Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.
When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.
So, newly single - and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…
Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined…?

MY TAKE:
If you're looking for a chick lit novel that's a good transition between Halloween and the Christmas season, you'll probably want to take a look at this one.

In Mistletoe Mansion, Kimmy and her boyfriend break up after he pressures her to choose a steady job at potato factory over the possibility of maybe having her own cupcake business one day. She and her best friend end up moving into Mistletoe Mansion as house-sitters in order to avoid being homeless. Life in Harpenden is exciting and glamorous, and Kimmy loves it. She makes a couple of friends, and business is booming. However, her house-sitting job is proving to be a challenge, because it seems as though something is going bump in the night.

When I'm approved for e-ARCs, I usually download them right away and don't reread the blurb before starting the book. That's why I was surprised, while reading this book last night with the lights out, that there was a ghost at Mistletoe Mansion. I was spooked, of course, but when I continued the book this morning, it wasn't so bad. The ghost stuff was pivotal to the meat of the story, but the cupcakes, friendships, and later on, the mystery, were the focus of the book.

During the first few chapters, I wasn't too pleased with Kimmy. I found her to be irresponsible, immature, self-centered and shallow. Having dreams is great, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be realistic, either. Research first what needs to be done, on the business end as well as the creative end.

Thankfully, as the story progressed, she became more and more likable and funny. The thing I did notice, though, was that I tended to like Kimmy when she was in a group or with certain people like Jess (her best friend), Melissa (the WAG), and Terry (her neighbor). When she was alone, however, I would sometimes get annoyed.

I liked Jess, Melissa and Terry a lot. Jess was mostly sensible and decidedly unselfish. Melissa had a tendency to be shallow and self-absorbed, but she means well. Terry, however, is fabulous and my favorite of the lot. I'd be happy to have a neighbor just like him.

I'd love to read a sequel narrated by Jess, Melissa or Terry. Or better yet, it could be written in the third person and it could be an ensemble comedy, like Friends.

Overall, I liked this book, and even though the rating below says three stars, I actually rate this book as a 3.5 to 3.75.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina UK for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. Kimmy's cupcakes sound delicious.
  2. The secondary characters are a solid bunch.
  3. The story feels believable, like it could happen in real life.

THE BAD:

  1. Kimmy can be irritating sometimes.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
I carried my Tuppperware box of cakes carefully, as if it contained the unseen manuscript to JK Rowling's next novel.
READ IT IF:

  1. You dream of starting your own (cupcake) business.
  2. You like ghost stories.
  3. You dream of living the good life. 

RATING:
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