Review: A Magical New York Christmas by Anita Hughes

I adore Anita Hughes. I have been a big fan for a while though I have only really read her holiday romances, I have enjoyed each one for a number of different reasons. I think the biggest thing that I have loved about her romances are the locations! Every time I crack open a Christmas romance by Hughes, I am automatically transported to some where cozy and even a bit magical.

Her novels have been set in London and Paris at Christmas as well as other more ‘local’ locations for me like Vermont. Each location gets a heavy holiday makeover and I always find myself wondering why I don’t go somewhere for the holidays! This year my family and I are going somewhere remote for Thanksgiving but we usually stay in Oregon or go to Arizona for Christmas but some day I would love to do Christmas in Paris or Vermont thanks to Hughes’s books!

Her latest novel is set in New York and while not necessarily exotic or ‘cozy’ this setting has a distinct feel all it’s own! I really liked this story the best out of her Christmas books and while I feel like I say that every time Hughes comes out with a new holiday book, in this case I really mean it. It has a little Maid in Manhattan feel to this rom-com full of all the Christmas charm that I love from Hughes!

Summary

“There’s plenty to love in this sparkling Christmas rom-com.” Publishers Weekly 

A magical holiday love story set at the glamorous Plaza Hotel in New York City.

It’s Christmas week when 26-year-old Sabrina Post knocks on the door of the Vanderbilt suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, ready to accept the ghostwriting position for the memoir of Grayson Westcott—a famous art dealer.

A struggling journalist, Sabrina can’t believe her luck: a paycheck and six nights in her own suite at the Plaza. She feels like Eloise, the heroine from her favorite children’s books. To make the job even more exciting, Grayson recounts how he worked as a butler at the Plaza sixty years ago for none other than the author of the Eloise books, Kay Thompson.

What promises to be a perfect week is complicated when Sabrina meets Ian Wentworth, a handsome British visitor, at the hotel bar. When Ian assumes Sabrina is another wealthy guest at the hotel, she doesn’t correct him —a decision she doesn’t regret after learning that Ian is a member of the British aristocracy. But, things are not what they seem. The truth is: Ian is not a wealthy lord; he’s actually the personal secretary of Lord Spencer Braxton.

As the week unfolds, will Sabrina and Ian learn the truth about one another?

Filled with the magic that can only be found at the Plaza Hotel during the holidays, and revealing facts about the author of the Eloise books, Anita Hughes’s A Magical New York Christmas is both a holiday treat and a heartwarming story that reminds us that falling in love is the greatest miracle of all. (summary from Goodreads)

Review

What I really liked about this book was that each character was hiding who they really were. Ian isn’t exactly a lord and Sabrina isn’t exactly a wealthy guest—in so many novels with this troupe, it’s one or the other who isn’t being truthful but in this case it’s both which I thought was refreshing and made for an interesting story. Both Ian and Sabrina are like-able even if they aren’t exactly truthful with on another in the beginning. I genuinely liked each character and found myself fully invested in their relationship and their lives. They had great chemistry and were just lovely together. I connected with Ian and Sabrina in a way that I didn’t in some of her other holiday romances. Don’t get me wrong her other holiday romances were wonderful and had great characters, but Ian and Sabrina stand out to me as the most relatable and real thus far.

Since Hughes’s books are all set in various locations around the world, I feel like I get to go on a Christmas trip from my living room couch. She always does such a great job describing the locations and making readers feel like they are part of the landscape and truly there with the characters, not just reading about a pretty city at holiday time. This book was no exception, I felt like I was right there at the Plaza in the thick of the holiday cheer! So if you are looking for a book to escape with then this will be a great option for you!

I know that many readers live for Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel—-this is like reading a Hallmark movie. Charming, sweet, romantic, with interesting characters and a cozy location. It will leave you feeling happy and full of holiday cheer and ready to skip right over Halloween and Thanksgiving and move right on into Christmas season! I know it’s a little early for holiday reading but this one was a fun little treat for me. If you love Christmas films and books then you need to get this one on your radar!

Book Info and Rating

Format304 pages, Paperback

Expected publicationSeptember 28, 2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin

ISBN9781250774521 (ISBN10: 1250774527)

Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martin’s Griffin, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: holiday romance, romance

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