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Humbugs and Heartstrings

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  39 reviews
This is a tale about love and friendships, complete with a sprinkling of Christmas magic. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.

Two ex-friends. One Christmas to remember …

Bobbie's boss Carol is a real misery-guts, dedicated to making the lives of everyone around her unhappy in pursuit of every last penny. What makes it worse is that the two women have history:
Kindle Edition, 331 pages
Published October 2nd 2014 by Maze
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  379 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
This is a nice, easy to read festive Christmassy story loosely based on A Christmas Carol. I really enjoyed reading about the two main characters, Bobbie and Carol. They used to be best friends, but something happened to sour their friendship and Bobbie is now forced to work for Carol in her cleaning company, Spit and Polish. Bobbie is a nice character, never had much money but used to scrimping and saving in an effort to put money aside to pay for her brother Tim to have an operation privately ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I have spotted "Humbugs and Heartstrings" first on Twitter (of course, where else!) and had my eyes set on this book for a long time, so when it finally landed on my kindle, I started to read almost immediately. Well, everything about it just shouts "READ ME!" - the beautiful, pink, festive cover, the synopsis, and the fact that it's a debut novel, and I so love debut novels...

Bobbie works for a cleaning company who belongs to her ex - best friend Carol. The girls used to be thick as thieves
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is admitted to be a story based loosely on Dickens’ Christmas Carol. The main characters appear as:
3 Messages (Ghosts of Christmas, past, present and future);
Little Tim who is disabled;
A large turkey!
A Clerical worker.
Plus a few more characters thrown in for good measure. Now scoliosis is an interesting diagnosis for a young child. The NHS guide says that it rarely causes any issues in children other than a visible curve of the spine. It is adults who experience back pain. It
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Humbugs and Heartstrings was a delightful Christmas read that was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed Catherine Ferguson's writing style and it was easy to read.

Bobbie and Carol used to be friends however now their relationship is employee (Bobbie) and boss (Carol). Carol isn't nice to Bobbie or anyone who works for her and as a result their relationship is now very strained. Bobbie is also saving money for her brother Tim who needs an operation. Throw in a handsome man who comes into both Bobbie and
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bobbie and Carol are best friends since forever. Bobbie comes from a poor family that has lost everything when her father died. Her mother struggles to take care for her and her little brother Tim who needs a very expensive surgery. In order to help her family, Bobbie sacrifices her own dreams and gets a job, in her best friend’s company. But Carol is far from the girl that she used to back in the old days. Carol now doesn’t have friends, doesn’t sacrifice anything. This Carol is a real bitch ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, kindle, 2014
Bobbie works for a cleaning company and her boss used to be her best friend when they were younger. Something happened that severed their friendship- but we don't discover what until later in the book. Her boss is very penny pinching- is she worried about money even though she comes from a wealthy family? When she asks Bobbie to book her a London hotel for an extremely small budget she finds it impossible to find anywhere with a pool! Eventually she manages to speak to a Mr Ronald McDonald who ...more
Paris Baker
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Paris Baker's Book Nook.

Humbugs & Heartstrings is Catherine Ferguson’s debut novel, and damn, she’s off to a good start. The story is loosely based on A Christmas Carol.

Bobbie and Carol used to be thick as thieves, but Carol suddenly turned cold an unyielding, a particularly difficult situation when Bobbie ends up coming to work for her at her cleaning company. From this alone, you know it’s going to be a juicy plot. Best friends turned sour, forced to work for each
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy-read
For a more detailed review, please check out my review below:

Debra's Book Cafe

Debs :-)

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Jules (Never enough time to read)

It was ok. Some chapters where great, but more where a tad boring.

But my main complaint with the story was the anti NHS feeling. Tim (the younger brother) had a condition that needed surgery and the waiting list was so long that it meant saving privately for the required operation. Even with long waiting times the story just didn't quite work - it was more of a plot device to mirror the tale of a Christmas Carol rather than make sense on it's own.

Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I never really got to know most of the characters in the book. The idea was good, but the slap-stick humour in places was a little off-putting. And to be honest, there is no way I could see myself, or many other people, being as forgiving as Bobbie.

2 stars - it wasn't bad, far from it, but it was more of an 'okay' book for me.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, kindle-books
Delightful, full of fun and friendships

I loved this book. Christmasy and fun, yet seriosly portraying how much and how important friendships can be. Highly recommend for any time of the year.
Emma Crowley
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Humbugs & Heartstrings is the début novel from Catherine Ferguson, a slightly updated version with a modern twist of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. Despite a gorgeous, cheerful, colourful cover I wasn’t expecting that much from this read, just another run of the mill Christmas novel. But I was delighted to be proven wrong and I raced through this book in a day and found myself lost in the world of Bobbie and Carol. Admittedly the book was slow to get going but after ...more
Arielle Jagow
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted on my blog

My Thoughts in a Nutshell

Humbugs and Heartstrings is a well-written story filled with fun, vibrant and entertaining characters and it had me laughing from the get go. Ferguson gives us a page-turning Christmas story that in between all the laughing, will make you think about what’s truly important in life; friendships and relationships with people that matter to you. There’s nothing more beautiful in this world than human
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed for Bookaholic Confessions

Humbugs and Heartstrings tells the story of Bobbie and her extremely-evil boss, Carol. Bobbie and Carol used to be BFF’s, until something happened and the pair had a massive falling out. However, a series of unfortunate events has lead to Bobbie working for her ex-best friend at cleaning company Spit and Polish.
Bobbie is sure that the old Carol still lurks somewhere underneath in her frosty, penny-pinching boss, but it looks as though their
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Avon announced their new digital first Maze imprint (following in the footsteps of Carina UK and their own Harper Impulse imprint) I was quite excited. When I heard Humbugs & Heartstrings by Catherine Ferguson was the first title they were planning to publish, I thought it sounded really interesting. One of my absolute favourite plots to read about is former friends who find themselves working together. There's so much scope there, and with the promise of mince pie flinging and a ...more
Karen Whittard
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really love the opening chapter of this book it really made me giggle. This book in fact had me giggling at places throughout which was really nice.

It is a feel good Christmas romp. With great characters and a story that yes is predictable but is heartwarming too. It is kinda the story of Scrooge but the ghost or messengers as they are called in this story actually visit the Christmas lover instead of Scrooge which in turn helps to make Scrooge a better person.

I really enjoyed this feel good
Suze Lavender
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carol is a horrible boss and she's doing everything she can to make Bobbie's life as miserable as possible. Still Bobbie keeps working for her as they have a history together. They used to be best friends. When Bobbie gets the impossible assignment to find Carol a luxurious hotel in London for a crazy, impossibly cheap price, she ends up chatting with Charlie who's promising her to see what he can do. Bobbie enjoys their chats very much and is very surprised when Charlie turns up as soon as ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fantastic feel good read! I am still thinking about it now over 24 hours after reading it and still feel all fuzzy and warm! It is one of those books you could read again when you feel down to cheer you up and get you in the festive mood. It is like a rom-com movie you want to watch again and again! Had life not got in the way I would have read this in one sitting no problem I didn't want to put it down!

Until about half way through I personally forgot about the Christmas theme
Jennifer Joyce
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bobbie hates working for her miserly boss, Carol. They were once best friends but now Carol is bad-tempered and ruthless when it comes to her cleaning business, Spit and Polish. Bobbie and Carol were once so close and Bobbie hopes that one day they can mend their fractured friendship but that doesn't seem possible, especially when they meet Charlie, a charming hotelier who they both take an interest in.

Humbugs and Heartstrings is a humorous festive tale of love and friendship that had me
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog
Read for an honest review for NetGallery.

I liked this book but I thought it just touched the surface on the characters. I think the characters could of used a bit more development and there could of been more detail about the rift that happened to cause Carol and Bobby to fall out. I think a lot more could of been done with this story.
I enjoyed the christmas fair that they did, i think this was the best chapter in the book as it actually got down to the nitty gritty of everything. The reasons
Nov 24, 2015 added it
Shelves: christmas
Every Christmas I read one or two of these lighter, fluffier books and make no apologies for it! This book is a loose reworking of A Christmas Carol, where Bobbie works for the meanest, Scroogiest boss Carol, who is actually a old friend of Bobbie’s. They used to be very close but something happened to deteriorate their relationship. The only reason Bobbie stays working for her is because she’s saving for an operation for her brother Tim (see, very Christmas Carol!). When a cracked lady reads ...more
Book-shelf Shelf
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bobbie's is working for her former best friend who is now the worst boss in the world! She is desperately trying to save money for her brother who needs an operation, so she puts up with anything. She lives in a horrible flat and has put her passion of glass blowing on the back burner, all she cares about is making the money for her brother. But when good looking Charlie appears Bobbie sees things differently and finally stands up to her awful boss/ex best friend. Laugh Out Loud funny, really ...more
Sienna Logan (Lost to Books)
This isn't what I was expecting. I'm not a fan of books that base themselves on A Christmas Carol because I've seen it done so many times and that's where this book is heading. Also, the writing isn't engaging me and so I'm going to have to DNF because of the mountain of books I have that need to be read.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Would you beleive a voice on the phone if they told you they were called Ronald McDonald, have houses all over the world and 4 cars? Bobbie didn't when that voice belonged to the receptionist at the hotel she was booking for her boss!

What ensues is a story of a shared history, a secret waiting to be told and who knows, maybe something more!

A really great read!
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this take on Chrismas Carol. This is about Bobbie who works for her former best friend, Carol, who is something of a Scrooge. Around the holidays, the two find themselves re-visiting their former friendship and confronting their behaviors.

Longer review here:
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
If you are looking for a light, fun, holiday read then look no further! This is a great holiday story that pulls you in from the beginning, with memorable characters. This is an author that I will definitely be on the lookout in the future!

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book. Bobbie and Carol used to be best friends but something happened that changed all that and now they hate each other. Carol is now Bobbie's boss from hell and life seems dull and drab until a new face appears on the scene and changes everything for both of them. Will definitely be looking for other books by this author, brilliant fresh writing and believable characters.
Laura Barnard
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. The short, sharp chapters left me wanting more and kept me reading late into the night. Love Bobbie's journey and how you yourself are so confused by Carol. Perfect Christmas read, left feeling warm and fuzzy
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book, easy to read, light-hearted and funny. Bought her next book straight-away.
laura oakley
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it

Would definetly recomend this book to any girlie girls who love a bit of romance, crush's, friends. It is a long book but its fun throughout.
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