A Gift to Remember

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Discover the magic of Melissa Hill this Christmas… Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A dreamer who secretly wishes for true love similar to that in her beloved novels, Darcy refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed man walking his dog. He is knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital, but his dog gets left behind. Wracked with guilt over the accident, Darcy resolves to care for the dog and reunite him with his owner. But the dog is not the only thing that’s been left behind and when she finds a small beautifully wrapped package – suspiciously shaped like a book – she becomes curious. She decides to try and figure out all she can about this man, and make the delivery herself. Darcy gradually becomes drawn into his life; one that she soon discovers is filled with books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about. It doesn’t take long before Darcy builds up a picture of this man’s lovely life, and feeling an immediate kinship towards him, tries to make things right.

It might be a challenge but doesn’t she owe it to him to try? But does fantasy match reality? And what happens when he finally wakes up?

My opinion: I’d had my eye on this book since it was published in hardback before Christmas, so jumped at the chance when I was offered an advance copy of the paperback by the publisher!

Darcy is the manager of book store Chaucers in New York. Much to her aunt Katherine’s dismay, her extravagant lifestyle is shunned by Darcy. She much prefers to do the job she loves and¬†cycle around the city. On an icy day before Christmas she knocks over a pedestrian whilst on her bike and ends up looking after his dog when he gets taken to hospital. She also picks up the package he was carrying and begins her quest to return the dog and the parcel to their rightful owner, Aidan.

I really enjoyed this book and liked Darcy from the offset. The setting of New York is romantic before you start, but a snowy New York is on a different level! The only downside for me (which is totally all about me and nothing to do with the book!) is that I started reading this on an extremely hot weekend and the book has a very wintry feel and is set at Christmas. As I say, this is totally down to my personal preference, and I should have looked at this before starting the book as I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I’d read it later in the year!

I really loved the literary quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It is obvious that a lot of research and care went into choosing the perfect quotes, some which I recognised and others that were new to me. I would have liked to have started to get to know Aidan a bit more earlier in the book as the mystery went on for some time, and I was also a little confused when we first started to hear his side of the story, but that’s probably just me! I also lost track of timescales a little bit, so wasn’t always sure how much time had passed, but sometimes it’s nice to have that sort of timeless feel to a story when it could be set over a few months, or just a week.

This was the first book that I have read by Melissa Hill and will look out for more of her books in the future. If you are looking for a romantic book with an amazing setting and a bookish heroine, then this is for you. What’s not to love about that combination?!

My rating: Four stars

I received a signed copy of this book from the publisher, Simon and Schuster, in exchange for an honest review