Ben’s nerves and ‘modernization’ of the Nativity, the planning sessions with Daniel to make Braindead’s proposal an ‘event’ and a works holiday party at a cross between Chuck E Cheese, Lion King and a booze-fueled night of abandon. Katy’s worry about the offer to move to Australia, deciding on another baby, where to put her mother and her boyfriend for their Christmas visit, her realization that Daniel has become her best friend and someone very important to her, Ben’s concerns about the secrets that Katy is keeping (the job offer) and her apparent hesitation about another baby, his own worries about whether or not the Nativity will be a success, and walking Braindead through the maze that is his feelings for his girlfriend Abby and his upcoming engagement. Tucked neatly into all of the chaos comes the truth of this story – that love can, will and does conquer all, even as the laughter and the continual piling on of ‘just one more’ request continue near relentlessly to the end. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This was one of the funniest romantic comedies I have read in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed the British humor that had me staying up until quite late to finish this book. Katy and Ben are a married couple with a 3 year old daughter. Katy is an executive at an ad agency who works crazy hours while Ben is a high school teacher who left his job to stay at home with their daughter. He is now teaching part time at his daughter's pre-school. The other main couple in the story are Mathew and Allison, parents of 3 children with one on the way. If you have read any other books in this series, you will know that these two couples have a past, and in this book, they are going to run into each other again. The author gives enough details about this that you do not need to have read the other books. Throw in the secondary characters of Daniel, Katy's gay best friend, her mother and her new "toy boy" who are coming for Christmas, Ben's bestfriend, Braindead, and his girlfriend and mix in their Christmas plans and you have a fun story. There is also Mathew's best friend and co-worker Ian and their nanny Lena who round out the other family. With Christmas Party's, pre-school nativity plays, proposals, business trips abroad and all the angst that happens at Christmas, and you will understand what the laughter in my living room was all about. This is the first Tracy Bloom book I have read, but it will not be my last. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.