My next festive reading recommendation comes from Sarah Morgan “The Queen of Christmas” as it said on my review copy. I hadn’t realised but this is part of a series of books and is in fact the sixth in the From Manhattan with Love series. Now I haven’t read any of them and if you haven’t either, don’t be put off as this reads perfectly as a standalone novel. If you have read the others, I believe you will meet some characters who featured in some of the previous novels.
This novel focuses on Harriet Knight who is like me in many ways, one of which being she likes being firmly inside her comfort zone. Previously, Harriet would have said her “idea of taking a risk is reading my Kindle in the bath”. I had to smile at that as that’s something I do too but have never really considered it a risk. Unlike me, she has decided that she is going to do something about her quiet life and has challenged herself to do something which scares her every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Which is why we first meet her hanging out a restaurant’s toilet window, wearing very high heels as she attempts to leave a disastrous date she set up through online dating. And which is how she first meets Dr Ethan Black when she goes to the emergency room fearing she has broken her ankle. Their paths cross again when she is dog-walking his sister’s dog and ends up agreeing to move into his apartment to look after the dog. (Don’t call her ‘the dog’ in front of Harriet, she’s called Madi! Another difference between us is that she very much a dog person and I am very much not!)
This is a fabulous escapist read, particularly if you have ever wanted to visit New York in winter. The cold and snow was so vividly described as well as the beautiful skiing resort in Vermont – and I so wanted to stay in that cosy sounding lodge with its roaring fire. Sarah Morgan made New York in the snow sound very appealing and Dr Black sounded rather appealing too! He was quite a frustrating character in some ways as he seemed blind to everything but his work. And yet, he clearly did have the capacity to love as shown by his love for his sister and his care for his colleague Susan – eventually he even softened his attitudes towards dogs. Harriet was a character who I think many people would find it easy to identify with. She was lacking in self-confidence and it was clear that much of this had stemmed from her childhood experiences. She loved her brother and twin sister very much but seemed to have given up on any thoughts of romantic happiness for herself, preferring to spend her time with her beloved dogs who never let her down.
Moonlight over Manhattan is a wonderfully romantic festive novel with plenty drama and showing many aspects of caring for other people, not just romantically. There is a lot of warm humour too, often provided courtesy of the various dogs Harriet looks after. If you want a feel-good novel to read this Christmas then this is one you can add to your list.
My thanks to Anna Massardi at Harper Collins for my review copy of this book. Moonlight over Manhattan is published by HQ and is available in both ebook and paperback format. You can order a copy online here: Moonlight Over Manhattan
From the back of the book
She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…
Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list – dealing with Madi’s temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.
Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi – how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple – he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.
Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over, and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all – letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?