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My Perfect Gift: A Christmas Novella
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My Perfect Gift: A Christmas Novella

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Christmas isn’t the same anymore for Lara Hollywell, not since she lost her greatest gift of all, her fiancé. Now, she spends her holidays with family remembering Christmases past and contemplating a life without love, a life where only dreams and fantasies keep her company.

Blake Snowden is tired of being seen as nothing more than the man with deep pockets and a handsome f
Published November 6th 2015
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Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Cranky Stars!

Blake Snowden and Lara Hollywell have worked together for several years, each having secret desires for the other but keeping them a secret. Finally deciding to take a chance, Blake rigs the Secret Santa exchange this year so that he has Lara’s name and she has his. Now that he has her name, he has no clue what would her perfect gift to be.

Lara has never cared for the company's’ Secret Santa exchange and is often referred to as the Bah Humbug of the company. She can’t believe her
Holly Gill
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will begin with I totally enjoyed reading this novella sat by my Christmas tree. Just perfect and put me in the festive mood.

Blake Snowden and Lara Hollywell have worked together for many years and are taking part in the secret Santa, only little did Lara know she'd been set-up by Blake, for them to buy a gift for one another. Secretly they had both craved for one another but never acted. This caused a few problems not having a clue what to buy each other. A problem Lara didn't welcome, especi
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I rarely read Christmas books this early but I'm glad I read this little gem. Although this is just over a hundred pages I found it to be a lovely, warm and full story.

Blake is Lara's boss. He doesn't know much about her but he does know he wants to get to know her more. Lara feels attracted to Blake however her past is holding her back.

What happens when the magic of Christmas gets involved??

I really enjoyed this Christmas gem. Looking forward to reading more of this authors work.
Brandi Reeves-Pearson (Saints and Sinners Books)
What a short and very sweet Christmas Novella. I love reading E.J.’s books and it never ceases to amaze me how she writes with such realism. Her stories literally come to life in my mind and I swear they could be my next door neighbors. I couldn’t put the book down once I started and it’s one that has touched my heart. My heart broke for Lara and reading how and why her heart was broken. I understood that feeling all too well and maybe that’s why this book means so much to me. It was very hard t ...more
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
What happens when you lose your fiance and try to move on without love?...You go through the motions and almost miss what's right in front of you because you are afraid to let love in again...Read this novella to find out if love will prevail or living a lonely life forever.
Joanna Brocklehurst smith
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This lovely novella is definitely a feel good festive read. It has been beautifully written by EJ Shorthall to capture the true image of both Blake and Lara along with the misconceptions they both hold about each other.
Blake decides that after having his eye on Lara for nearly 3 years, enough is enough. He wants an in with her. He is fed up of people just chasing him for his money. He wants something real. What better way than by rigging his company’s ‘Secret Santa’?
Lara is scared at the thoug
Jeanette Book-Reviews
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
**** 4.5 Stars ****

This is definitely a feel good book, you know that revolved around Christmas time. It's one of my favourite holidays of the year!

We meet Lara Hollywell who's focusing on her career seeing as she's lost the love of her life in Afghanistan as he was in the Army 7 years ago.... she's kind of stuck in a limbo of a kind.. She's got this little crush on her boss Blake Snowden - a young vice CEO of the company she works. Its stays in her dreams only!

Little does she know that Blake ha
The Magic of Books Blog
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
My Perfect Gift: A Christmas Novella by E.J. Shortall
4 stars

Christmas isn’t the same anymore for Lara Hollywell, not since she lost her greatest gift of all, her fiancé. Now, she spends her holidays with family remembering Christmases past and contemplating a life without love, a life where only dreams and fantasies keep her company.
Blake Snowden is tired of being seen as nothing more than the man with deep pockets and a handsome face. He wants romantic walks, snuggling by the fireplace and kis
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Blake Snowden and Lara Hollywell have worked together for several years. Each having secret desires for the other but never acting on them. Blake finally takes a chance and rigs the company's Secret Santa exchange so they get each others names. This creates a whole new problem... What gift to give Lara.
Lara has been labeled the Scrooge (bah humbug) of the office. Over 300 employees and she gets Blake. As attracted as she is to Blake she's not ready to act upon it and she has no clue what to give
Jade Simcox (3 Degrees Of Fiction)
Lara hasn't enjoyed Christmas for the last seven years since her fiancé died. She just tries to get through the holidays each year with her family.
Blake is fed up of being seen as a sexy rich man. He wants romance, strolls in the park holding hands, hugs on the sofa in front of the fire. He wants Lara, he's been watching her from afar for a few years and has decided this year he will make his move!
Can they both have the perfect Christmas, with the Perfect Gifts?
I loved this little Christmas stor
Kathy Wideman
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This book is a quick, sweet, romantic read. Lara and Blake work together. Lara has been fantasizing about Blake for the last few years. They are doing secret santa at their office and Lara got Blake. She is both excited and scared that she got him. She has no clue what to get him. What she doesn’t know is that Blake is interested in her too and arranged it so that they would get each other in the secret santa gifting. Lara lost her fiancé seven years ago and even though she is attracted to Blake ...more
Jodie's W.I.N.E. List
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the amazing books you can read in one sitting. For all the longer it was, it packed one heck of a story. I was easily able to connect to the characters, Blake and Lara. Their connection was undeniable, but Lara needed a little push to be willing to give her heart away.

It was fun to see what Blake was willing to do to get Lara's attention. Rigging the company's Secret Santa was just the beginning of it. Once he had her name, he needed to get her a gift. He had to get to know her a
Lynn Smith
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lara Hollywell has had a crush on her boss Blake Snowden for awhile. She never figured it would go anywhere but it was nice to dream. When it was time to draw names for secret Santa, she ends up with Blake's name she has no idea what to get him. And why now is he suddenly spending more time talking to her. After losing her fiancé 7 years before she still doesn't feel ready to move on but a crush never hurt anyone. Blake has been trying to find a way to get closer to Lara for awhile now. Rigging ...more
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!!!

I was given this book in turn for an honest review.

Will Secret Santa prove to be Lara and Blake’s Perfect Gift this year?

E.J. Shortall has written a beautiful, sweet, romantic novella with a lot of Christmas spirit. This story is one you will want to read time and time again, no matter the time of year. Lara and Blake are both loveable characters, deserving of love and happiness. Throughout the story you can feel the festive cheer and spirit and imagine yourself enjoying the Christma
This was such an adorable book. quick, short read that is a definite pick-you up if you're having a not so great week, day, or weekend. Leaves you very happy about the outcome, and very warm and fuzzy feeling after you finish the novella. Very well developed characters with enough back story that you don't feel super lost or confused by the time you get to the overall gist of the novella. Lara and Blake were the most unconventional couple when this novella started out. Lara was shy, hurting, gri ...more
The Cosy Reader
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous novella that I wish was longer!
I was hooked on this fantastic little read after the first sentence. I always expected great things from EJ Shortall and she hasn’t disappointed at all.
Lara and Blake are both loveable characters that deserve all the love and happiness in the world. The chemistry between them burns through the page (or kindle screen!) and I quite literally wish I was Lara!
Despite it being a novella, I cried, laughed, wanted to throw my kindle when the characters weren’t
Jennifer Pierson
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I rarely read Christmas romance to be honest, and definitely not this early when I do. I'm glad I read My Perfect Gift though, as I really enjoyed it. Lara Hollywell hasn't stopped mourning the death of her fiance, and Christmas is particularly hard. Blake Snowden is tired of being superficially wanted by women. He's had a thing for Lara for a while but never had the courage to tell her. When Blake fixes the annual Secret Santa drawing to get Lara, will she finally let love find her again?

This s
United Indie Book Blog
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really cute novella centered around Christmas. Since Lara lost her fiancé she hasn't been willing to take the chance on any new relationships. Blake, her boss, is hoping to find a way to change that. He decides to rig the office Secret Santa to try get a chance to date her. This is a super fast read and very fitting for the upcoming season. It's a story about second chances at love and taking the chance to finally speak up about someone you have a crush on. For such a short story EJ d ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Blake is hoping to Lara over with the perfect secret santa gift. His attraction and feelings towards Lara have been growing but she hasn't noticed him in that way. Lara is still trying to move forward and come to terms with the death of her fiancée seven years previously. Can she open her heart again for Blake?

I adore Christmas stories as they are so sweet and full of hope, wonder and magic. This encapsulated all of these and made it into a perfect gift from the author. It's beginning to feel a
Laura Smith
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
absolutely fluffing loved it.

ARC given by the author for an honest review.

What a fantastic and beautifully written novella that is perfect for the Christmas season.

Lara Hollyway doesn't like Christmas much since her fiancé was tragically killed. When her boss, the gorgeous Blake Snowden, rigs the Secret Santa at work so he gets to pick Lara, Lara may just get more then a Secret Santa.....she may just get her Perfect Gift!

WOW! This was the first book by E.J. Shortfall that I have had the pleas
Karen S
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This short story is perfect for the festive season. It's the beautiful, heartwarming story of Lara, who is left devastated by the loss of her first love and Blake, her workaholic boss who has been watching and yearning for Lara. Blake decides to take matters into his own hands and rigs the company secret Santa so they end up with each other's names. Will things run to plan? Will they be spending Christmas without love again or will that mistletoe be getting good use made of it? Beautifully writt ...more
Michelle Eriksen
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A super sweet and romantic Christmas Novella that you won't want to miss. Blake has had his eye on Lara for a while now, but this Christmas he has an idea of how he will get her attention and he is determined to get the girl.

Lara is still struggling from the loss of her fiance but that doesnt' stop her from lusting after her boss Blake, but when she draws Blake's name in the secret Santa drawing at work she is in a position to get to know him a little better to find out what the perfect gift wil
Louise White
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story! I will admit that I was reluctant to read a Christmas Story before Christmas but on a cold and wet day I stayed in bed and curled up with a hot chocolate and read this novella in the space of an hour.

The words flowed in this sweet love story about two people and their hidden feelings for each other.

Like the hot chocolate that I drank whilst reading this book, it left a warm fuzzy feeling and a renewed excitement for Christmas.

This is the perfect gift to get you in the
Richelle Robinson
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it

Received this arc in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed the book but was left wanting more. I wish the book was longer so we could have more character development and I could feel the connection. The story did have some touching parts that I did enjoy. It was a cute holiday read. Overall, I did like the authors writing style and she was able to hold my interest. I definitely will read full length novels from this author. If you're looking for a quick read to get you in the holiday spirit t
Patricia Maia (The Bookery Review)
Loved this book! Its perfect for Christmas season, so romantic, funny, a little angsty too...

They are attracted to each other, but she's not prepared to love again. He wants to settle down and find in Lara the perfect woman!
After an annual secret Santa in their company everything changes and so will their future.

The author's writing is captivating and makes me want to read more!

*Reviewed for The Bookery Review*
For the Love of Books
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am a hopeless romantic and a huge lover of all things Christmas so this book was a delight for me. It had characters who are personable and relatable. Lara, has suffered a loss she doesn't know how to move on from and Blake has set his sights on her but will he get past her fears? The author managed to get a great story in a novella, often these feel rushed but this had the perfect pace. My only issue was I was eager to know what gift she bought him. Overall a good book 4 stars!
Ashley Stevenson
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a gift for a fair/honest review and reviewer for bloggin with M.Brennan. This was amazing short christmas novella how to take a chance on love again. Lara has a crush on her boss but her past holding her back from the loss and emotional tragedy event of her fiance she distance herself from getting to involve emotional attach to any men. Blake was ready for a real relationship and has his eyes set on Lara in will do anything to convince her he is the one.
Elaine Irwin
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Elaine by: EJ Shortall
This was my first Christmas book of the season. It really got me into the mood for Christmas. I loved this story. It was really sweet.
It’s the perfect story to get you into the holiday spirit.

See my full review on: https://heavenisabookshop.wordpress.c...
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*An ARC was provided in exchange of an honest review*

Loved this novella! Blake & Lara stole my heart!! Lara having been hurt, my heart hurt for her. When they come together it is so touching and moving. Great short read.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Crazy Ass Must Read Stars!!!!!

This was a great heart wrenching story. I loved it. It definitely had me in the holiday spirit even though Thanksgiving is weeks away. This really tugged at my heart strings and had me bawling. It's the perfect quick read to snuggle up with by the fire.
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A resident of London, UK, E.J. Shortall writes contemporary romantic fiction with a slant on the steamy side. Writing characters described as 'real' and 'relatable', E.J. creates stories that will draw you in a leave you wanting more.