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The Christmas Party (Christmas Fiction)

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Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace. Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself . . . Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It's going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party.


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Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace. Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself . . . Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It's going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party.

30 review for The Christmas Party (Christmas Fiction)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Louise is working for Tyler trying to provide for her daughter Mia she's putting up with harassment at work until she gets to know Josh. The other problem is she does not want a relationship. Kirsten is Tyler's long suffering wife of ten years and it's like she's been turning a blind eye on his behaviour till she is reunited with a man named Simon. Lance and Melissa are married and Melissa has been having an affair with Tyler. Tyler seems to get in everywhere. Kirsten seems to get under the Louise is working for Tyler trying to provide for her daughter Mia she's putting up with harassment at work until she gets to know Josh. The other problem is she does not want a relationship. Kirsten is Tyler's long suffering wife of ten years and it's like she's been turning a blind eye on his behaviour till she is reunited with a man named Simon. Lance and Melissa are married and Melissa has been having an affair with Tyler. Tyler seems to get in everywhere. Kirsten seems to get under the impression that Louise is the one having an affair with Tyler in reality she really can't stand him. At the party I wish Karen would get the hint that Josh likes Louise. The library seems to be the place people are sent for peace and quiet. For Josh and Louise this is were they kiss and Kirsten thinks it's Tyler in there with Louise. There's so many lies going on between so many people. I love the scene were Louise leaves Tyler naked in one of the rooms after his incident with Magnifcent Mano. He really deserved it I shouldn't find the fire so funny but I did. It's no wonder really that he sacks her but that's before there's all change on Christmas Eve. This Christmas Party really made all the characters think about their lives. Some people ended up happier than they ever were and others ended up living in a nightmare. I loved Josh and Louise and hope he'll continue to be a father figure to Mia I'd love to know what happened to them all in the New Year.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    Gorgeous and festive cover – I love it. I was really excited for this book, the blurb sounded great and I love Carole as a writer. Unfortunately this Christmas story wasn’t really for me. I really enjoyed parts of it, but the last spark was missing. The book starts at the day of the Christmas party, the 23rd of December. Louise is new to Fossil Oil, it’s her first Christmas party with them, she is very nervous and her boss Tyler Benson, comes on to her a lot… Louise is a single mother, she Gorgeous and festive cover – I love it. I was really excited for this book, the blurb sounded great and I love Carole as a writer. Unfortunately this Christmas story wasn’t really for me. I really enjoyed parts of it, but the last spark was missing. The book starts at the day of the Christmas party, the 23rd of December. Louise is new to Fossil Oil, it’s her first Christmas party with them, she is very nervous and her boss Tyler Benson, comes on to her a lot… Louise is a single mother, she struggles with money and loves at her parent’s house with her daughter Mia. My was such a joy to read about, a real sunshine. The Christmas party is full of fun, drama and much more. I enjoyed reading about it, especially about Louise and Josh Wallace, the company’s rising star. At times I felt that there was even too much going on, instead of focusing at the interesting parts. The narratives in the story change a lot. There is Louise talking from her point of view in the first person and then there were other chapters where the other characters were in the limelight written in the third person. Kirsten (Tyler’s wife), Melissa (Tyler’s affair) and Tyler himself got turns as well. I didn’t like the change that much, because I liked Louise as the main character and I think it disturbed the flow a bit. The scenes were very vivid and described with so much detail, I really liked that, it made the atmosphere more festive and sweet. A lot happens in just three days, I really liked that the three main women finally realised what was important and wanted a change in life. There was a lot of talk about the positions and jobs at Fossil Oil, making Louise unsure about her future. The ending I have to say was a bit of a disappointment for me in a way, because I think there wasn’t a clear ending and some fast stops. On the other hand I really liked what Louise, Kirsten and Melissa decided. So it was full of hope and happiness, but also uncertainty and sadness.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Lindley-Jones

    Extremely easy read, I read it in a day. However, the ending is dreadful! In my opinion a epilogue would of tied up the book perfectly, instead it felt like it finished abruptly and annoyingly left a lot of unanswered questions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    There was too much going on; too many plot points; too many different POVs; and it was too repetitive. How many times did Kirsten need to think that she was on the wrong side of 40 and not attractive enough? And how many times did Melissa need to think she was on the wrong side of 50 and not attractive enough? It was more about hooking up at the office Christmas party than actually about Christmas. After reading two of this author's books and being disappointed in them both, I don't think I'll There was too much going on; too many plot points; too many different POVs; and it was too repetitive. How many times did Kirsten need to think that she was on the wrong side of 40 and not attractive enough? And how many times did Melissa need to think she was on the wrong side of 50 and not attractive enough? It was more about hooking up at the office Christmas party than actually about Christmas. After reading two of this author's books and being disappointed in them both, I don't think I'll be trying anything else by her.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Best Crime Books & More

    Carole Matthews is the Volvo of the book world. You may not think they are the best thing out there, but they are solid, dependable and these days are looking pretty bloody snazzy if you ask me Jokes aside I really mean what I say, Carole Matthews was one of the first authors I read religiously from my 20’s and she has rarely let me down as a reader. I have read EVERY single one of her books and just keeps delivering. Quite how authors such as her (and many others I know of) amaze me that they Carole Matthews is the Volvo of the book world. You may not think they are the best thing out there, but they are solid, dependable and these days are looking pretty bloody snazzy if you ask me Jokes aside I really mean what I say, Carole Matthews was one of the first authors I read religiously from my 20’s and she has rarely let me down as a reader. I have read EVERY single one of her books and just keeps delivering. Quite how authors such as her (and many others I know of) amaze me that they just keep on bringing you wonderful storylines and characters you just fall in love with. This latest release is absolutely no exception, and is based around a Christmas Party. Louise is a single mum trying desperately hard to get along at her new job with Fossil Oil. However, her boss Tyler thinks nothing of making her life very difficult and as the Christmas Party approaches she wonders whether she can manage to keep her job whilst keeping Tyler firmly at arm’s length. The whole book only spans a few days but its absolutely brilliant how Carole has done it. We meet Tyler’s wife Kirsten, the man in charge of Fossil Oil Lance and his wife Melissa, all with their own issues. The characters are wonderful and each one keeps you reading until the end. There is plenty of humour thrown in and the scene involving Louise and her boss Tyler in the Library is legendary. Although this book was set over a short time span it definitely worked and I enjoyed every page. Although this isn’t my favourite Matthews book (there are far too many to choose from) it’s certainly a great read and would make a fab Christmas Present. As usual I will look forward to her next one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Loved it, never going to look at my office christmas party in the same way again ..

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

    Fabulous book thoroughly enjoyable, so well written, just could not put it down and didn't want it to end. Really love this authors books :-).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Meet Louise Young, the new PA working for the international oil company ‘Fossil Oil’. Her boss is the slimy, hand-wandering Tyler Benson, the company’s golden boy. Tyler is used to getting what he wants and that usually means that his PA’s bend over backwards for him, literally. But not Louise. She has sworn off all men since her now, ex-boyfriend upped and left, leaving her homeless, in a huge amount of debt and with a young daughter, Mia, to support. Anyhow, even if Tyler was the last man on Meet Louise Young, the new PA working for the international oil company ‘Fossil Oil’. Her boss is the slimy, hand-wandering Tyler Benson, the company’s golden boy. Tyler is used to getting what he wants and that usually means that his PA’s bend over backwards for him, literally. But not Louise. She has sworn off all men since her now, ex-boyfriend upped and left, leaving her homeless, in a huge amount of debt and with a young daughter, Mia, to support. Anyhow, even if Tyler was the last man on Earth, she would turn him down. Kristen is Tyler Benson’s wife, who knows all about his extra marital affairs and up until now has chosen to turn a blind eye. Once again though Tyler is showing all his usual signs of having another affair and this time Louise is her prime suspect. Can this possible, new affair, be the last straw for Kristen even if she isn’t 100% sure he is playing away? Josh Wallace is the up and coming star of ‘Fossil Oil’. He is the complete opposite of Tyler and he has his eye on Louise, but are his good looks and charming personality enough to change her opinion of men? Lance Harvey is the company chairman. He is more focused on his job and drinking than his own family. His grown up sons don’t have anything to do with him and his wife is at the end of her tether. To the outside world they have the perfect marriage, but can Melissa keep on putting up with Harvey, especially when he gets so intoxicated at the Christmas party it leaves him falling off his chair and unable to stand up. He hasn’t even done the Christmas welcome yet, together with the announcement that he has been dreading for days that will affect nearly all of the staff. The party is in full swing and the rumour mill is working over drive with whispers that the new face at ‘Fossil Oil’ is present. No-one but Lance knows who he is. For Kristen though, the sight of the new employee sends her spiralling into her past. Simon is her ex-boyfriend and the love of her life, whom she hasn’t heard from nor seen since his departure to the other side of the world in order to take up a new job. Did Simon try to keep in contact with Kristen though? Was there a third hand meddling in their lives, keeping them apart? With the free drinks flowing and everyone in a merry mood, what will happen if all of the secrets, lies and deceptions are revealed? Review The Christmas Party starts off on the 23rd December and the first few chapters are quite slow as we are introduced to the characters, of which there are many, and delves into their lives. The main part of the story surrounds the Christmas office party. With the story mainly focusing on just a few hours, I was a bit dubious about how Carole would keep the pace and interest going. I shouldn’t have been though as with all the twist, turns, unexpected events and action that takes place in those few hours, there was enough to keep the story moving along and the keep reader interested. The story is told from different characters’ perspectives and for me this is normally one of my bugbears about a book. I prefer for the story to either stick to the one, or at a push, two peoples accounts. With "The Christmas Party" though, if we didn’t have the perspective of different people, the story wouldn’t work. One person wouldn’t know all the goings on in other peoples lives and there is a lot going on with each of the characters in the book. Vividly written scenes and narrative help the readers to imagine the atmosphere at the party and the feelings and emotions that are transmitted by each of the characters, especially the women who have a rawness and resentment running through them. The book is more than just about an office party. It’s about how different people cope in varying situations and about how those that are supposed to love you the most can be the ones that hurt you the most. It’s full of romance, sadness, hurt, humiliation and heartache alongside lots of funny moments that will have you laughing along. The saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is certainly a phrase that would sum up the women in this book. A festive read that you will enjoy at any time of the year.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    After being left with her daughter- Louise had to move home to be able to start to pay off debts that her partner left her with. It's the Christmas season and her mum has the house decorated like Santa's grotto. It's her works party at a really posh hotel - and she is very wary of going as her boss is a bit of a lech. He has relationship problems of his own. The book follows Louise, her boss and his boss with their relationships over the course of the Christmas season. The company is due to go After being left with her daughter- Louise had to move home to be able to start to pay off debts that her partner left her with. It's the Christmas season and her mum has the house decorated like Santa's grotto. It's her works party at a really posh hotel - and she is very wary of going as her boss is a bit of a lech. He has relationship problems of his own. The book follows Louise, her boss and his boss with their relationships over the course of the Christmas season. The company is due to go through some major changes- and the staff are told at the Christmas party- which encourages them all to drink even more. It draws you right into the heart of the story and turning the pages to find out what happens next. I loved the characters- even the unlovable ones. You felt sorry for the wives- but wondered what exactly would happen in the end. WIth many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of the book. It was a lovely festive read- that I really enjoyed in September!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Nice, easy and festive read. It wasn't as cheery as I expected but I didn't have to think too much reading it so that was a bonus. I would have liked a closed end rather than a make your own decision but otherwise I enjoyed it. Not as good as some of the ones I read this time last year but definately got me in the Christmas mood. So much so I was eager to put the Christmas tree up but I resisted......for now that is.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    What a fantastic book. Easily Carole Matthews best book, and not her usual style either. This was a book centred around 3 women, their men and a lavish Christmas party with a free bar. I could barely put the book down, and loved every second of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Agi

    Carole Matthews. With her every new novel she proves that her place is really among those few top authors writing the best books and never disappointing. Oh yes, I always fear that her new released novel may not live up to my expectations but no worries, guys, "The Christmas Party" is Carole at her best. And could you believe that it's already her 25th book? 25!!! And this with writing two novels a year! I can't believe that Carole is spoiling us so much but I'm absolutely not complaining, oh Carole Matthews. With her every new novel she proves that her place is really among those few top authors writing the best books and never disappointing. Oh yes, I always fear that her new released novel may not live up to my expectations but no worries, guys, "The Christmas Party" is Carole at her best. And could you believe that it's already her 25th book? 25!!! And this with writing two novels a year! I can't believe that Carole is spoiling us so much but I'm absolutely not complaining, oh no, am far from this. "The Christmas Party" is about... yes, Christmas Party! Actually, the party itself covers 290 out of 400 pages of the book but please, don't be tricked. This, what may seen as your usual, booze - loaded party turns out to be a party that changed lives of some of the Fossil Oil company employees and also their families. In my opinion writing a story that goes on through three days only must not be a very easy thing to do, but as always Carole mastered her skills and gave us a brilliant, full of tension and believable characters' book. OK, there is one thing, some of the passages were too long for my liking, for example she can write two or three pages about going to a place where the characters can speak in peace and I mean, three pages??? It mostly concentrates on two couples: Tyler and his wife Kirsten, Lance with Melissa and Louise. Louise is the newest addition to the Fossil Oil family and is Tyler's PA, and Tyler herself is the right hand of Lance. Carole has, as always, created a great and different bunch of characters here, characters that you root for and even if you don't like some of them, you really feel sorry for them. Louise has just got her dream job in Fossil Oil and she's over the moon. She can now save some money to pay some of the debts that her partner left her with and this is why she grits her teeth when her boss Tyler comes a little too close for her liking, well, in fact it was already more like sexual harrassment. But Louise needs this job so much, period. She wants a better life for her and her little daughter Mia. Tyler, oh my, I really don't know where to start with Tyler, but actually everything he touches, he destroys. Not at work, oh no, at work he is the apple of Lance's eye, but in private life, starting with actually stealing his wife from his best friend and ending with him cheating on her on many too many occasions. For Lance Fossil Oil is his life and love, although in some ways he also loves his wife Melissa. All those people, and much more, meet at the company's Christmas Party, with free bar. And as I have already mentioned, it's not your usual Christmas party. A lot of deep hidden secrets are going to be revealed, many mistakes are going to be made, ghosts from the past are going to arrive, as well as long lost lovers, new friendships are going to be established and some important announcements for the employees are going to be made. Believe me, this book is packed with action and it makes a gripping read and I couldn't put it down and also couldn't keep my eyes off the pages in case I miss something. The more free booze is being drank, the more chaotic the party becomes and the events start to go out of hand, ending with a fire and somebody that we really don't like being spectacularly saved by a fireman. You must really read this book *grins* And after the party, a lot of decisions are going to be made as well, especially by our female characters. Louise's story was somehow closest to me and I found her the most likeable one from the three women, and I really do hope that Josh was her real knight on a white horse. She has developed through the story and I was so happy to see her finally seeing that the way he was being treated by Tylor is not the way at all. Please let me stop by one thing, and it is Louise and her situation. It has stroke me especially in this book. She's a single mum, her partner has left her without thinking and she is the one who must provide for her daughter, who must provide roof over her head, who must bring money home. Exactly, home. Home that she wouldn't have had if it weren't for her parents, her job that wouldn't have been if it weren't for her parents, who are taking so great care of her little Mia. I mean, how many women are in such situation? And how many people realise how hard it really is, especially if you are Alone, yes, with capital A. Louise has luck because she has her parents who can support her, she can still go to work even if Mia is ill because they can stay at home, but how many women don't have the luxury of having grandparents at call? It is great that Carole thought about having such character as well and I don't know if she has done it consciously or not, but it just jumped on me in this book and really left me thinking. Kirsten's story is also a big part of the book, and although I couldn't warm to her, hers was a very significant plot. For my liking, she was a little too whingeing, lost soul and it took her much to much time to finally make up her mind with what she really wants. Miss Mathews has, as always, created a great, colourful bunch of very different characters, characters larger than life, living their own lives and having their own personalities. Normal, very likeable heroes that we can often relate to, root for them or hate them and this always make a real pleasure to read, because their relationships, their lives, the way they speak with each other are always down - to - earth, never too forced and ring a true bell. So Carole Matthews has again delivered a book that was a real pleasure to read and let you forget about real world for some time while reading it. You can read on the cover "It's going to be a night to remember", and believe me, you won't forget it for long. There is everything you can hope for: beautiful setting, characters that won't leave you emotionless, indifferent towards them, it's packed with action, humour and seriousness, written in this characteristic Carole's style, already full of festive spirit. For sure a book (and a night) to remember! Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Book Addict Shaun

    Carole Matthews has been on my TBR for the longest time so I didn't hesitate to request this book from NetGalley. I read this book in September as part of #NetGalleyMonth where I attempted and succeeded to get my ratio to 100%. Reading a Christmas book in September was a risky move yet it absolutely paid off and even left me in the Christmas spirit sooner than I've ever been before. I feel that Carole's book covers, as fantastic as some of them are don't really do the story inside justice. In the Carole Matthews has been on my TBR for the longest time so I didn't hesitate to request this book from NetGalley. I read this book in September as part of #NetGalleyMonth where I attempted and succeeded to get my ratio to 100%. Reading a Christmas book in September was a risky move yet it absolutely paid off and even left me in the Christmas spirit sooner than I've ever been before. I feel that Carole's book covers, as fantastic as some of them are don't really do the story inside justice. In the past I prejudged and assumed they would be that sort of lovey dovey chick lit sort of stuff yet read a review for A Cottage By The Sea and was blown away with how different the story inside was from what I would've guessed. The same is true of The Christmas Party. Yes the book is essentially about a party but what is featured throughout are very believable, unique characters with a story to tell. And what a story. This book to me feel very real, her characters are very human and you have no trouble feeling a connection towards them - whether that be love or in the case of some here hatred. The book's story actually only takes place over a couple of days from the night of the Fossil Oil Christmas party to Christmas Day itself. I loved this and thought it worked incredibly well. Despite only taking place during that time Carole has made the book as action packed as possible and a lot happens during this time. I almost don't want to discuss the plot too much but basically our main character Louise has just joined Fossil Oil. She's having a bit of a hard time and has moved back home with her young daughter which is a bit embarrassing and somewhat of a step backward. Despite her boss Tyler being a bit of a pig she is determined to make a success of her job in the New Year but first is excited about the Christmas party. Also at the Christmas party are Tyler and his wife Kirsten, Tyler's protégée Josh Wallace and Fossil Oil exec Lance and his wife Melissa. Carole has created such a wonderful cast of characters here. Melissa and Kirsten are two women trapped in their marriages, despite being rich and the world being their oyster both women are incredibly unhappy with their lot and despite not usually feeling sympathy towards the rich both of these characters are extremely likeable and I found myself rooting for them throughout the book. This was helped along by the fact that Tyler and Lance are both hateful characters. I also liked Josh who despite obviously being Louise's knight in shining armour came across as a very genuine character. What I want in a book is for the relationships to feel real and not forced and they definitely felt real here. The actual Christmas party itself makes for gripping reading. Set on the grounds of a stately home absolute hilarity ensues once the guests get a drink down them and a big announcement from Lance leaves everybody in the room reeling and then the serious part of the story really kicks in. From that point it's really hard to talk further without ruining the plot but let's just say you will not want to put this book down. As the book progresses I just couldn't read quick enough in my haste to get to the end and see how the whole thing would finish. Both Melissa and Kirsten have big choices to make regarding their relationships and it makes for some very explosive scenes throughout the book. I also loved Louise's progression throughout and the ending was just so bittersweet and really, perfect for Christmastime. My favourite character was probably Kirsten, from the very beginning it was clear she was a lost soul, even more so when an old love comes back into her life. Her story was probably my favourite. The characters to me just feel so real I'm still thinking about them now, long after finishing the book. And for me that's the sign of a really good read. If this was a TV show this Christmas the nation would be gripped to the shenanigans of the rich and for that reason I hope people pick up this book this Christmas and are gripped too. It's got everything you could want from a book and more and I can't recommend it enough! I'll definitely be hoping to read some of Carole's previous books in the near future. Thanks to the publisher for the NetGalley review copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Carole Matthews has always been an author I adore, but recently she's even elevated herself above that, if that's possible. When I read A Place To Call Home earlier this year, I was blown away. It was like no Carole Matthews book I've ever read before, sending her off in a bit more of a serious direction that absolutely definitely suited her. It was honestly her best work to date, so I had very high hopes when I received a review copy of her latest novel The Christmas Party. This is actually Carole Matthews has always been an author I adore, but recently she's even elevated herself above that, if that's possible. When I read A Place To Call Home earlier this year, I was blown away. It was like no Carole Matthews book I've ever read before, sending her off in a bit more of a serious direction that absolutely definitely suited her. It was honestly her best work to date, so I had very high hopes when I received a review copy of her latest novel The Christmas Party. This is actually Carole's 25th novel, would you believe? Can you imagine reaching 25 novels? Amazing! And not only that but she now gives us two novels per year - so we'll be at fifty before you know it! The Christmas Party is a very different novel to A Place To Call Home. It's a lot less serious, but it's not any less good. As you might expect, the novel revolves around a christmas party! A christmas party for the folks who work at Fossil Oil. There's the man in charge Lance, and his wife Melissa. Heir to the throne Tyler, and his wife Kirsten, and newest recruit Louise who is Tyler's newest personal assistant and has to defend her honour from his lecherous intentions on a daily basis. The strapline says "It's going to be a night to remember" and it most certainly is, let me tell you. Our Christmas parties at work having nothing on the Christmas party this lot throw, but it was spectacular and filled with all sorts of drama, so I can hardly complain! I wish our work Christmas party was like this one! What surprised me most about The Christmas Party is that 290 pages of just over 400 are dedicated to the night of the party. ONE WHOLE NIGHT is managed to be spread over 240 magnificent pages. It's mind-blowing. But there was so much happening - there were lots of games being played between Melissa, Kirsten, Lance and Tyler. They were all inter-mingling, but also missing the bigger pictures, and it was fascinating to see it all unravel on the night of the Christmas party and who should be thrown into the middle but poor Louise! Poor Louise, I just wanted her and Josh to go to a corner and never leave, because as soon as Josh strode onto the page, I was captivated and knew he and Louise would be perfect together. Louise was definitely the lynch-pin to the whole novel, even if it was unwitting on her behalf. I was so impressed that so much could happen in the span of a few hours. Once I got in to The Christmas Party, I was hooked. It took a little while, but soon I was desperate to see how it would all unfold and who would end up in trouble. It all built very, very nicely to a surprising climax. I was perhaps a touch disappointed to not see an Epilogue - if only because I was quite interested to know what happened to a couple of the characters. There was a quite significant plot twist towards the end that wasn't necessarily dealt with and it sort of left things a bit up in the air (potential sequel, perhaps?). Either way it was a fantastic read - a beautiful setting, characters you really care for and some you don't and a very, very interesting Christmas party. I loved the Christmas spirit that shined through, it was lovely - and decidedly festive with the Christmas season shining upon us like a beacon! The Christmas Party is a novel (and a night!!!) you will never forget!This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    It does seem incredible that this is Carole Matthews’ 25th book. I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to keep the storylines fresh and in recent books, has come up with something a little different – perhaps just a little bit darker than the somewhat lighter reads of old. I’m not complaining though, I’ve read every one so far and intend to do carry on doing so…. Single mother Louise Young is the newest member of staff at Fossil Oil and, after struggling financially after her ex left her It does seem incredible that this is Carole Matthews’ 25th book. I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to keep the storylines fresh and in recent books, has come up with something a little different – perhaps just a little bit darker than the somewhat lighter reads of old. I’m not complaining though, I’ve read every one so far and intend to do carry on doing so…. Single mother Louise Young is the newest member of staff at Fossil Oil and, after struggling financially after her ex left her in debt, and with a young daughter Mia to look after, she is delighted with her new job as a PA. The only fly in the ointment is her boss Tyler Benson; he can’t keep his hands to himself and Louise constantly has to fend off his unwanted advances. It’s nearly time for the Fossil Oil Christmas party and although Louise would normally rather stay in with Mia, she decides to dress up and enjoy herself for once. Her only worry is Tyler - would he ruin her evening and ultimately cost her the job she so desperately wants to keep. The story of the Christmas Party is set over a period of just a couple of days, the day of the party itself, and Christmas Day. The book is over 400 pages and unusually most of it is devoted to the night of the party. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this could slow it down - there is so much drama taking place between all the various characters that the story fires along and before you know it, the party is over and you’re at the end getting your coat. There is a stark lifestyle contrast between Louise and the wives of the Fossil Oil executives Melissa (married to big boss Lance) and Kirsten (married to the lecherous Tyler). Louise is back living with her parents because money is tight and she has Mia to support but she generally has a positive attitude to life, whereas the corporate wives have more money than they can spend but are so unhappy and discontented. As with many big corporate companies, Fossil Oil has taken over their lives - and their husbands. They pay big bucks but in return expect your soul. For most of the Fossil staff, the Christmas party, (held in a beautiful manor house), was an excuse for some raucous drunken behaviour at the firm’s expense but for others it was time for reflection and the catalyst for some life changing decisions. Whether you love or dislike some of the characters, they are all expertly drawn and although I had some sympathy for some, I was so wishing throughout that certain ones would get their comeuppance. I’ve always loved Carole’s books and although this isn’t quite the usual warm and cosy Christmas read that I’ve come to expect, it was very enjoyable and entertaining; with a mixture of serious and funny and, of course, a touch of romance. It does make me thankful that my firm’s office parties are more sedate affairs! There was only one small thing that could have made this better for me, a couple of components of the ending seemed incomplete and I would have liked these finished off with perhaps an epilogue, just to tie up the endings. However this didn’t spoil my enjoyment and I now look forward to book number 26.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    I've had this lovely festive book on my kindle for a year, tut, tut! This was a lovely, fun, heartwarming festive story. The story is based around colleagues and their executive wives of Fossil Oils, based in Milton Keynes. It's late December and the staff are looking forward to the annual Christmas Party, were the executives and all the staff get a chance to all be together, enjoy the festivities and let their hair down. And boy do they?! Louise has only been with the company a short time, she I've had this lovely festive book on my kindle for a year, tut, tut! This was a lovely, fun, heartwarming festive story. The story is based around colleagues and their executive wives of Fossil Oils, based in Milton Keynes. It's late December and the staff are looking forward to the annual Christmas Party, were the executives and all the staff get a chance to all be together, enjoy the festivities and let their hair down. And boy do they?! Louise has only been with the company a short time, she is a single mum, but is really enjoying being back at work challenging herself and earning some money. The only letdown is her over friendly boss, Tyler. Tyler, is one of the top Sales Execs and has been with the company a long time and has a reputation to be over zealous with his female colleagues. His long suffering wife, Kirsten, knows about his roving eye but if hoping this Christmas Tyler will settle down and spend more time with her. Lance, is the Director of the UK branch of Fossil Oils, with his wife Melissa, who has become a pro at being the perfectly groomed and efficient executive wife. However, their marriage of 30 years is not what it seems. We follow all the fun and shenanigans of the characters we've learned and become to lover over the three festive days: Christmas Party, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I enjoyed this story. I loved Carole's description of this wonderful, extravagant Christmas Party; it sounded so bre3athtaking and memorable. The night of the part was definitely a game changer for many of the characters in the book. I loved the underlying moral of the story that there is more to life than work. I have to say my favourite characters were Louise and Josh. Louise had been through so much in the past and was trying to het her life back together with working and gaining her own independence after having her little girl. Josh was one of the top salesmen of the firm but was always being overlooked by his superiors. He sounded lovely, charming, hardworking and reliable. However, he had this vulnerable side to him. I'd love to read a novella about Louise and Josh to see how life spins its magic for them. A wonderful, fun, festive read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is written from the perspective of three different people; Melissa, the wife of the chairman, Kirsten, the wife of the sales manager and Louise, the sale managers assistant. All work for a corporate giant called Fossil Oil and are all going to the annual Christmas Party. The book is split into three parts, the first being the Christmas Party, the second Christmas Eve and the third Christmas Day. Its lovely keeping the book in sections, it really helps to keep perspective because a lot This book is written from the perspective of three different people; Melissa, the wife of the chairman, Kirsten, the wife of the sales manager and Louise, the sale managers assistant. All work for a corporate giant called Fossil Oil and are all going to the annual Christmas Party. The book is split into three parts, the first being the Christmas Party, the second Christmas Eve and the third Christmas Day. Its lovely keeping the book in sections, it really helps to keep perspective because a lot happens before you are reminded that you are still reading about the same day. Carole has a wonderful writing style, one that I haven't really found myself reading before. The book was very informal and chatty and it made for a really 'real' read. It almost felt like you were sat, chatting to Louise, Kirsten and Melissa about what had happened over the festive period. It was really relatable and you can actually imagine all of those things happening at a Christmas Party! Although the book is quite predictable, which I find with all chick-lit books, it totally doesn't matter. You are rooting for Louise and Josh from the beginning and its just a really heart-warming book that definitely made me excited for Christmas. It also cemented all of my thoughts about Christmas parties and what they are actually like. The book starts with a letter from Carole herself, which makes the book super personal and unique. Carole talks about her own experiences with Christmas Parties and after reading the little letter, it made me way more excited than I already was to read the book. Amazingly, this was Carole's 25th book, which is just insane! I will definitely be checking out some more of Carole's books. I love the down to earth writing style and I imagine all of her books are ones I'd be able to read again and again!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Clough

    Carole Matthews never lets you down with her books this Christmas story is excellent from the first page and I didn't want to put the book down it has excellent characters and can they all find what they are looking for or not. Louise is a single mum and gets a new job but her boss cannot keep his hands to himself can she sort him out or not. It's the works Christmas do and everyone is set to have a good time. Everyone around her is playing dangerous games and not enjoying the party and she's Carole Matthews never lets you down with her books this Christmas story is excellent from the first page and I didn't want to put the book down it has excellent characters and can they all find what they are looking for or not. Louise is a single mum and gets a new job but her boss cannot keep his hands to himself can she sort him out or not. It's the works Christmas do and everyone is set to have a good time. Everyone around her is playing dangerous games and not enjoying the party and she's pulled into it can she find true love and be happy or not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    My Pink Fairytales

    Great novel to read! I loved it because it seemed real. I don't know how else to explain it. It felt like a friend of mine was telling me over a cup of coffee how did their office xmas party go. i felt like the characters were people i actually knew. i couldn't put it down until the very last. it's not that intriguing, but it has that something that pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the very end. :) i enjoyed it very very much. hope you'll do to.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Hall

    It may nearly be April and yes I've only just finished The Christmas Party, but this book has quickly gone straight to the top of the list of my favourite Carole books! Although, of course, this book is based around a Christmas party, the story reverberates all year round. A wonderful book, good characters and a lovely story at its heart. Christmas parties will never be the same again... :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This is the Christmas party from hell. Imagine the worst works do ever and triple it and you might come close. It somehow also manages to deal with serious themes at the same time; sexual harassment, infidelity whilst managing to convey a lovely romantic feel. The descriptions of the hall are lovely and sure to put you in a Christmassy mood and I loved how karma wins out in the end as everyone gets what they deserve.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pancake

    I enjoyed reading this book, it was funny, especially the character of Tyler Benson. Despite the fact that most of the book is dedicated to Xmas party it reads well and is absolutely not boring. I did find two mistakes in the book so proof-readers could do a better job.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Preston

    Lovely easy read, enjoy it very much

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sumaya

    Meh. Too much going on at once for me. I never really got to feel anything for the characters which is a shame as I think with Josh/Louise there was real potential.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Book Lover

    This must be Carole Matthews best book, based around a works Christmas party, with some strange, although funny consequences, I absolutely loved this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jules (Never enough time to read)

    Well that was one busy Christmas party - A fun festive read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    Started off a little slow but the story got really good towards the middle/end. Would love to see a sequel for this!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie’s Book Boutique

    I couldn't put this book down or when I did I didn't want to because it was so dam good! Who knew office Christmas party's are so exciting!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jil

    Christmas is there to liven us up – or the real deal at the corporate HoHo For starters, the first time I ever read something written by Carole was with ‘Let’s meet on Platform 8’ – her first novel ever. Of course, I didn’t read it in its publishing year – come on I was a child back then and now just at the age of 26 I can say that her stories are always a marvelous ride. I got her first book a few years ago from my mother as some sort of a present for starting my apprenticeship in the corporate Christmas is there to liven us up – or the real deal at the corporate HoHo For starters, the first time I ever read something written by Carole was with ‘Let’s meet on Platform 8’ – her first novel ever. Of course, I didn’t read it in its publishing year – come on I was a child back then and now just at the age of 26 I can say that her stories are always a marvelous ride. I got her first book a few years ago from my mother as some sort of a present for starting my apprenticeship in the corporate world of a pharmaceutical company. And must I say I loved that book. Funny fact, I was always reading it while being on the train to get to work. Get it? - train and platform 8  So that book back than got me started with Carole’s novels and I found myself noticing that her books are always the perfect read. So when I learned about her new masterpiece ‘The Christmas Party’ I had no other choice but to get my fingers on it as soon as possible. As I couldn’t wait for it to be translated into German I just bought it in English – that’s what I usually prefer when reading books. Getting them in their original tone. Of course, only if I am speaking that language as well. Speaking of ‘The Christmas Party’, I won’t go into much detail of the plot b/c I think it’s worth it for you all to discover that yourself. There’s the main character, the ever devoted single mother Louise who works as hard as possible to give her lovely daughter Mia everything she needs. Also, Louise’s Ex has left her drowning in depts – so she has no other choice than starting in the corporate world to make a living. Because of the decent financial imposition she’s decided to move back home to live with her parents. The best grandparents you could imagine. They share so much love, tenderness and kindness with Mia and Louise and are as supportive as it can get. In the corporate world of Fossil Oil things aren’t as loveable and neat as at home. Her boss – the Mr. Golden Balls Tyler Benson, just can’t keep his hands of her. In every possible moment he tries to make her fall for him. Louise is a smart young woman who has a hard time handling that, but she re-establishes his boundaries over and over again. She simply doesn’t want a romance to happen with a colleague. There’s is this one rule she just won’t break in order to keep her job: “Don’t get your honey where you get your money.” But as it is the Christmas season and the office’s Christmas Bash is about to start, things seem to get worse. The party takes place in a stunningly fancy and festive manor and there’s a free bar to be abused by all employees of Fossil Oil. Free drinks, Champagne and a loosened atmosphere is all over the place. A place that suited itself up with the most feastful décor one can think of. Not exactly what Louise envisaged it to be like. Everyone’s just partying, getting extraordinarily pissed and throwing themselves at each other - no matter the consequences. Louise soon finds out that there is a corporate reason behind that oh so glamorous function – you may just call it the corporate Russian roulette. That is b/c the chairman of the company will give a brief address to the employees that will change everything for them and not in a positive way. At least so it seems… Everyone’s just playing games at that party to get what they want. Secret affairs amongst the leaders of Fossil Oil’s top men and their wives are to be uncovered and trust is abandoned at all. And there’s so much deception, infidelity and destruction that it will take some people down. For example Mr. Golden Balls: He just isn’t the devoted husband he should be. There’s some secrets to be revealed that will change his and his wife’s fate forever. And it all starts with a visit from the past that will rock and shake Mrs. Benson’s world to the core. It will lead her to one inevitable conclusion: “It was what wives did, wasn’t it? Sacrificed themselves on the altar of their husband’s career.” Top men’s wives needed to be all shiny and glittery on the outside without any life or actual perspective and personal fulfillment for themselves. Just the perfect accessory in the corporate world. But she’s done with that, now. She’s going to live her life and start over. Same accounts for Melissa – another corporate wife – who will cross the inevitable finish line of her marriage with the chairman. As for Louise, she will encounter a romance at that party with the handsome top seller Josh Wallace. Something she actually did never want to engage in. But fate is fate. And being drawn to that irresistible Josh will lead her and her position as Tyler’s assistant to a dramatic change. What that is? Just find out for yourselves in reading this splendid novel. Just one thing: Never mess with Mr. Golden Balls. But if you do, make sure you’re not on your own. To sum things up: Fossil Oil’s Christmas Party is a night to remember that will show you the real deal on how the corporate globe works. It is as festive and glittery as it is destructive and painful if you’re not taking care for yourself. Secrets unravel themselves. Relationships fall apart. A magician is on the loose and it all ends up in flames. But from the ashes arises something that will be a twist and turn in surprises. I really enjoyed reading that novel because I remember how it is working in a corporate business. It’s not always that bad, no, but of course there’s always more to it than the outer appearance and there’s always these little games. You’re just one fish in the sea and need to find your own way to survive. If you’re good at what you do and if you are a decent and respectful person, you’ll manage corporate hurdles such as this Christmas party and you’ll climb up the ladder of success. Sometimes offices parties can be exactly like in this book – okay it is a little over the top, but just because it is trying to make a point here. ‘The Christmas Party’ was easy and nice to read with a perfectly defined storyline. Carole’s style of writing is unique and full of warmth, visual and festive. She uses a lot of humour and depth when describing her characters and their relations. The change of perspectives within the book’s chapters gives you more insights to the little secrets everyone is hiding, but not keeping. That is gold to the novel. A novel which is less about the Christmas spirit as it appears and more about power plays in the business world. But it only seems so. If you’re looking more into the story itself you’ll find yourself being surprised by all the love and festivity and heartiness that is being shown. Shown in the small things such as Christmas decorations and family traditions, and then also in brighter and wider spheres such as a colleague that will risk his job for you. It is a beautiful story about your own inner force and the power of love. A power that can move mountains, that can break rocks. A story that seems real and also shows that Christmas is there to liven us up. Thanks Carole for that lovely and intriguing ride. As said before: The perfect read – a gem among stones – go and make sure you fetch that novel. -- Jil Aimée

  30. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    This is my third Carole Matthews book and probably my favourite so far. Not as “christmasy” as I was expecting but a clever, twisty sort of story nevertheless. A couple of issues I had though- firstly, I didn’t really like that Louise was written in the first person while the other characters were all written in the third person. This would have worked better I think if Louise was the main story line, but after a few chapters, the other characters seemed to dominate. When Louise would appear This is my third Carole Matthews book and probably my favourite so far. Not as “christmasy” as I was expecting but a clever, twisty sort of story nevertheless. A couple of issues I had though- firstly, I didn’t really like that Louise was written in the first person while the other characters were all written in the third person. This would have worked better I think if Louise was the main story line, but after a few chapters, the other characters seemed to dominate. When Louise would appear again it felt somewhat jarring to then read her POV. Secondly, there was such a great build up towards the end and I raced through the last few chapters only to find an open ending. The story was well and truly ready to be wrapped up by page 400 but a quick epilogue would have finished this off perfectly. Fun story though and would recommend.

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