So, while my intention was to have a countdown of five different books for you guys, as mentioned I just didn’t really find anything else that grabbed me. So instead you get a countdown of two. Here is the number two Christmas book for me this year!
They say that behind every great man, there’s a great woman, and behind London’s most powerful leaders, there stands only one—Alex Hyde, business coach par excellence. She’s the woman they turn to for advice and strategy when the pressure gets too much. So when Alex gets a call offering an unbelievable sum to discreetly manage a family member on the board of an esteemed Scottish whisky company, it’s business as usual. She can do this in her sleep. Only, she’s never met anyone like Lochlan Farqhuar before. CEO of Kentallen Distilleries, he’s also the son and heir of the company’s founder, and a man for whom there is no “no.” He’s a maverick, and Alex needs to get inside his head before he brings the company to its knees. But as she tasks herself with finding a way in, she finds that for once, she’s not the one in control. And when she stumbles across a chance discovery that changes everything, she’s suddenly not so sure she should be.
Alright. I’m going to begin by mentioning that I had never read anything by Karen Swan before this book – but I just couldn’t say no to that cover. It’s beautiful. So when I decided that I wanted to actually dive into the world of this book, the first person that I contacted was Mama Wordnerd. She is an avid Karen Swan fan – having read every book that the woman has ever published. So I knew exactly who would want to join me in a buddy read.
I started later than Mama, hitting chapter four just as she was on nineteen or some such nonsense. However, though the beginning of this book is kind of slow, in a few short days I had not only surpassed my mothers place in the book, but finished it all together. I actually think I stayed up until two or three in the morning to finish it – 6:00am wake up time be damned!
One of the best parts for me about reading this book is that when we had both finished it, mom and I had an almost two hour conversation about it. Raving about the switch between past and present tense, the imagery that Karen has created, and about how this book completely blew apart the stereotype of the “predictable Christmas story”. Having those conversations with my mom will always be one of my favourite bookish memories. The book itself was amazing, but being able to fan girl so hard with my mother was priceless. (Side note – Mom, we should totally start a book club. We would be SO good at it!)
Sometimes portions of historical fiction – even when just added as snippets – can be rather dry. However, the insertion of the history in this book kept you on edge, wondering how it would all connect in the end. Boy-oh-boy does it ever connect. By the end of the book when everything was coming together, I was flipping pages at an alarming rate. After one such instance about half way through the book, I fired a text message to mom, seconds before my shift at work started that just said “You just wait until you get to the next chapter! Holy Hannah!”
“But Katy, if you enjoyed this book as much as you say you did, why isn’t it number one?” You may be thinking. (Hopefully you aren’t saying it out loud, your family may judge you just a tad. I won’t though. Us Wordnerds need to stick together.) Anyone who knows me, and realizes that I’m really an eighty year old woman trapped in a twenty-eight year olds body, will see why it isn’t number one.
The Number One book for Christmas 2017 – coming to a blog near you. TOMORROW!