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Download Miracle on Regent Street epub

by Ali Harris

Download Miracle on Regent Street epub
ISBN: 0857202898
ISBN13: 978-0857202895
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Ali Harris
Language: English
Publisher: Simon & Schuster International (September 30, 2011)
ePUB size: 1748 kb
FB2 size: 1882 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 323
Other Formats: lrf doc mbr rtf

A disappointing read that had great potential. Very predictable, no magic, and a huge editorial error add up to no miracle.
You know when someone says "that's nice", what they mean is "I don't hate it, but I don't really love it either." This pretty much sums up my view of this book. Don't worry I will get more in to detail than just saying "it was nice."

Miracle On Regent Street is a chick lit book all the way. It all starts with a 20-something woman, who has become stuck in some dead end job, gave up on social and a possible love life. Evie has gone so far in the background people don't remember her, take her for granted and they don't even know her real name, all calling her Sarah. Which to me just blows my mind, that your self confidence is so low or that you have become so shy, you can't even correct people on your name.

So to me the heroine of this book is too bland. Don't get me wrong, she's nice and sweet, but so passive it's borderline boring to read about. The thing that mostly kept me going through this book were the other characters in this book, mostly Lily and Felix. They have been at Hardy's so long, they've almost become part of the decor. Evie bonds with them, because like her they are kind of invisible and have been taken for granted.

Now it can't be a romance if there isn't some guy involved. Actually there are two guys, but Evie only sees one. Joel is an American financial adviser, Hardy's has hired to help them. When Evie literally runs into him at the store and he asks her out, who is she to say no, right? It has been so long she could use a little romance. Unfortunately I don't feel the connection/attraction between those two. They go out, it's fun and all that. But once again it's just nice.

Then there is this other guy, Sam. He is the delivery guy and from the beginning of the book you know he's got the hots for Evie. Only, of course, she's oblivious to his interest in her. Here you could really see the sparks vibrating with anticipation between them and girl goes totally the other way around. She isn't out to hurt him, she just doesn't realise, not even after two years. It's stuff like that, which frustrates me to no end.

All in all, Miracle On Regent Street is very well written, fun characters and has a vintage chic feel to it, even though it is a bit too long. It was my first Christmas book this year, so it has gotten me a bit in the mood for the holiday season. And like I said, it was nice.
I was so excited for this book - I loved the concept and the cover. But, it became clear about a third of the way through that the book was not what I had hoped it would be...

First things first -- Things I loved:

The premise:
---A throw-back girl with a throw-back style, eager to advance her career and save her beloved store (of which she's currently the stockroom girl) by reviving the store, via its decor, to what it was in its prime.
I LOVE this! I love the era our protagonist, Evie, is trying to recreate, I love those classic styles, and the idea of going through a store, department by department, doing façade makeovers is simply delightful to me!

---The supporting characters: the leading men in this story are quite yummy, kind, and fun. The older characters that Evie seeks council from are fun, too, and unique in their own rights.

---One or two plot twists I didn't see coming. These were nice and I felt enhanced the story.

Unfortunately, these things were not enough to make up for a the:

--The *incredibly* long and repetitive middle, where there "ta-da" moments don't build on each other, so the "big moments" seem just like the "big moment" that came before.

--The selfishness and self-pity of the protagonist that starts coming out a third of the way through the book and is never truly addressed.

Evie struggles with "invisibility" issues. But what bothered me, is that Evie was annoyed with everyone else for not knowing who she was, when she never bothered to correct them. Nor did she really do anything but wait for *them* to change, instead of her looking to herself if *she wanted* to change. And then, when Evie finally does realize this, she continues to fluctuate in what felt like confusing plotting, and again, no clear arc, going from 'invisible' to 'vivid' and back again with no reasons as to why. In fact, as I read through with my sister, I called her and said after one particular change: "did I miss something? Did I skip a chapter?" I hadn't...

Also, this book has a very nice, very sweet premise, with a protagonist who pines for eras-gone-by (cool! Love it!). The book was quite PG for the first third or so. Very little language, no explicit sex, all quite innocent.
So, I was frankly rather offended when, out of the blue, a rather detailed and fairly explicit sex-scene appeared. Now, it's not that I took offense to the scene (I mean, personally I'd rather not read that, but that's personal and that's not what offended me). It was the fact that it came with no warning, was completely different from the beginning of the book and didn't fit at all.
But what made all this really bad, was that at this point in time, Evie has been lying about who she really is to the man she hops into bed with. Not only does she lie about her name and her job, but also her ideas, likes and dislikes, and frankly just about everything.
I kept waiting for her to realize how wrong this was and to apologize. And, a bit of a spoiler here, but she never really does.

Instead of trying to explain Evie's selfishness, I think it's best to provide some examples. After a particularly hard break-up with a long-time boyfriend, Evie's sister, Delilah, lets Evie stay at Delilah's house rent-free, in exchange for babysitting Delilah's kids. This is fine for Evie... until she starts to get opportunities to do something else. After not coming home to babysit the kids (nor calling) one evening, Evie gets upset at Delilah for being upset that Evie bailed. And another time, when Evie has already committed to babysitting she calls Delilah to find out if she can get out of it because she has a date offer for that night. Now, I don't have any issue with Evie's asking, but it's her attitude when Delilah (who also has been going through a very difficult time) tells her that she really needs Evie to babysit:
"I'm twenty-eight years old and I feel like a child asking her mother for permission to go round her friend's house on a Saturday night. Shouldn't a woman of my age have more freedom?"
Now, personally I don't think anyone ever reaches any age that allows them to back out of commitments without asking and getting the "okay." Plus, instead of seeing how much Delilah needed a break, Evie only thought about what she wanted...

Here's another perfect example:
Evie's contemplating her relationship with Joel, the man to whom she's been lying to. Anyway, here's Evie's "logic":
"It's one thing to pretend to be someone I'm not, but I'm trying to make things as uncomplicated as possible. As much as I'm relishing my time with Joel, I know that it can't go on forever. Either he will discover that I'm just a lowly stockroom girl and will never want to see me again, or he won't find that out, things will go on being as wonderful as they are, and then he will want to get closer to me than I can let him. You know, meet my family and friends, introduce me to his, and obviously that can never happen. Ultimately it's a no-win situation but I'm trying not to let that thought cast a shadow over everything, because for the time being I want to wallow in this imaginary world where I am a girl like Carly with a gorgeous man and a fabulous job. I know it can't last, but the prospect of going back to my old life, to the old me just yet, doesn't bear thinking about. So all I can do is block out any thoughts of what will happen when Joel finds out who I really am and focus on the here and now."
Again, absolutely NO thought to how this might affect Joel, who's obviously falling for "Evie" and who has, himself, recently come out of a bad relationship. Maybe this will hurt him? But no, Evie couldn't possibly be bothered to think about that. :-

I couldn't tell if the author was okay with Evie's selfishness, if she wasn't aware of it, or she was trying to rationalize the plot. Whichever it was, it didn't work - at least not for me.

Plus, I felt certain endings to certain plots and the reasons behind them, were a bit of a cop out.

There are so many other things I took issue with but I hope this is enough to give an idea.

Quite honestly, the best part of this book is the cover (which is so gorgeous!).

I really don't like writing negative reviews, but this book was not very well written, the structure was bad, and after the first third of the book I stopped pulling for the protagonist, which pretty much puts a damper on the whole book...
Evie Taylor is hiding her light under a bushel. She's invisible to almost everyone in her life, and especially at work. She's living with her beloved older sister and being an unpaid nanny for her two children in lieu of rent, while she works during the day in the stock room of Hardy's, the department store that has played a very prominent part of her life. When she overhears at the beginning of December, that Hardy's may soon be closing its doors for good after Christmas, she decides to do something about it and maybe even change its doomed fate and in doing so may even change her own.

I'm trying to figure out what to write about this book besides saying that I really enjoyed it. The story is fast paced and I was hooked on it trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I loved how the book kept me guessing and the layout into the days before Christmas, and then the further breakdown into chapters, was just brilliant!

I loved Evie and reading about her journey from being invisible to a bold secret Santa for Hardy's. I also loved reading about her co-workers and co-conspirators and their different personalities and lives and how each was touched by Evie and her Christmas magic. I've just got to say, that for a debut author, Ali Harris is amazing, and I can not wait until her next book is released!