Christmas is a time for family... isn't it?
Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?
As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out...
Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at them all from her mobility scooter.
With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen... even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own...
This is the story of Allie Richfield. She is about to start work as House Manager at the Ashford Estate. The Ashford Estate is for sale after being the Marley family home for many, many years. Her job is to ensure that the day to day running of the house is carried out, but also to ensure that the family celebrate their last Christmas at Ashford, well some of the family.
Immediately I loved Allie’s character. I loved her independence but also loved her absolute love for her family. Her love for her family, her mum and her sister, overflows into the Marley household, as she uses it to try and inject some warmth into the old house again.
At first when we meet Richard there is an instant connection between him and Allie, but this is put on the back burner as he is completely shut off and reserved, feeling like he is very cold in his attitude to his family and the house.
We meet the other members of the family as they all return to Ashford one last time. Kip, Robert’s brother is an absolute player, he wins Allie’s affections straight away with his outright flirty manor. Robert’s sister Sloane appears to be a little wary of Allie at first but when the story unfolds you get to learn a little more about Sloane’s current family situation. Then there is Robert’s grandmother. She is somewhat of a mystery. Robert’s description of her makes you think of a frail little old lady who’s house has outgrown her. But when you really get to know her you discover her true family spirit and the tragic events which dominate her relationship with Robert.
This story is centred around the family coming home for Christmas, but it also so much more than that. The story is predominantly about family, about the relationship we have with our family members but also how blood is thicker than water and that truly family can overcome anything which is beautifully portrayed in the story between Pippa and Robert.
I really enjoyed that the focus was also on Christmas as it resonates with the family theme that runs along with it in the story. A really, truly great story which will warm your hearts and show you the true meaning of family at Christmastime.