Friday 3 July 2015

Reviewed: The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke.

The Kiss Before Midnight was published by Harper Impulse on November 13, 2014.

Thanks to the publisher for auto-approving me for a copy of this title on Netgalley.

I can’t deny that I was drawn to The Kiss Before Midnight because of it’s gorgeous, sparkly, striking cover but there was a lovely little story between the pages too. As far as Christmas novellas go, this hits the spot on so many different levels. It’s not just set at or around Christmas – we’re also treated to all the delightful festivities such as the putting up of the Christmas tree, the masses of mince pies, the snow and the pressies and of course, there was a flirty little romance to go with too. What’s not to like? I loved how truly festive this book was. It’s perfectly readable throughout anytime of the year (she says having read it in July) but it’s also so wonderful at putting you in the Christmas spirit. All the festive elements combine together so well to make you feel at home and crave that round-the-table Christmas dinner with the mad family and the food that you could put on a stone in weight just by looking at it. Main character Molly is back in Liverpool, home for the holidays with her parents, siblings, other halves and Jake, her brother’s best friend plus the guy she shared a sneaky kiss with the year before. Jake’s mum and dad died when he was young and so he’s practically become an adopted part of the Mackenzie family, but there’s no way him and Molly can see each other as a sort-of brother and sister any longer after that kiss…

Molly thinks one time with Jake will get him out of her system and they’d be able to go back to normal but whaaat? Surely one kiss wouldn’t be enough – Jake was super swoonworthy. There was a lot of chemistry between Molly and Jake. I loved all the little fleeting looks, when their eyes met, how they were finding each other hard to resist even when they were surrounded by family. They were the kind of couple you just wanted to see together which of course works perfectly in getting you behind their stories and wishing for that festive happy ever after. We get the added luxury of seeing the story from both sides and that really helps build up the romance and the sexual tension and I really liked getting to know both characters, especially Jake who I felt was a little more vulnerable than what was perceived at first. Christmas at the Mackenzie’s has become a tradition for him and it’s a place where he fits in, even though he doesn’t feel as big a part of the family as he would like. Somehow, there’s always that bit of self-doubt in him that makes him feel like he’s a bit in the way and this year he feels especially uncomfortable because he can’t keep his eyes off of Molly.

I loved the Mackenzie family – they felt really realistic and easy to relate to, especially with their Christmas quirks and traditions. Sophie brought out the festive side to this story so well – big family Christmases are the norm and this one showed that everybody can bond over a mince pie and a bit of merriment, can’t they? The Kiss Before Midnight was really uplifting, like all the good Christmas books should be. It’s a novella but not lacking in anything, the only issue being that I loved the characters and could have read lots more from them. I loved the flirting and the romance, how Molly was quite confident in herself and knew what she wanted instead of the opposite where normally it’s the guy who’s trying to win the girl over with all her doubts and insecurities. I also loved that every aspect to this book really honed in on the fact that it was Christmas so there was a real celebratory, cheerful mood as well as a heart-warming romance. The Kiss Before Midnight is a gorgeous, feel-good festive novella. Pretty cover, touching story and simply a great book to escape into during the festive season.

Super-cute, flirty romance with gorgeous festivities and a story to love.

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