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Member Reviews

A really impressive and insightful novel which was not at all what I was expecting! The story had so many different themes and brilliant characters that I instantly warmed to. The book had equal parts humour and upsetting moments which blended really well. The book touched on many serious subjects such as miscarriage, cancer diagnosis and grief. I was very impressed with the description of Ellen’s Lupus diagnosis. As a fellow Lupus patient I was pleased to see that information was being shared as I haven’t come across the subject before in a novel. Overall I was very impressed with this book and I would definitely recommend it. I’ve given it 5 stars!
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This book had a great storyline, The author did a good job of combining serious themes with comedy, and a touch of romance thrown in too. At first look you might think the book was going to be dark and depressing - family estrangement, health issues, losing partners but it didn't come across like that - credit to the author's writing. The characters were well-written and likeable.
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I received this book as an ARC through Netgalley. Thank you for the early read. 

This book was hard to start. It was a little slow at first but around chapter 5 things started making a little more sense. This book does have a lot of triggering topics for those who need the warning I recommend you read the warnings. This was a very good read once you get past the first little bit. I will recommend this book but only to those who will understand the triggers.
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This was such a fun book! It made me laugh out loud many times.  New Yorker, widower and 'professional Santa' Silas French is estranged from his grown up son and drifting through life when he hears a double whammy of bad news that leaves him jobless for the holidays.

A chance tip from his local bar sees him apply for a job as Santa on a gay cruise that happens to be docking in at Miami, where his son lives with his husband and kids just in time for the Christmas.. This is the first book I have read by this author but it definitely isn't going to be my last
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This was a light-hearted story about Silas a widowed father who hasn't spoken to his son for thirteen years. He finds out from his doc he needs to look after himself better,or else his health will suffer. This pushes him to send his son a letter to make contact. He usually has a Santa job in a department store every year but this year is unsuccessful. He does however, thanks to a friend who finds the advert in the newspaper, find a Santa job aboard a gay cruise ship. He's not homophobic but finds it all a little uncomfortable. Meanwhile two childhood friends Ellen and Julia, with health issues, decide to go on said cruise to tick an item off their bucket list. Silas helps Ellen when she falls during a fire drill on the ship. The pair are separated and the story continues on.....
 I really liked this story. It was the usual romance formula but the main characters had great depth to them, which made them more interesting. Silas had lots of struggles just being a widower and missing his wife and so does another character. I really wanted them both to be happy. Family estrangement was also a large topic in the story. So all in all, this story was really good. There was a bit of humour thrown in too from time to time, so the book was more lightweight than heavy and depressing. Definitely worth a read!.
Netgalley provided my free arc book for an honest review.
#Netgalley, #BooksGoSocial, #authormofanning.
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Good fun but with a touch of pathos, this reminded me a bit of some of Marian Keyes’ early work.  The author covers so many genres here - romance, mystery, drama, tragedy and even a touch of the supernatural.  The premise itself is hilarious and makes for the perfect setting for the various events that unfold.
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Overall, an enjoyable, rollicking read about a man playing Santa on a gay cruise, who is on his way to hopefully reunite with his son, from who he has been estranged from for many years. In the span of a week, we get romance, crime, adventure, ghosts, sexuality, addiction, There was a lot to like, even love,  about the book. The author doesn't wrap every situation up in a soppy Hallmark moment. It's obvious none of the characters are perfect and are all kind of quirky in their own way. 

Did I mention ghosts? Both Silas and Ellen both see and speak to their dead spouses, at least when they're alone. The ghosts help them to figure out dilemmas in their every day lives, even perhaps, new romantic escapades. There was some confusion for me at the end, when one ghost makes an appearance at a a moment I didn't expect, and about which I'm still confused. about.

What brought it down from a 5* book to a 4* book for me were two things: Silas' relationship with his sister-in-law and the fact that there were two Britishisms which should have been caught (I'll let you find them!) and the pages about Boxing Day. It's not a thing in the US. None of the characters are British or even Canadian,  and didn't bear noting as such. It's just the day after Christmas.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the chance to read and review this book. All the opinions expressed are mine, and freely given. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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3.5 stars / This review will be posted on today. 

Silas is applying to his annual Santa job at the local department store. Ellen is working a dead end waitressing job at a backroads diner. Both need a serious life change. Both have lost their spouses, and with it, their purposes in life. 

A friend shows Silas a job listing to be a Santa on a cruise line. A cruise line that would take him to Miami where his estranged son and family live. Ellen sees a billboard posting from someone who needs to sell their spaces on a cruise. This might just be the life change that both of them are looking for.

Add in Ellen’s riotous friend Julia, her travel companion, the crazy group of cruise workers, and a brother and sister duo, and it’s a recipe for some funny times. Oh and the cruise just happens to be a gay cruise. What could possibly go wrong?

So the story itself was entertaining, straight Jewish man and woman meet up on a gay cruise. I overall liked the characters. Everyone has some sort of baggage, both literally and figuratively. It was a fast read. Not bad, not great. Just didn’t connect with me.
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This book took me a few chapters to settle into but once I did, and got to know the characters and understand the backgrounds and how they all had ended up on a gay cruise (even though the 3 main characters are not gay)  I was all aboard for what turned out to be a moving,funny,emotive,thought provoking,quirky and very immersive read,I grew to love Silas,Ellen and Julia and the many adventures they have aboard the Christmas cruise
There are some very poignant parts to the book,a cancer diagnosis,a Lupus diagnosis (rarely discussed in books) drug addiction,accepting your child’s sexuality….the list is not exhaustive and the book does not shy away from exploring these and other issues,I felt at all times in a sympathetic but honest way,nor did it always offer solutions or vibrant flag flying outcomes either but then life doesn’t always offer that either
This book was different,the author has written it in a way that you are constantly thinking throughout as you read and I enjoyed this,some of the non main characters are challenging but that was good too,I loved the ship descriptions and really enjoyed the very clear effort the author has made into making this anything but a forgettable story,impressive and enjoyable
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from BooksGoSocial and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

A dark romantic comedy that’s just unique enough for fans of the genre.
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