I've not read anything by Karen Swan before but I was attracted by the lovely Christmasy cover and I'm addicted to Christmas books at the moment. However, I was so glad I downloaded The Christmas Party because it is a lovely romantic story, with brilliant characters that leap off the page. If you're looking for the perfect book to read in the run-up to Christmas, this is it.
When Declan Lorne (the last remaining knight in Ireland) dies unexpectedly, his ancient title dies with him. But his ramshackle estate, including a decrepit castle, is to be divided between his three daughters - and that doesn't go quite the way everyone expects either. The story is told from the point of view of the three sisters, Ottie, Pip and Willow, who now have to make some tough decisions. Will letting go of the past be the only way to secure their future?
What I loved most about this book was the characters. I found it refreshing that these women are not perfect and throughout the book they seemed to take it turns to behave badly (especially Pip!). I was left thinking 'Why did you DO that?!!' But it just made me love them more - especially Pip! I loved the big old castle that was falling down around their ears and the pressure on poor Willow to sell or not to sell. I especially loved the idea of throwing a fabulous Christmas party in a kind of 'out with the old, in with the new' kind of way. And there were a couple of terrific twists towards the end.
The Christmas Party is one of my favourite reads this year. I've just bought another Karen Swan book and I shall be starting it very soon!
Thank you to Karen Swan and Pan for my copy of this book, which I requested via NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.