Review written by Fiona Valpy
By: Jenny Hale
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When Allie Richfield finds herself out of work and having to move back home at the age of 32, she reluctantly applies for the job of House Manager for the Ashford Estate. The job description includes organizing the family festivities for the dysfunctional Marleys, who are planning one last Christmas in the house before elder brother, Robert, sells it. Allie rises to the challenge of bringing the family together, finding happiness herself along the way.
Feisty, forthright and fiercely-independent heroine Allie breathes new life into the Virginian manor house she comes to care for, sweeping the Marley family's Dickensian attitudes before her and helping them to see what really matters in life. This clean, adult romance deals with themes of physical attraction, falling in love and being torn between the attentions of two brothers. The beautifully-described winter scenes (sledging in the snow; drinking hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire...) evoke the Christmas season in the picturesque setting of the elegant old house and its grounds. And for anyone with young children, it's well worth buying the book simply for the wonderful ideas for fun things to do with kids! A lovely, feel-good festive read.