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Christmas at Claridge's

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,507 ratings  ·  165 reviews
"'This was where her dreams drifted to if she didn't blot her nights out with drink; this was where her thoughts settled if she didn't fill her days with chat. She remembered this tiny, remote foreign village on a molecular level and the sight of it soaked into her like water into sand, because this was where her old life had ended and her new one had begun.'

Portobello -
Kindle Edition, 529 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Pan (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,507 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I must start by saying how much I loved this book – you’ll see how much I loved it when you read my review. But I have to be honest and say that it wasn’t what I expected at all. Maybe it’s my fault for having expectations based solely on the title and the cover – but I had rather expected Christmas, Claridge’s and bit of snowy romance (with maybe a little tinsel...). Actually, it probably is my fault – the blurb is quite clear, and both Christmas at Tiffany’s and The Perfect Present had ...more
Ashley Daviau
This book was just meh for me and it was only towards the end that I started to enjoy it. That was mainly due to the fact that the main character was a total brat and it wasn't until the ending that we found out why she was that way and that she finally started to grow and change. Something about the story just lacked magic for me and I was left quite disappointed by this book!
Emma Smith
Jan 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Total trash and sadly not even good trash. I have say I was disappointed, completely unlikable characters, completely ridiculous plot, I could go on but can't be bothered... Let's just say it's not worth the effort. I like a good chick lit for a few hours of easy reading and I'd enjoyed the previous novel by Swan Christmas at Tiffany's ( total trash but readable and "good trash" - perfect beach reading) and this just wasn't anywhere the mark. Don't waste your time or money on this one
Jan 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't be bothered to finish this book, I just hated it, but I want to know what this secret twist ending is, so if anyone wants to message me privately and just spoil the ending, that would be great. I never thought I'd ask for that...

Update: I have since found out the spoiler and I would hardly call it a twist ending. Still angry that I wasted my time on this
Rosie Read
Firstly, it might be worth mentioning that the title of this book is somewhat misleading. Very little of Christmas at Claridge's is festive (although the book does open on the New Year and end on Christmas), this is not your usual light hearted, fluffy, seasonal romance and the blurb on the back belies a more serious content.

Clem is a part of London's 'It' scene and is seemingly what most people would expect from a girl of this ilk; shallow and selfish, Clem spends her days shopping and her
I really don't feel like writing this review, but I should justify my rating. Days before Christmas, during one of the worst winter storms to ever hit my city, I attempted to read this novel by candle light, to keep my mind off how freezing cold I was after not having heat or power for days.
This book did not do the trick. It was not about or related to Christmas. Apparently, the Christmas aspect of the novel isn't until the very end. Being a few days before Christmas, I wanted something
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-sale, xmas
I'm kinda glad this is over. I had a copy for about 3 years now, not having started it yet, because a) other books grabbed my attention, b) I thought it was a Christmas related book. WRONG! This title does not cover the book, only the last ten pages.
At this time of the year, I'm not in the mood for reading about sunny Italy. I might've enjoyed it more while reading on a beach somewhere, soaking in the sun, but then again, I would be bothered about the cover being in the snow. The only snow that
Natalie TBGWP
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As soon as you open up Christmas at Claridges you are straight away gripped by a heart fastening prologue that makes you want to rip the book apart quickly to find out what the hells happened.

Oh how I did love this book. I actually didn't really know what to expect from it, I thought it would be a sort of Christmassy, fun, chick lit read, but it's not it's so much more. It's dark, dangerous, dramatic, unbelievably tragic, romantic, family oriented and basically fabulous. I was so impressed that
Lesley Kitchen
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas-books
Nothing to do with Christmas which only puts in an appearance in the final few pages. Shame the author chose the backdrop of the cruel leather (and rabbit fur even gets a mention!) industry for the story. A tale set in Portobello Road and Portofino could have been so much more authentic! A good book spoilt by advocating a cruel industry.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I read first 2 pages then threw it away. Very disappointed! The plot is quite dull, and the main character is boring.
Christmas at Claridge's is a story about how young girl Clementine Alderton who everyone thought was selfish and reckless. One night Clementine went too far and endangered her brother, home and job. Clementine decided to leave England to make a new life for herself. However, this evolved Clementine moving to Portobello to oversee the interior design of a boat, villa and small hotel a place she thought she would never see again.

Readers of Christmas at Claridge will learn why Clementine behaves
Nov 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted to my blog on:

Clem Alderton grew up in Portobello in London and feels right at home wandering the famous street market or having a cupcake for lunch at Hummingbird Bakery. She now shares an expensive flat with her brother just streets away from her brother's company, Alderton Hide, where she too works, though her job comprises of little more than being the face of the company to clients who are unable to resist the charms of the
Paula Atkinson
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-2019
Another easy read for the festive period with a good story to it.
Mummy Loves Books
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
So it is coming on Christmas now and it's time to indulge in some of the amazing books releases for the festive season. Karen Swan is an author I read last year at this time and fell in love with her lovely, emotional and romantic novels centred around the Xmas season.

This years Xmas releases was therefore an essential and the first indulgent read of the Xmas season. It is the story of party girl Clem who lives life to the full, never tying herself down and never committing to anyone or
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
The main character is selfish and self-absorbed and I found her hard to like. The story was long and repetitive and just dragged on the "mystery" without giving you any clues as to the direction it was going to progress. Then at the end the whole thing got hastily unraveled and you were supposed to buy that characters ended up together, when they had spent no time building up their relationship. I mostly kept reading to finish the book and see how the "mystery" was going to resolve.

Eye-rollingly predictable and melodramatic with a pathetic main character. I liked the sound of the premise, but it didn't end up being written in a style I liked. No more Karen Swans for me.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely perfect book, with one of the best endings I have ever read.
Jessica Stott
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Did not like the protagonist, it is not a festive read if that is what you are looking for. Nothing to do with Christmas or anything really happening over Christmas in the book. It was ok, easy read. I was hoping for a refreshing read where maybe the women didn’t end up chasing a man and a baby but no. That is all women aspire to apparently (not that there is anything wrong with wanting to get married and have babies) but there are a lot of women who don’t and it would be nice if at least one of ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars*

I remember reading "Christmas at Tiffany's" by the same author a few years back and what I expected to be a quick, mindless read left a lasting impression on me.
This one was no different. The not-so-light plot took a while to unravel itself, but it sure surprised me and even touched me. The writing style is nothing fancy but Karen Swan has a way with storytelling that makes you forget all notions of space and time. I could almost feel the heat of the summer in Portobello..

The only
Ashley Beery
It was a slow book, not the greatest story line and the ending had me shaking my head. There was so much more potential here, and the "Christmas" part was pretty much non-existent until the end. Plus the British aspect of it was pretty much nil. I really wanted a British Christmas story and that didn't happen. The cover was VERY misleading. As for the story, it dragged on a bit, and the mystery wasn't that much of a mystery, though there was one tiny (and I do mean tiny) twist that involved ...more
Christi Poulsom
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed other Karen Swann, but at page 76 I realised this one falls into the LTS category. There isn't a single character I like, or even hate enough to find out more about. I have zero interest in fashion and partying, and having flicked through there just seems to be 430 pages of the same. If only Ms Swann had written the book the prologue prepared me for.
Ah well, I'll send up a prayer to the god of libraries, and move on.
*Amanda Marie*
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rucha Walawalkar
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Claridge
Mar 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I found the main character unrelatable and unlikable, and the story frustratingly banal, unbelievable, and full of abrupt and often predictable plot twists. One star for the amount of research the author did on bespoke luxury goods and the geography of the Italian community in which the key part of the story was set.

I couldn't wait to put this silly book behind me.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! I thought this would simply be an easy read for the Christmas period, however it was more than that. An engaging story that kept you guessing, intriguing characters (although not all of them likeable!) and set between two wonderful settings. Loved it! Great first read of 2020.
Antoinette Martin
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first I thought the main character was a privileged bitch but she really warmed to me. This book has so many twists and turns which I couldn’t have guessed which makes it so great! The prologue was very important for all the twists. 100% recommend.
Firsttine Pierre-Pacquette
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epic read

Loved this book from start to finish, the twists were Brilliant. Karen definitely knows how to make a story interesting and exciting. If I could give ten stars it wouldn't have been enough.
Straight to the point romance, pure heart and soul.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I did make the mistake of assuming, based on the cover and the title, that it would be a slightly cheesy Christmas romance - don't be deceived! This can be read at any time of the year and has a great storyline!
amy hartley
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A decade long secret about to be revealed. Heartache and trouble ahead as she faces her biggest challenge yet and not just making it into work after a vodka session. Other secrets and surprises along the way too.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars rounding up.
the story begins okay, then grows stronger, but towards the end it becomes really absurd - thats when the author lost me.
there are better chick-lit/ romance novels around.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Mar 22, 2015 08:52AM  
soft little bag she kept under her mattress. 1 8 Apr 24, 2014 12:04AM  

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Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her books include Christmas at Tiffany's, Summer at Tiffany's, The Perfect Present, Christmas in the Snow, The Summer Without You, The Paris ...more