One Christmas Star

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This book was excellent!!!! I had so so so much reading it! This story is so refreshing, so beautiful and touching and also so so funny! I laughed out lout several times during my read and that is not something that happens to me easily while reading! I really enjoyed this book so much! I can only recommend it to you and it doesn't have to be Christmas time to enjoy it! You can read it all year round!
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This is the perfect Christmas book! I loved reading this os much. It got me in the Christmas spirit and I can’t wait to read morecfrom  her!
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Emily is a teacher of ten years olds, her sex grade is everithing to her. Her flatemate was move out and she is alone. Emily is in charge of the school Christmas show, but she has no musical talent at all or her mother put that thought in her head.

Ray, a celebrity musician, is in every magazine or news but they say bad news about him. His alcohol addiction put an oil on the fire and makes the others to think that everything is true. 

Somehow he is ended up in the school shed and meets Emily and her pupils snapping pictures of him drunk and lost. That is not how he supose to deal with his problem. 

Emily is a modest woman, I imagined her like a teacher as she is. She is put in charge of the show but she couldn't believe that.

"At the forefront. What did that mean? Emily needed quick clarification."

The story is heart warming, funny and romantic.

‘No one got a photo of that. Which is a shame, because that’s the sort of good news story you need. I mean, imagine you on Loose Women then, photos of you cradling Sonic playing on a loop to some sentimental music."

There wasn't anything romantic at all but I was melting, it was their first conversation alone.And the allegory with a surfer is so good:

"I don’t believe you,’ Emily said. ‘You and all the British press,’ Ray commented with a sigh. He followed it up with a smile. ‘But I’ve learnt to ride that choppy ocean like the very best surfer. So , put me in the cupboard again, Emily.’

She is proud to be the teacher, she remains me of my teaching carieer and how I miss my classes:

"...just want to say… how proud I am to be the teacher of this year’s Year Six class.’ She drew in a breath. ‘Your children come into my class every day full of enthusiasm and bursting at the seams with excitement for the world. And I know, for us as adults, it’s sometimes..."
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HoHoHo readathon is coming around and I was really looking forward to read all my festive reads I got for review this year.
However, even though my original plan was to open the readathon with One Christmas Star I just couldn’t wait any longer and I had to read it.
And the best thing about my decision is that this festive novel got me out of my reading slump that lasted almost a whole month.

Ohh, if only I knew this would be the case!
I would have read it even sooner, closer to it’s releasing date.
However, better late then ever, and in my humble opinion, it is not to late to convince you to pick One Christmas Star this year when you’re in the mood for something light hearted and festive…

I love Mandy Baggot’s work for years now. Her Christmas stories are how I discovered her. Her book One Christmas in Paris still brings smile to my face when I think about it, and her novel One New York Christmas is the reason why I decided not to miss Baggot’s books any more.
Now after finishing One Christmas Star, I can say there won’t be Christmas season without at least one Mandy Baggot book in my tbr!

I just enjoyed spending my time with all the characters Mandy Baggot created. I love how realistic they were, and I didn’t click with everyone right away. For example, at first I couldn’t stand Ray, but as the story progressed and we got to know him more, I really started to connect with him.

Our main character is Emily who is a teacher. Being a teacher, she spend lots of her time with children, and I phrase the author for giving the children their own personalities and voices, instead of using them just to fill the space, as some authors tend to do.

The book is written in third person. It has 464 pages and to be honest, I was little afraid it would drag and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, but I flew through this book like it had 300 pages.
I guess we can say the writing style plays big part in that, but also the lyrics the author filled the pages with.

In case you didn’t know, Mandy Baggot is also passionate about music, and her love for that art spilled onto pages, in some way.

I also want to stress out that the book talks about serious topic – alcoholism in a very tasteful way, and in my case it wasn’t triggering, but of course, I can only speak from my own experience, can’t talk for everyone.

After finishing One Christmas Star I can confirm that Mandy Baggot is now one of my favourite authors.
Since I don’t have many, when I proclaim someone as my fav, it is a big deal to me!

I want to finish this review with compliments to cover designer. This is one of the prettiest festive covers I’ve seen this year.

I would recommend One Christmas Star to lovers of festive chick lits and Hallmark movies, but also to everyone who’d like to read something heart warming this year to wake up the Christmas Spirit.
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A lovely, sweet Christmas romance. I really liked Emily and enjoyed this heartwarming read. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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It’s no secret that I love a book by Mandy Baggot. Her writing is so approachable and comforting that I defy any fan of romantic fiction not to be charmed by her books.

That being said, this one stands out as being something particularly special. Much as I am a huge fan of romance novels and will fight to the (metaphorical) death its many ill-informed detractors, even I sometimes find Christmas romance books a little twee. Not this one. Despite the fact it contained all the usual elements readers expect to find in a book of this genre, this one felt a bit different. It really crept under my skin and into my heart and I was totally enchanted by it.

I have been trying to put my finger on exactly what it was about this book that made it particularly stand out. I thought it might be the central character of Emily, about whom I loved absolutely everything. She was fragile and vulnerable, but also brave and determined, as well as kind and considerate. We meet her as she has been through the mill and is dealing with a good many challenges, but still finds it in her heart to try and help people around her, for no reason other than it if the right thing to do. I think maybe I have made her sound a little sickly sweet, but that’s really not how she comes across in the book, she is not perfect but very down-to-earth and likeable.

Maybe it is the handsome heartthrob, singer Ray Stone, who has all the requisite attractions for a leading romance hero, but is oh so much more. Damaged and deeply vulnerable, he is the perfect foil for Emily and I defy any red-blooded woman not to fall in love with him. However, so far, so standard for a romance novel, so what made this one stand out?

The setting, in a wintry London in the approach to Christmas, is everything you would want and Mandy brings it to life beautifully. Emily’s job as a primary school teacher prepping the Christmas show gives us a cast of cute kiddies who provide comedy and drama and emotion in equal measure (fans of Nativity! will love this book). Emily’s parents are lively characters who create some cringe-worthy moments, and provide the perfect contrast to Ray’s more down-to-earth family. All of these elements add to the book’s appeal.

However, I think what made it extra special were the issues dealt with in the book. They are relevant, current and tricky dilemmas that are often shied away from in this genre of book, but which affect thousands of people on a daily basis and Mandy manages to weave them into the story with sensitivity, understanding and a lightness of touch that perfectly addresses the problems without making the tale too heavy for the genre but not making light of the seriousness of the issues either. It is skilful, truthful and moving and I was really impressed by how she achieves the balance.

Everything about this book comes together to make the perfect Christmas romance for people who want more than a fluffy read for the season, who are looking for a real story that will both move and entertain. I applaud the result wholeheartedly, a really rewarding and satisfying read.
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If there is one thing I adore, it is a Christmas/Winter story. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year and so it's important for me to find the right reads to settle down with on a cosy winter night.  

One Christmas Star is exactly that. A heartwarming, romantic and charming read that encompasses the Christmas spirit and is utterly enchanting to read. I could not put this book down - engaging and well thought out characters that it is a pleasure getting to know. Mandy's writing style is exquisite and, at times, actually breathtaking. 

I plan to read again over the Christmas period! Mandy Baggot has done a phenomenal job and I will absolutely be picking up some more of her work!
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I loved the characters in this cosy winter story. It definitely helped me get into the winter and Christmas season. It's a great story to read around the winter season.
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Emily’s impending Christmas is looking to be one that she is expecting. Her best friend/roommate has moved out to live his boyfriend, her school supervisor is keeping a close tab on her and it looks like she won’t be getting the Deputy Head position at her school, and she’s also been tasked with the school’s Christmas play even though she has no musical experience. To top it off, she finds disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is the school’s shed with an injured hedgehog. How will she hide this conundrum from her supervisor?
Ray is pretty much down on his luck. His unstable ex-girlfriend is selling defamatory lies about him to the media, he’s losing a bunch of gigs because of it, doesn’t have enough rent money to keep his apartment and to top it off, he needs surgery on his throat or risk losing his voice forever.

As Ray pops up in Emily’s life unexpectedly, both of them begin to help each other realize that life can provide new beginnings along with love.

A feel-good novel, worthy to be read during the most wonderful time of the year. I have given this a full five stars rating because Mandy Baggot brings in real life issues and weaves in funny, realistic characters into this heartwarming story that is hard to put down once you’ve started reading it.
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Favorite Quotes:

‘Say that you respect Ida’s opinion of your relationship, but that she is… deeply troubled. Deeply troubled says you are “caring” and “compassionate”, but it also eludes to Ida being “slightly batshit crazy”.’ She sipped at her drink. ‘And then you say you hope Ida reaches out for the help she needs. That will infer to everyone that she’s one step away from a psychiatric ward.’

That man was an animal. And did you smell him? He didn’t just smell like he’d been to the pub. He smelled like Guinness had distilled him for thirty-odd years.

I have a natural talent for reading people. I’m like that Patrick Jane from The Mentalist, without the three-piece suit, but with all of the ginger hotness.

Your father has bought another hat. This one has a ridiculous feather. I don’t know what it is with him lately. It’s like he’s experiencing a middle-age crisis that only millinery can solve. 


My Review:

This was my second exposure to the clever wit and crafty humor of the deeply talented Mandy Baggot.  Her vibrant creation was a delight for all the senses and conjured colorful visuals to dance through my gray matter.  Her inventive and engaging plotlines held a delicate balance of compelling issues and cunningly crafted levity.  But what stole my heart was her bevy of quirky and highly original and dynamic characters including hedgehogs, a candy addicted coworker, a vintage clad heroine, a scandal-ridden singer with an unstable and vindictive ex, snobbish social-climbing parents, and an unending grab-bag of unusual ten-year-old students who presented their own unique challenges and real-world issues. 

The storylines were compelling and relevant, and held my interest throughout and kept my curiosity primed while Ms. Baggot’s nimble and highly amusing writing kept me pleasantly entertained and glued to my kindle.  I am in awe of her craft and covet her word skills.
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This is the first book I have read by Mandy Baggot and I have been left wondering why on Earth I haven't picked up her books before. She is a great story teller and has produced the perfect story just in time for Christmas!

One Christmas Star is the perfect mix of charm, romance and Christmas spirit and I found this delightfully heartwarming story, uplifting and completely enchanting, I could not put it down.

I found myself completely enjoying this slow burn romance and it's adorable characters and I will be reaching for of Mandy's books in the future.
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I enjoyed so much this read! Sweet, cute and romantic; I almost felt the snow on my skin!
This is a story of redemption, empowerment and trust; everything wrapped around Christmas and a lot of love to make this story really special, ready for the only read you need this Christmas?
Emily Parker is a really good teacher but the pressure of the director of the school is keeping her on the abyss; she has to prepare a musical for her class with original songs and with some special letters on it. She will need help, a lot of help, but don’t worry! An angel will appear on her class with an ill hedgehog. The problem is that Ray Stone is not an angel and have quite strong problems on his side, the good point is that he is a musician and can help Emily with her musical. The rest, as you can imagine is history!
This is a romance book, yes, but doesn’t mean that there’s nothing more on the book, there’s quite a heavy background for both characters. Emily comes from a very rich family who think that working as a teacher is not enough for her. On the other side, Ray has been in an abusive relation for the last two years and maybe it’s time he decides to stop it…
I really liked how the author treated so many important themes with a smile, because without noticing we read about abusive relations, how to cope with death, bullying… all around a beautiful love story that melted my heart at every page.
Mandy Baggot has done an amazing job with this Christmassy story, it has all the ingredients you need to finish the story with a sweet smile and remember for a long time this beautiful book. Ready?
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One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot

Thanks to Netgalley and Aria for my copy. All opinions are my own.  What I wanted when I requested this book was a warm little holiday romance that would be the equivalent to a Hallmark Christmas Movie. Instead, it was more of a melodrama, with tons “dark secrets” for each of the main characters to deal with. Surprised after surprise of terrible events, characters that didn’t meet for the first 30% of the book, and lack of chemistry had me skimming the pages as I tried to finish in a hurry. I had such high expectations for this novel and I was sorely disappointed. I could see where this book would appeal to some readers, but for me – it was too much drama without much heart. 🙈 Sadly, this One Christmas Star only earned 1 ⭐️ from me.
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The Blurb :
Emily Parker is set to have the worst Christmas ever!
Her flatmate's moved out, she's closed her heart to love and she's been put in charge of the school original Christmas show – with zero musical ability.
Disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is in desperate need of a quick PR turnaround. Waking up from a drunken stupor to a class of ten-year-olds snapping pics and Emily looking at him was not what he had in mind.
Ray needs Emily's help to delete the photos, and she needs his with the show. As they learn to work together they may just open their hearts to more than a second chance...

My Thoughts :
I love anything by Mandy Baggot, so I was pleased to see her new release One Christmas Star hit my Kindle.
We meet Emily Parker and Ray Stone. Emily is a year 6 primary school teacher, and is over seeing the school christmas play. Recently grieving the death of her boyfriend Simon.
Ray Stone is a famous singer and songwriter who has been in the media lately with bad press. With his life in a real mess he ends up sleeping rough in a shed at the school with a Hedgehog.
Emily ends up finding him and when he tells her what has happened and how much of a mess his life is in she offers him to stay at her flat.
He then agrees to help her out with some music for the school play.
From there, the relationship grows and blossoms. I really enjoyed this couple getting to know each other, as they were from totally different lives but there were a lot of funny moments to be had aswell. The school children were a delight and really added to the mix of the story.
Both Emily and Ray were likeable characters and I felt they had great chemistry.
Mandy has always been one of my go to Authors and she never disappoints. I have to mention her standout book covers aswell, these are always so pretty and colourful.
All in all this is a magical warming story that will stay with you for a time to come.
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This book has such a beautiful cover and the story line is for sure something that would normally hook me. Here, though, I unfortunately met quite a few things I didn't totally love. There were a lot of odd turns of phrase throughout that more than raised an eyebrow with me. I also found Emily quite a whiny and annoying character who was pretty one dimensional, and there wasn't unfortunately much to endear me to her.
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A charming and delightful Christmas romance with plenty of heart, Mandy Baggot’s One Christmas Star is a terrific tale that makes for the perfect read regardless of whether you are reading it while topping up your tan or curled up by the fire wearing your favourite festive jumper.

Christmas is just around the corner, but Emily Parker is not exactly full of the joys of the season. With the way things are going, it looks like Emily is set to have the worst Christmas ever. She has sworn off men, her flatmate has moved out leaving her all by herself and as if that wasn’t bad enough, she has been put in charge of the Christmas show when her musical ability leaves a lot to be desired. As every single thing that could possibly go wrong begins to go wrong, Emily begins to feel some sympathy for Ebenezer Scrooge. She simply cannot wait for the whole Christmas season to be over and for things to get back to normal. However, Emily’s life will never be the same ever again – not if disgraced superstar Ray Stone has anything to do with it…

Ray is in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. With his career in jeopardy, Ray needs to clean up his act or else risk losing everything which he has worked so hard for. A quick PR turnaround is what he is absolutely desperate for, however, waking up after a bender with a class of ten year olds taking pictures of him and a disgusted Emily looking down her nose at him is not what Ray had in mind. Still, beggars cannot be choosers and if Emily’s Christmas show is going to get him out of trouble and keep his managers from strangling him, Ray needs to take a deep breath, plaster a great showbiz smile on his face and get ready to give the performance of a lifetime – even if it means hearing the same Christmas carol sung off key by a bunch of ten year olds over and over again!

However, the more time Ray and Emily spend together, the more they realise that spending your free time in close proximity together isn’t as bad as they initially thought. As sparks begin to fly between the two of them, will Emily and Ray realise that the only thing that will make them truly happy this Christmas is if they admit the truth about the depth of their feelings for one another?

An irresistible romantic read that left me with a great big smile on my face, Mandy Baggot’s One Christmas Star is terrific from start to finish. Funny, flirty and feel-good, One Christmas Star is a tale of new beginnings, fresh starts and taking a chance on love that is absolutely irresistible and one that had me giggling on many an occasion.

I raced through Mandy Baggot’s One Christmas Star and I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to fans of Love Actually, Holly Martin and Zara Stoneley.
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It's a joy to see a master at work, and Mandy Baggott is definitely that! From the plotting, to the pace, to the characterisation, the tension, the romance, the setting... the story is a masterpiece of women's fiction and chick lit. It is the perfect balance of humour and drama, although I must say that it was Year 6 who stole the show for me (there's a pun in there, but you need to read the book to find it!). The romantic element is slow burning and intense, perfectly offset by some deeper issues regarding domestic abuse.

Highly and thoroughly recommended.
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A cozy sweet story great to get into the holiday spirit. I enjoyed the characters and plotline. Great for the holidays and winter time.
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This is my first festive read of late 2019 and I’m so glad it was. I literally fell in love with Emily and Ray. Emily is a primary school teacher at Stretton Primary who is trying her very best, in stumbles Ray Stone the huge music star. They meet in the most strange way. I won’t go into specifics but I certainly wasn’t expecting that. He does end up helping Emily with her Christmas play. I have to say Mandy is a genius when it came to coming up with lyrics for the play (they are hilarious!) or rather on Ray’s part. I found each and every one of her pupils charming in their own unique ways. 

Mandy introduces unexpected life issues with sensitivity and honesty. One minute reading this story I was laughing, the next with tears in my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in seeing Emily and Rays’s relationship develop and wondering how this is going to end. ‘One Christmas Star’ is about friendship, love and family. 

If you want to curl up with a hot chocolate and a blanket on a cold winters night then ‘One Christmas Star’ is what will complete a perfect winters evening! 😊 

Thank you to Aria Fiction for an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Children at Christmas are what make it special, and this lovely feelgood, festive romance has thirty-three children in its cast of characters. Don't panic you haven't got to remember all their names, only a few are introduced in-depth, but their enthusiasm, sense of wonder, and innocence as they embark on their festive show gives this story authenticity and a lovely Christmassy ethos.

Another positive theme in this story is its diversity. Many cultures and family groupings and beliefs are in evidence, reflecting contemporary life well. 

Then, there's the romance, which starts to grow between school teacher Emily and famous musician Ray, they meet serendipitously, at a low point in both their lives. They find something in each other that helps them to accept, heal, and move on from their emotional baggage, some of which is severe.

This is gently paced and detailed. You find out a lot about the characters, main and subsidiary. Whilst this doesn't necessarily move the story forward, it does build the world, and make the reader believe in the characters, their stories and their motivations.

 Music is an important element in this story and this celebrated throughout. 

If you enjoy a book that absorbs you, and takes you on a journey, with a positive hopeful conclusion, this one is perfect.

I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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