2021 discount Royal new arrival lowest Holiday online

2021 discount Royal new arrival lowest Holiday online

2021 discount Royal new arrival lowest Holiday online

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Description

Product Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and a “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day...or are they?

Review

Praise for Royal Holiday

“A seasonal gem.”— OprahMag.com

“Another sparkling hit from Jasmine Guillory.” —PopSugar

“Filled with delightful, swoon-worthy dates and many laughs, this affectionate, cross-continent holiday romance is perfect for cozying up with on a cold winter’s night.” —Library Journal

“A rom-com queen.” —Refinery29

“Contemporary romance''s hot new voice.” —Essence

Royal Holiday gives positive representation of a mature, respectful, sex-positive couple of a certain age.”— The Washington Post

“If Jasmine Guillory writes it, I need to have it.”— Shondaland

“Guillory...is thoughtful, ebullient and clearly smitten with writing about love.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Jasmine Guillory''s Royal Holiday and its charming tale of love over 50 is a shining jewel worthy of a queen''s crown.” —NPR

“Heartwarming, sexy, and the perfect holiday season read.”—Buzzfeed

“The festive read you’ve been yearning for this season.”—SkimmReads
 
“Romance novels in the finest form—full of charming characters, humorous situations, and of course, good, old-fashioned love stories.”—Girls'' Night In

“This sweet and steamy read had me smiling!”—First for Women

About the Author

Jasmine Guillory is the New York Times bestselling author of seven romance novels, including The Wedding Date and the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick  The Proposal. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, and Time. She lives in Oakland, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

 

Vivian nudged her daughter as they walked out of the customs area at Heathrow Airport.

 

"Um, Maddie? Do you think Ms. M. Forest and Ms. V. Forest are us?"

 

Vivian gestured at the man in the suit, holding the sign with their names on it.

 

Maddie turned in the direction Vivian was looking and grinned at her mother.

 

"Let''s do this, Mom."

 

Vivian looked around and laughed to herself before she grinned back at Maddie.

 

She still didn''t exactly know how she''d gotten here. It had all started with a call from Maddie a few weeks ago.

 

"Hey, Mom, I need an answer fast-do you want to spend Christmas with me in England?"

 

Vivian had laughed. What else was there to do when your thirty-four-year-old daughter asked something so ridiculous?

 

"Sure, I do. I also want to spend Thanksgiving with you in Hawaii, New Year''s Eve with you in Paris, and Easter with you in Rome."

 

But Maddie didn''t laugh at that.

 

"No, really. I''m serious. You remember my old mentor, Amelia Samuels?"

 

Vivian looked away from her computer screen.

 

"The one who''s now the stylist for the princess?"

 

"Duchess, but yes. Well, Amelia was supposed to go to England at Christmas to help prepare the Duchess for all of the royal Christmas festivities-apparently, there are lots of them-but Amelia is pregnant with twins and just had to go on bed rest. Her doctor says she''s under too much stress and can''t work at all."

 

"Oh no, really? Poor Amelia; I didn''t know she was pregnant! Please tell her I''m thinking about her."

 

Vivian had only met Amelia once, that time she''d gone down to visit Maddie when she''d been living in L.A., but she''d really liked her. And Amelia had done a lot for Maddie and her own stylist career.

 

"I will, Mom, but let me finish. Since Amelia can''t fly to England for Christmas, she wants me to fill in for her, because both she and the Duchess want someone she trusts."

 

Vivian dropped her pen on the floor.

 

"Maddie! Oh my God! Are you serious? My daughter is going to be so famous! You''re going to England to work with a princess? You''ll be all over People magazine! Oh my God, I can''t wait to tell everybody!"

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"You can''t tell everybody yet, but I know, I''m blown away. But wait, we can be excited in a second-I want you to come with me."

 

Vivian got up and closed her office door.

 

"Come with you . . . to England?"

 

Maddie started talking faster.

 

"It means I''ll be there for Christmas, and I don''t want to be alone with a bunch of strangers at Christmas. I already asked if you could join me, and they said yes. So . . . can you?"

 

Vivian looked around at the piles of work on her desk, and in the direction of her boss''s office, with their last conversation about his future-and hers-ringing in her ears.

 

"Maddie, I don''t know about this-I have a ton of work at this time of year, and today is especially wild around here. What about Theo, did you already talk to him?"

 

Vivian already adored Maddie''s boyfriend, Theo, even though they''d only officially been together for a few months.

 

"I told Theo about the offer, yes, and he''s thrilled for me. But if you mean did I invite Theo to come to England with me already, absolutely not. I love Theo, and I can''t wait to spend New Year''s Eve with him, but I''ve never spent a Christmas without my mother, and I don''t intend to start now. So, are you coming?"

 

Vivian grinned to herself. She couldn''t deny it warmed her heart to know her daughter still wanted her mom with her for Christmas.

 

But to go all the way to England for Christmas? That far away from work, the rest of the family, and everything?

 

"I''d love to come, but I can''t make a decision like this right now," she said to Maddie. "Let me think about it and we can talk about this in a few days."

 

Maddie''s voice got louder.

 

"There''s no ''a few days.'' I have to make this decision now, and I''m going to decide for both of us. You need this. You haven''t gone on a real vacation in years."

 

How had she managed to have a daughter who thought she could boss her around like this?

 

"Oh, you have to go. Life is too short not to take incredible opportunities like this! But I don''t think I can-"

 

"I''m definitely going, and you''re definitely coming with me. You never take enough time for yourself; you know I always tell you that. You spend all your time working or helping me or helping out with Aunt Jo. I know you don''t want to leave Aunt Jo, but you need a break."

 

"Maddie . . ."

 

"Great, it''s settled. Talk to you later!"

 

And with that, Maddie had hung up, and two days later they had plane tickets. Vivian hadn''t even known until they were about to board the flight that they were first-class tickets.

 

She laughed to herself just thinking about that flight. The last time she''d been on an airplane, she''d felt lucky to be in an aisle seat. She''d had an aisle seat this time, too-a huge, futuristic, podlike seat, with room not only to stretch her legs, but to lie almost flat. With just a wave, she could summon champagne and snacks to her side, and for all she knew, there was some secret button to give her a massage, too. She and Maddie had spent the first two hours of the flight just looking around and giggling with each other.

 

Despite how amazing the flight had been, Vivian still wasn''t sure she should be here. She was with Maddie, but what about the rest of her family? Her sisters needed her, especially her sister Jo. And she''d never been away from the Bay Area for Christmas in her life. What was Christmas going to be like without her great-aunt Shirley''s ham, or her cousin Loretta''s greens, or those dinner rolls her cousin Marilyn always said she made but everyone else knew she got at Safeway?

 

But then . . . she hated those greens. There was never enough pork in them and way too much vinegar. It might be nice to have a change of pace for Christmas, even though she had serious doubts anyone in England knew how to make a sweet potato pie.

 

The very polite man in the suit escorted them to a waiting SUV, and Vivian and Maddie kept making faces at each other as he offered them three different kinds of bottled water and told them how to turn on their heated seats.

 

Maddie opened a bottle of water and handed it to Vivian.

 

"It''s supposed to take a few hours to get there, so . . ."

 

"What?" Vivian stopped her. "A few hours? Where are we going?"

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"Didn''t you read the email I sent you about that? The royal family always spends Christmas at Sandringham. It''s up in the north of England."

 

Like she''d had time to read Maddie''s lengthy emails. She''d gotten herself packed and to the airport, hadn''t she?

 

"I had too much to do in the last few weeks; I had to get ready for a last-minute international trip, remember? Plus, your emails are too long."

 

Maddie sighed.

 

"I should have known. Anyway, Sandringham is a big estate; there are a bunch of royal residences on it, and then lots of trees and land; at least, that''s what the pictures online look like. I guess we''ll see for ourselves shortly."

 

Vivian sat back against the plush heated seat.

 

"I still can''t believe we''re really staying with the Duke and Duchess."

 

Maddie had told her this for the first time about a week ago, and like everything else Maddie had told her about this trip, it sounded as though it couldn''t be real.

 

Maddie shook her head.

 

"I know. The Duchess insisted. She said it would be easier if I was right on-site, and that there''s plenty of room in their cottage on the estate for us. When she was so enthusiastic about you joining me, I suspected she was missing her own mom, so I think she''s really looking forward to having us there."

 

This all seemed surreal. Vivian really couldn''t believe she was about to meet someone she''d read so much about.

 

She was a social worker from Oakland, for God''s sake! How was this happening?

 

Speaking of her job . . .

 

"So, I haven''t told you this yet," Vivian said to her daughter, "because I wasn''t sure if it was really going to happen, but Darren made the announcement before I left the office yesterday: he''s retiring. And he wants me to get his job. He first talked to me about it a few weeks ago, and yesterday he brought it up to his boss when I was right there, so I guess he means it."

 

Maddie screeched.

 

"Mom! Oh my God! I can''t believe you''re just telling me this now! This is so exciting! What''s the title, director of social work?"

 

Vivian nodded slowly.

 

"Yep. He''s leaving sometime in February, and the hospital director already told me they probably won''t get the hiring process started for a few months, so they''re going to make me the acting director as soon as Darren retires."

 

"Wow." Maddie put her water bottle down and pulled her mom into a hug. "I''m so thrilled for you; this is such great recognition after all of your hard work."

 

The recognition had felt satisfying, even though she was still in shock about all of this.

 

"That''s true, though it means I''ll be jumping into a job with lots of hard work, and I won''t get to see patients nearly as much . . . or maybe not at all. But it''s a big honor"-she grinned-"and more money."

 

Maddie settled back against the car seat.

 

"Well, I''m even more glad I made you come on this trip with me. I''m sure you''ll take even fewer vacations once you''re the big boss."

 

That was probably very true. Yes, she was glad she''d come on this trip with her daughter. She hadn''t been on vacation-a real vacation, not just a few days off work-in a year and a half. The only other time she''d even been out of the country was that trip she''d taken with her friends to Mexico for her fortieth birthday, and that had been well over ten years ago.

 

She looked out the car window for her first glimpses of England. The sun was setting already, which surprised her, since they''d landed in the middle of the afternoon. She reminded herself how much farther north London was from the Bay Area, and it was almost the shortest day of the year; of course sunset was this early.

 

After about an hour and a half, the car slowed down. She and Maddie peered out the windows into the darkness-they couldn''t see much, but it seemed like they were turning off the highway and onto smaller roads. Then the car slowed down even more, and it got darker outside the car windows; the streetlights had seemed to disappear, and all she could see were the outlines of trees. She and Maddie looked at each other with their eyes wide open.

 

Vivian reached out and grabbed her daughter''s hand and squeezed hard.

 

"You''re going to be great at this."

 

Maddie nodded.

 

"Thanks, Mom. I''m so glad you''re here."

 

Vivian smiled.

 

"Me too."

 

Just then, the car came to a stop, and the very polite driver leaped out of his seat to open their car doors.

 

"Madam. Madam. Welcome to Sandringham."

 

Vivian turned to Maddie.

 

"Deep breaths," she said under her voice, before she turned to get out of the car.

 

"Thank you," Vivian said to the driver. She reached for her carry-on, but before she could pick it up, someone else had come running.

 

"Allow me, ma''am."

 

With nothing to carry, she and Maddie turned toward the . . . cottage? Was this a cottage? Oh God. She would have called it a mansion, but then, they did have different words for things in England. She still couldn''t remember what they called a bathroom. She was going to have to ask Maddie.

 

They walked up to the front door, but before they got to the top step, yet another man in a suit opened it.

 

"Ms. Forest and Ms. Forest? Welcome."

 

Vivian and Maddie turned to each other and smiled before walking inside.

 

They''d just taken their coats off and handed them to Suit #3, when a woman came down the hall toward them.

 

"You''re here! I''m so glad you made it! How was your flight? Was the drive here okay? I know it''s so cold outside, but we''ve made up the fires in your rooms. Would you like a hot buttered rum to warm you up after your trip? Some sandwiches or scones, maybe?"

 

She was smaller in person, but even prettier than she looked on the cover of People magazine. Vivian hoped Maddie would get to find out exactly what her skin care regimen was, because the woman was glowing.

 

Vivian reached out her hand.

 

"Thank you so much, and thank you for your hospitality. Both the flight and the drive were very easy. And I can''t speak for my daughter, but hot buttered rum sounds like a dream come true."

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"And so do sandwiches and scones."

 

The Duchess ignored Vivian''s hand and pulled her into a hug instead.

 

"Wonderful! Let me take you upstairs, show you to your rooms, and let you get freshened up, then you can come down to the sitting room for a little feast. Don''t worry; I''m sure you''re exhausted. I don''t want to keep you up too late. I know how those flights from California to England can be!"

 

The Duchess led them up two flights of stairs, chattering the entire time. Vivian hadn''t expected her to be so normal. She''d worried that everything here would be super formal, and she''d have to be on her best behavior for her whole vacation, but the past five minutes had reassured her.

 

The Duchess threw open the doors of two rooms.

 

"Here are your rooms, and the bathroom is right across the hall." Vivian looked inside; their bags were already in their respective rooms.

 

And each room really had a fireplace, with a blazing fire. Bedrooms with fireplaces-she was never going to get over this.

 

"The house can get really drafty; that''s why I had them make up the fires in there for you. I would have put space heaters in all of the rooms, but I made that mistake early on and blew out the electricity for about half of the palace, and everyone is still talking about it, so I''ve had to go back to things like fires and lots of throw rugs and hot tea. Just preparing you now so you won''t wake up overnight shivering."

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
1,925 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

SAZ
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great romantic read
Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2019
I love a quick romantic read and this book delivers. The characters are relatable and funny. I appreciated reading about mature characters falling in love. Love is not only a young persons game. But, even though the characters are not in their 20''s or 30''s, the relationship... See more
I love a quick romantic read and this book delivers. The characters are relatable and funny. I appreciated reading about mature characters falling in love. Love is not only a young persons game. But, even though the characters are not in their 20''s or 30''s, the relationship challenges translate for anyone. As always, I enjoyed Jasmine Guillory''s new edition to her wonderful book collection. Hoping to see more from her about characters this age!
17 people found this helpful
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Gretchen
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My dream in print
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2019
Vivian is living my dream come true. Like her I''m 54 and single. I don''t have kids but my dream is to go to Europe, in particular London, which I love, and then fall in love. So the scenes in the book throughout the city brought back great memories. Now I just have to meet... See more
Vivian is living my dream come true. Like her I''m 54 and single. I don''t have kids but my dream is to go to Europe, in particular London, which I love, and then fall in love. So the scenes in the book throughout the city brought back great memories. Now I just have to meet that special guy.
16 people found this helpful
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Diane D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Even 50 year olds can find love
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2019
Full disclosure - I love Jasmine Guillory. She has a way of writing fun, long distance romances where characters meet cute and find a way to make it work. The female characters are all smart, witty, and independent. They aren''t on the hunt for a man but manage to find... See more
Full disclosure - I love Jasmine Guillory. She has a way of writing fun, long distance romances where characters meet cute and find a way to make it work. The female characters are all smart, witty, and independent. They aren''t on the hunt for a man but manage to find just the perfect one for them.
All that could be about any Jasmine Guillory story but in Royal Holiday she adds the cherry on top of the romance Sundae - her characters are both over 50. With so many stories about young love, it''s nice to know that love can still find you in middle age and life can still be filled with surprises and Happily Ever Afters.
10 people found this helpful
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Neecy
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Predictable and bland
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2019
It was just okay. There were no big surprises, laugh out loud moments, or moments of suspense and passion. I can not recommend it.
13 people found this helpful
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Sweet Red Reader
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Loved the English Royal Holiday aspect!
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2019
Hmmm... I''m gonna go with a 3.5 here - maybe 3.75? See, I think I really enjoyed the book - it was a bit out of my wheelhouse because of the age of the heroine and hero and thus their stages in life, BUT their story was good and relatable in certain ways. I loved the... See more
Hmmm... I''m gonna go with a 3.5 here - maybe 3.75? See, I think I really enjoyed the book - it was a bit out of my wheelhouse because of the age of the heroine and hero and thus their stages in life, BUT their story was good and relatable in certain ways. I loved the English royal holiday aspect as well; there were times when it felt like I was in London (and now I totally have plans to go with my mother and daughters). Speaking of which, as I read the book I kept thinking about how much my mother would enjoy it, so I''m actually going to buy a copy for her! All that being said, I think that listening to the audiobook actually dampened the experience - as long as the narrator was speaking with an American accent it was all good, but as soon as she switched to a British accent (particularly a male British accent), it took me totally out of the book. Honestly, what would''ve taken me a day and half reading traditionally took me over two weeks to listen to, so... Anyway, I did really enjoy Vivian and Malcolm''s story and I look forward to Jasmine Guillory''s next book. Heck, I may even read this one again (sans audio) and see if my opinion and rating change!
5 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is my favorite story by Jasmine Guillory thus fsr
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2019
I have really enjoyed reading Vivian and Malcolm''s story. It was so nice to read about an over 50 age couple. Yes they had some trials and tribulations getting to their HEA...but they did. Beautiful story. Thank you Ms. Guillory. BTW I have all of your books. I can''t wait... See more
I have really enjoyed reading Vivian and Malcolm''s story. It was so nice to read about an over 50 age couple. Yes they had some trials and tribulations getting to their HEA...but they did. Beautiful story. Thank you Ms. Guillory. BTW I have all of your books. I can''t wait to read the next one.
10 people found this helpful
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Baker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I can relate
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2019
I loved reading about an older couple. They are experienced, seasoned, established and successful. But still living life and growing. Love is not just for young folks, it''s for us older people too. I can relate to the characters, especially Vivian. She is my age and has... See more
I loved reading about an older couple. They are experienced, seasoned, established and successful. But still living life and growing. Love is not just for young folks, it''s for us older people too. I can relate to the characters, especially Vivian. She is my age and has dealt with the same issues, I have dealt with, when it comes to men. I loved Malcolm, he was responsible, mature yet fun. And even though they wer both afraid, they knew they had to try. Great book. Love this author.
6 people found this helpful
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Creative Flow
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
over 50 and loving, having fun and still enjoying surprises
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2019
I loved this book! Received it on Christmas Eve and finished it last night. One day I even snuck it to work to read lol. The book called backed to me after finishing each chapter. It was nice to read about people my age finding love and romance without it being... See more
I loved this book! Received it on Christmas Eve and finished it last night. One day I even snuck it to work to read lol.
The book called backed to me after finishing each chapter. It was nice to read about people my age finding love and romance without it being pretentious. Several times in the book Vivian asked herself; why did she stop enjoying life??? I''ve often had those thoughts. When she decided that she was going to live her life for her...I wanted to highlight those words as if I were reading a textbook. Those of us 50 and over sometimes forget that, after all we have to do or having to spend our lives responsible for someone else.
Thank you to Jasmine Guillory for writing something so special for my age group.
I have also read "The Wedding Date" and "The Wedding Party'' and enjoyed them both.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Kathy Whalen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My favourite!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 6, 2019
Oh my. At first, as a twenty-year UK resident, I was irked about how MUCH Jasmine got wrong about the UK. And I was rolling my eyes at Vivian living with Megan and Harry. But Malcolm and Vivian were perfect, both individually and together. And very quickly I forgot about...See more
Oh my. At first, as a twenty-year UK resident, I was irked about how MUCH Jasmine got wrong about the UK. And I was rolling my eyes at Vivian living with Megan and Harry. But Malcolm and Vivian were perfect, both individually and together. And very quickly I forgot about what was wrong and began admiring what was right. The Queen was perfect! And I loved their conflicts and how they would get offended but then work through the difficulties. They were excellent at “using their words” even if sometimes it was hard. They were so good for each other. And as an American who is married to a Brit, their whole relationship after Vivian got home felt real. They were mature and intelligent. I LOVED this one.
Oh my. At first, as a twenty-year UK resident, I was irked about how MUCH Jasmine got wrong about the UK. And I was rolling my eyes at Vivian living with Megan and Harry. But Malcolm and Vivian were perfect, both individually and together. And very quickly I forgot about what was wrong and began admiring what was right. The Queen was perfect! And I loved their conflicts and how they would get offended but then work through the difficulties. They were excellent at “using their words” even if sometimes it was hard. They were so good for each other. And as an American who is married to a Brit, their whole relationship after Vivian got home felt real. They were mature and intelligent. I LOVED this one.
2 people found this helpful
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Lisa
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Memorable cosy Christmas read, but I didn''t warm to the hero
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2020
I think this story will stick in my mind for a while (especially the Sandringham setting), it was a cute enjoyable read. I appreciated the more mature characters (both are in their 50s), and the food descriptions were brilliant (although I did start to tire of the scone...See more
I think this story will stick in my mind for a while (especially the Sandringham setting), it was a cute enjoyable read. I appreciated the more mature characters (both are in their 50s), and the food descriptions were brilliant (although I did start to tire of the scone references). The “we have lives 5000 miles apart” conflict was believable and a solution wasn’t obvious from miles off. The writing style didn’t entirely work for me though. I felt there was a lot of telling not showing, rhetorical questions about how the characters felt (with no answer), and the (third person) descriptions of how they did feel felt clumsy. I was also put off by Malcolm’s reactions and inner thoughts a few times. I know he’s “older” and set in his ways, but his reaction to something she tells him that is very important (don''t want to give away too much) was rather harsh to say the least! (Honestly, he''s a little too grumpy and I don''t think she''d put up with that forever. I give them a year...)
I think this story will stick in my mind for a while (especially the Sandringham setting), it was a cute enjoyable read.

I appreciated the more mature characters (both are in their 50s), and the food descriptions were brilliant (although I did start to tire of the scone references). The “we have lives 5000 miles apart” conflict was believable and a solution wasn’t obvious from miles off.

The writing style didn’t entirely work for me though. I felt there was a lot of telling not showing, rhetorical questions about how the characters felt (with no answer), and the (third person) descriptions of how they did feel felt clumsy.

I was also put off by Malcolm’s reactions and inner thoughts a few times. I know he’s “older” and set in his ways, but his reaction to something she tells him that is very important (don''t want to give away too much) was rather harsh to say the least!

(Honestly, he''s a little too grumpy and I don''t think she''d put up with that forever. I give them a year...)
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Hannah
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Easy & enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2020
This was an easy and enjoyable read - exactly what I needed to get myself out of my reading slump. I did find the story very predictable & lacking substance.. also found the epilogue rushed - I wanted a ring..!! Still remain a fan of Guillory’s & will be reading Party of...See more
This was an easy and enjoyable read - exactly what I needed to get myself out of my reading slump. I did find the story very predictable & lacking substance.. also found the epilogue rushed - I wanted a ring..!! Still remain a fan of Guillory’s & will be reading Party of Two ASAP!
This was an easy and enjoyable read - exactly what I needed to get myself out of my reading slump. I did find the story very predictable & lacking substance.. also found the epilogue rushed - I wanted a ring..!!

Still remain a fan of Guillory’s & will be reading Party of Two ASAP!
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Halima H
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another winner
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 23, 2019
Jasmine has done it again. A fun, engaging, light romance and this time set in my home town?!?! Yes. Plus we have an older female protagonist?! Yes. And way too many scones?!?! Yes. Loved it.
Jasmine has done it again. A fun, engaging, light romance and this time set in my home town?!?! Yes.

Plus we have an older female protagonist?! Yes.

And way too many scones?!?! Yes.

Loved it.
One person found this helpful
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Vivian Lisboa
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ótimo livro para fim de ano
Reviewed in Brazil on January 15, 2021
Um ótimo livro para se ler no período de festas, mas algo nele não me fez conectar facilmente com a história.
Um ótimo livro para se ler no período de festas, mas algo nele não me fez conectar facilmente com a história.
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Description

Product Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and a “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day...or are they?

Review

Praise for Royal Holiday

“A seasonal gem.”— OprahMag.com

“Another sparkling hit from Jasmine Guillory.” —PopSugar

“Filled with delightful, swoon-worthy dates and many laughs, this affectionate, cross-continent holiday romance is perfect for cozying up with on a cold winter’s night.” —Library Journal

“A rom-com queen.” —Refinery29

“Contemporary romance''s hot new voice.” —Essence

Royal Holiday gives positive representation of a mature, respectful, sex-positive couple of a certain age.”— The Washington Post

“If Jasmine Guillory writes it, I need to have it.”— Shondaland

“Guillory...is thoughtful, ebullient and clearly smitten with writing about love.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Jasmine Guillory''s Royal Holiday and its charming tale of love over 50 is a shining jewel worthy of a queen''s crown.” —NPR

“Heartwarming, sexy, and the perfect holiday season read.”—Buzzfeed

“The festive read you’ve been yearning for this season.”—SkimmReads
 
“Romance novels in the finest form—full of charming characters, humorous situations, and of course, good, old-fashioned love stories.”—Girls'' Night In

“This sweet and steamy read had me smiling!”—First for Women

About the Author

Jasmine Guillory is the New York Times bestselling author of seven romance novels, including The Wedding Date and the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick  The Proposal. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, and Time. She lives in Oakland, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

 

Vivian nudged her daughter as they walked out of the customs area at Heathrow Airport.

 

"Um, Maddie? Do you think Ms. M. Forest and Ms. V. Forest are us?"

 

Vivian gestured at the man in the suit, holding the sign with their names on it.

 

Maddie turned in the direction Vivian was looking and grinned at her mother.

 

"Let''s do this, Mom."

 

Vivian looked around and laughed to herself before she grinned back at Maddie.

 

She still didn''t exactly know how she''d gotten here. It had all started with a call from Maddie a few weeks ago.

 

"Hey, Mom, I need an answer fast-do you want to spend Christmas with me in England?"

 

Vivian had laughed. What else was there to do when your thirty-four-year-old daughter asked something so ridiculous?

 

"Sure, I do. I also want to spend Thanksgiving with you in Hawaii, New Year''s Eve with you in Paris, and Easter with you in Rome."

 

But Maddie didn''t laugh at that.

 

"No, really. I''m serious. You remember my old mentor, Amelia Samuels?"

 

Vivian looked away from her computer screen.

 

"The one who''s now the stylist for the princess?"

 

"Duchess, but yes. Well, Amelia was supposed to go to England at Christmas to help prepare the Duchess for all of the royal Christmas festivities-apparently, there are lots of them-but Amelia is pregnant with twins and just had to go on bed rest. Her doctor says she''s under too much stress and can''t work at all."

 

"Oh no, really? Poor Amelia; I didn''t know she was pregnant! Please tell her I''m thinking about her."

 

Vivian had only met Amelia once, that time she''d gone down to visit Maddie when she''d been living in L.A., but she''d really liked her. And Amelia had done a lot for Maddie and her own stylist career.

 

"I will, Mom, but let me finish. Since Amelia can''t fly to England for Christmas, she wants me to fill in for her, because both she and the Duchess want someone she trusts."

 

Vivian dropped her pen on the floor.

 

"Maddie! Oh my God! Are you serious? My daughter is going to be so famous! You''re going to England to work with a princess? You''ll be all over People magazine! Oh my God, I can''t wait to tell everybody!"

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"You can''t tell everybody yet, but I know, I''m blown away. But wait, we can be excited in a second-I want you to come with me."

 

Vivian got up and closed her office door.

 

"Come with you . . . to England?"

 

Maddie started talking faster.

 

"It means I''ll be there for Christmas, and I don''t want to be alone with a bunch of strangers at Christmas. I already asked if you could join me, and they said yes. So . . . can you?"

 

Vivian looked around at the piles of work on her desk, and in the direction of her boss''s office, with their last conversation about his future-and hers-ringing in her ears.

 

"Maddie, I don''t know about this-I have a ton of work at this time of year, and today is especially wild around here. What about Theo, did you already talk to him?"

 

Vivian already adored Maddie''s boyfriend, Theo, even though they''d only officially been together for a few months.

 

"I told Theo about the offer, yes, and he''s thrilled for me. But if you mean did I invite Theo to come to England with me already, absolutely not. I love Theo, and I can''t wait to spend New Year''s Eve with him, but I''ve never spent a Christmas without my mother, and I don''t intend to start now. So, are you coming?"

 

Vivian grinned to herself. She couldn''t deny it warmed her heart to know her daughter still wanted her mom with her for Christmas.

 

But to go all the way to England for Christmas? That far away from work, the rest of the family, and everything?

 

"I''d love to come, but I can''t make a decision like this right now," she said to Maddie. "Let me think about it and we can talk about this in a few days."

 

Maddie''s voice got louder.

 

"There''s no ''a few days.'' I have to make this decision now, and I''m going to decide for both of us. You need this. You haven''t gone on a real vacation in years."

 

How had she managed to have a daughter who thought she could boss her around like this?

 

"Oh, you have to go. Life is too short not to take incredible opportunities like this! But I don''t think I can-"

 

"I''m definitely going, and you''re definitely coming with me. You never take enough time for yourself; you know I always tell you that. You spend all your time working or helping me or helping out with Aunt Jo. I know you don''t want to leave Aunt Jo, but you need a break."

 

"Maddie . . ."

 

"Great, it''s settled. Talk to you later!"

 

And with that, Maddie had hung up, and two days later they had plane tickets. Vivian hadn''t even known until they were about to board the flight that they were first-class tickets.

 

She laughed to herself just thinking about that flight. The last time she''d been on an airplane, she''d felt lucky to be in an aisle seat. She''d had an aisle seat this time, too-a huge, futuristic, podlike seat, with room not only to stretch her legs, but to lie almost flat. With just a wave, she could summon champagne and snacks to her side, and for all she knew, there was some secret button to give her a massage, too. She and Maddie had spent the first two hours of the flight just looking around and giggling with each other.

 

Despite how amazing the flight had been, Vivian still wasn''t sure she should be here. She was with Maddie, but what about the rest of her family? Her sisters needed her, especially her sister Jo. And she''d never been away from the Bay Area for Christmas in her life. What was Christmas going to be like without her great-aunt Shirley''s ham, or her cousin Loretta''s greens, or those dinner rolls her cousin Marilyn always said she made but everyone else knew she got at Safeway?

 

But then . . . she hated those greens. There was never enough pork in them and way too much vinegar. It might be nice to have a change of pace for Christmas, even though she had serious doubts anyone in England knew how to make a sweet potato pie.

 

The very polite man in the suit escorted them to a waiting SUV, and Vivian and Maddie kept making faces at each other as he offered them three different kinds of bottled water and told them how to turn on their heated seats.

 

Maddie opened a bottle of water and handed it to Vivian.

 

"It''s supposed to take a few hours to get there, so . . ."

 

"What?" Vivian stopped her. "A few hours? Where are we going?"

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"Didn''t you read the email I sent you about that? The royal family always spends Christmas at Sandringham. It''s up in the north of England."

 

Like she''d had time to read Maddie''s lengthy emails. She''d gotten herself packed and to the airport, hadn''t she?

 

"I had too much to do in the last few weeks; I had to get ready for a last-minute international trip, remember? Plus, your emails are too long."

 

Maddie sighed.

 

"I should have known. Anyway, Sandringham is a big estate; there are a bunch of royal residences on it, and then lots of trees and land; at least, that''s what the pictures online look like. I guess we''ll see for ourselves shortly."

 

Vivian sat back against the plush heated seat.

 

"I still can''t believe we''re really staying with the Duke and Duchess."

 

Maddie had told her this for the first time about a week ago, and like everything else Maddie had told her about this trip, it sounded as though it couldn''t be real.

 

Maddie shook her head.

 

"I know. The Duchess insisted. She said it would be easier if I was right on-site, and that there''s plenty of room in their cottage on the estate for us. When she was so enthusiastic about you joining me, I suspected she was missing her own mom, so I think she''s really looking forward to having us there."

 

This all seemed surreal. Vivian really couldn''t believe she was about to meet someone she''d read so much about.

 

She was a social worker from Oakland, for God''s sake! How was this happening?

 

Speaking of her job . . .

 

"So, I haven''t told you this yet," Vivian said to her daughter, "because I wasn''t sure if it was really going to happen, but Darren made the announcement before I left the office yesterday: he''s retiring. And he wants me to get his job. He first talked to me about it a few weeks ago, and yesterday he brought it up to his boss when I was right there, so I guess he means it."

 

Maddie screeched.

 

"Mom! Oh my God! I can''t believe you''re just telling me this now! This is so exciting! What''s the title, director of social work?"

 

Vivian nodded slowly.

 

"Yep. He''s leaving sometime in February, and the hospital director already told me they probably won''t get the hiring process started for a few months, so they''re going to make me the acting director as soon as Darren retires."

 

"Wow." Maddie put her water bottle down and pulled her mom into a hug. "I''m so thrilled for you; this is such great recognition after all of your hard work."

 

The recognition had felt satisfying, even though she was still in shock about all of this.

 

"That''s true, though it means I''ll be jumping into a job with lots of hard work, and I won''t get to see patients nearly as much . . . or maybe not at all. But it''s a big honor"-she grinned-"and more money."

 

Maddie settled back against the car seat.

 

"Well, I''m even more glad I made you come on this trip with me. I''m sure you''ll take even fewer vacations once you''re the big boss."

 

That was probably very true. Yes, she was glad she''d come on this trip with her daughter. She hadn''t been on vacation-a real vacation, not just a few days off work-in a year and a half. The only other time she''d even been out of the country was that trip she''d taken with her friends to Mexico for her fortieth birthday, and that had been well over ten years ago.

 

She looked out the car window for her first glimpses of England. The sun was setting already, which surprised her, since they''d landed in the middle of the afternoon. She reminded herself how much farther north London was from the Bay Area, and it was almost the shortest day of the year; of course sunset was this early.

 

After about an hour and a half, the car slowed down. She and Maddie peered out the windows into the darkness-they couldn''t see much, but it seemed like they were turning off the highway and onto smaller roads. Then the car slowed down even more, and it got darker outside the car windows; the streetlights had seemed to disappear, and all she could see were the outlines of trees. She and Maddie looked at each other with their eyes wide open.

 

Vivian reached out and grabbed her daughter''s hand and squeezed hard.

 

"You''re going to be great at this."

 

Maddie nodded.

 

"Thanks, Mom. I''m so glad you''re here."

 

Vivian smiled.

 

"Me too."

 

Just then, the car came to a stop, and the very polite driver leaped out of his seat to open their car doors.

 

"Madam. Madam. Welcome to Sandringham."

 

Vivian turned to Maddie.

 

"Deep breaths," she said under her voice, before she turned to get out of the car.

 

"Thank you," Vivian said to the driver. She reached for her carry-on, but before she could pick it up, someone else had come running.

 

"Allow me, ma''am."

 

With nothing to carry, she and Maddie turned toward the . . . cottage? Was this a cottage? Oh God. She would have called it a mansion, but then, they did have different words for things in England. She still couldn''t remember what they called a bathroom. She was going to have to ask Maddie.

 

They walked up to the front door, but before they got to the top step, yet another man in a suit opened it.

 

"Ms. Forest and Ms. Forest? Welcome."

 

Vivian and Maddie turned to each other and smiled before walking inside.

 

They''d just taken their coats off and handed them to Suit #3, when a woman came down the hall toward them.

 

"You''re here! I''m so glad you made it! How was your flight? Was the drive here okay? I know it''s so cold outside, but we''ve made up the fires in your rooms. Would you like a hot buttered rum to warm you up after your trip? Some sandwiches or scones, maybe?"

 

She was smaller in person, but even prettier than she looked on the cover of People magazine. Vivian hoped Maddie would get to find out exactly what her skin care regimen was, because the woman was glowing.

 

Vivian reached out her hand.

 

"Thank you so much, and thank you for your hospitality. Both the flight and the drive were very easy. And I can''t speak for my daughter, but hot buttered rum sounds like a dream come true."

 

Maddie laughed.

 

"And so do sandwiches and scones."

 

The Duchess ignored Vivian''s hand and pulled her into a hug instead.

 

"Wonderful! Let me take you upstairs, show you to your rooms, and let you get freshened up, then you can come down to the sitting room for a little feast. Don''t worry; I''m sure you''re exhausted. I don''t want to keep you up too late. I know how those flights from California to England can be!"

 

The Duchess led them up two flights of stairs, chattering the entire time. Vivian hadn''t expected her to be so normal. She''d worried that everything here would be super formal, and she''d have to be on her best behavior for her whole vacation, but the past five minutes had reassured her.

 

The Duchess threw open the doors of two rooms.

 

"Here are your rooms, and the bathroom is right across the hall." Vivian looked inside; their bags were already in their respective rooms.

 

And each room really had a fireplace, with a blazing fire. Bedrooms with fireplaces-she was never going to get over this.

 

"The house can get really drafty; that''s why I had them make up the fires in there for you. I would have put space heaters in all of the rooms, but I made that mistake early on and blew out the electricity for about half of the palace, and everyone is still talking about it, so I''ve had to go back to things like fires and lots of throw rugs and hot tea. Just preparing you now so you won''t wake up overnight shivering."

Product information

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