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Royal Holiday
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Royal Holiday
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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...
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...
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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?

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    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...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2019
    A woman finds love in her mid-50s on a vacation to England. Vivian Forest is happy with her life in the San Francisco Bay Area and excited about a promotion at work. Fans will also recognize Vivian as Maddie's no-nonsense mother from Guillory's previous novel, The Wedding Party (2019). When Maddie's job as a stylist lands her a once-in-a-lifetime chance to dress a British royal--similar to the duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex--for the holidays, she insists that Vivian accompany her to England. Once they arrive, Vivian catches the eye of Malcolm Hudson, the private secretary to the queen. Vivian's adventures seem designed to please American Anglophiles who are obsessed with the monarchy and daydream about picking out a dress for the duchess, sharing a plate of sandwiches with the duke, or dropping into a perfect curtsey at a chance encounter with the queen. Vivian's courtship with Malcolm is genteel, charming, and virtually conflict-free. They take long walks on the royal estate, pass notes back and forth via footmen, and go horseback riding. Malcolm asks Vivian to extend her vacation after Maddie returns to California; neither of them is interested in a long distance relationship, but they can have a romantic fling in London. They are well suited to help each other navigate personal crises: Malcolm uses his professional knowledge to help Vivian evaluate her career path while she uses her skills as a social worker to help him repair a rift with his beloved nephew. Vivian and Malcolm aren't luddites who are afraid of using mobile phones, so the authorial choice to have them continue a trans-Atlantic relationship without the benefit of modern technology is bewildering. What was charming quickly becomes twee. Reads like a made-for-TV Christmas movie screenplay--all sugar and no substance.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2019

    When Vivian Forest's daughter Maddie (the heroine of Guillory's previous book, The Wedding Party) asks if she'd like to spend Christmas in England in the residence of royalty, the fiftysomething, Oakland-based social worker thinks it's a joke. Maddie, a stylist to a duchess, tells Vivian she will simply get to enjoy a vacation, which quickly becomes the trip of a lifetime when Vivian meets Malcolm, the handsome and courteous private secretary to the Queen. He takes her on a tour of the royal estate, which leads to horseback riding, exchanging adorable handwritten notes, and sharing many delectable scones. After Christmas, they continue enjoying each other's company in London, with Vivian set to return to the States on New Year's Day to begin a new position. Vivian and Malcolm bring out the best in each other; her patience and quiet strength help him deal with family conflict, while he inspires her to make happiness her top priority. VERDICT 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. Fans of this popular series will be clamoring for this latest entry.--Jenna Friebel, Oak Park P.L., IL

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2019
    When Maddie Forest (last seen in The Wedding Party, 2019) gets a job styling an English Duchess for the holidays, she convinces her overworked mom, Vivian, to join her at Sycamore Cottage in the English countryside. Vivian is too busy as a hospital social worker to think about much more than whether or not she's ready to take on her boss's job when she retires. She needs a break, so she reluctantly allows Maddie to force her into some spontaneity. Malcolm Hudson, private secretary to the Queen, theoretically has duties at neighboring Sandringham House, but he can't seem to stop himself from volunteering to be Vivian's tour guide, then horseback riding instructor, then date to the Christmas Eve dinner. Divorced protagonists in their fifties are rare enough in mainstream romance; add the fact that Vivian knows she's still got it and some frank conversations about race and the royal family (plus Guillory's stellar reputation), and readers will forgive any shortcomings in this timely holiday romp.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Guillory's romance star keeps rising, and this diverting tale featuring older characters is sure to enhance readers' holiday spirit.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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