Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

Miracle on Regent Street is what would happen if Shop Around the Corner took Love, Actually on a date.

Evie is a sweetly good-natured stock-girl at the mythically nostalgic department store Hardy’s.  Hardy’s is her beloved: her parents met and wooed each other there, all good memories of childhood Christmases are confined in its spacious walls and its very essence reminds Evie of the eras by-gone she loves to recreate in decoration and wardrobe.  Though over-looked by the staff at the department store and known only incorrectly as Sarah the Stock Girl, Evie has formed a delicious type of family including the maven of the tea room and the delivery guy, Sam ( who has dimples --- you KNOW that's important to me ;) ).

When Evie learns, just before Christmas, that her beloved store may not make it through the holidays due to dwindling customers, she decides it needs a major revamp and makeover: one that will spirit it back into the past she loves. Using the glamour of Old Hollywood and her reverence for War Time fashion, Evie is like a little elf who sneaks in at night and revitalizes the department store from its minimalist and modern look to days of yore.  In turn, and largely without credit, Evie has overhauled the entire business and Hardy’s may make it after all….Evie’s love life, however, and her choice between a sweetly adorable teddy bear of a guy ( with a secret) and a dashing American who thinks she’s someone she’s not… may not be wrapped up with such a picture-perfect bow.

This is an adorable book, everyone. A co-worker snapped it up from a trip to the UK and brought it back to Canada before its anticipated release over our way. It’s a broad and breezy read tapered with an exceptionally acute sense of nostalgic fashion. It made me want to run out and buy a gold powder compact and brighten my lips a pearly, glistening red.  All of the ingredients you love in chicklit are right here --- including the fact that it is set in dazzling London weeks before Christmas --- but the department store family and scenario are what lend it a unique and colourful edge.

I quite enjoyed spending some time with these characters-- so choose a chilled March night, brew some tea, slink into an over-sized sweater and watch Evie come into her own.

Visit Ali Harris on the web

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