THE CHARM BRACELET by Melissa Hill.
Many years ago she was sent one with just a single charm attached. The charms have been appearing ever since, often at challenging times, as if her mysterious benefactor knows exactly when she needs a little magic in her life.
As a result, Holly's bracelet is her most prized possession. So when she finds someone else's bracelet, she feels she has to try to reunite it with its owner. Even if the only clues she has to follow are the charms themselves.
On a search that will take her all over New York City at Christmas, holly becomes ever more determined to piece together the details of this other charmed life. But what she doesn't know is that her quest may also lead her somewhere she never, ever expected.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): Holly O'Neill always figured that life was just like a snow globe.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 76): After all, without her love of reading, Holly might not have the ability to dream and imagine and wonder about the charm that she now held in her hands.
MY THOUGHTS: Intrigued and enamoured as I was by the New York settings - how romantic must skating in Central Park be? - The Charm Bracelet with its pretty cover, charming asides (I loved the 'additional' story of the owner of the lost bracelet) and (at least outwardly) beautiful characters could all too easily have been a read of frivolous nonsense and yet, whilst hardly brain-taxing, I found it to be far short of this.
A not too saccharine-sweet read, perfect for those cold winter days when you have overdosed on that tin of Quality Street chocolates . In many ways a nice, gentle, old fashioned romance - it is not only the fact that the main character, Holly, works in a vintage clothing shop that puts you in mind of those old black and white films of the nineteen fifties.
More than a romance though, the novel also has a mysterious air to it that is a nice addition even if, as we get to know the characters, it becomes pretty apparent as to where the story is heading.
Not so the ending. Totally unexpected, I'm still not sure whether I actually enjoyed it or simply thought it sentimental claptrap - either way I admit I found myself in need of more than one tissue.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS magazine I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.