Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: A Gift To Remember by Melissa Hill

Title: A Gift To Remember
Author: Melissa Hill
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: October 24th 2013
Length: 406 pages
Keywords: Chick lit, romance, contemporary, New York, Christmas
Source: Publisher

Discover the magic of Melissa Hill this Christmas... Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore on Manhattan's Upper West Side. A dreamer who secretly wishes for true love similar to that in her beloved novels, Darcy refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed man walking his dog. He is knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital, but his dog gets left behind. Wracked with guilt over the accident, Darcy resolves to care for the dog and reunite him with his owner. But the dog is not the only thing that's been left behind and when she finds a small beautifully wrapped package - suspiciously shaped like a book - she becomes curious. She decides to try and figure out all she can about this man, and make the delivery herself. Darcy gradually becomes drawn into his life; one that she soon discovers is filled with books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about. It doesn't take long before Darcy builds up a picture of this man's lovely life, and feeling an immediate kinship towards him, tries to make things right.

It might be a challenge but doesn't she owe it to him to try? But does fantasy match reality? And what happens when he finally wakes up?

Summary by Goodreads 

It's Christmas time in New York. Can you imagine the festive smells and the bright window displays? Perfect city, ideal season to set a story like Darcy's if you ask me. Melissa Hill captures the dreamy and romantic miracle character of New York and abandons all hecticness for a relaxing story that poses as an even more relaxing read. A read that will get you in the Christmas mood from page one.
I was very into the general focus on literature and all things bookish in A GIFT TO REMEMBER. The main character's name is Darcy, which makes it only natural to feel connected to her and instantly wanting to be best book friends. She's working in a book shop (heaven!) and shares her little apartment with a few books (more than a few). Chapters from Darcy's perspective always started with a fitting quote by a famous author or a favourite book. 
Some chapters in betwen are told from the mystery man's perspective. I can tell you that his name's Aiden and that he fills in the blanks as to what had been happening on his side of the story before the big crash occurred. His chapters are not as insightful or eventful as I would've wished them to be, but they are a nice bonus and worked well in alternation with Darcy's view on their story.

When I picked up A GIFT TO REMEMBER I expected a powerful romance to sweep me off my feet, like Darcy's crash would be an indicator for their relationship to be just as startling. Because Aiden can't remember anything, Darcy and he don't get the time they deserved to fall in love. It's not as turbulent and adventurous as I'd imagined her story with Aiden to be (they don't even have a date) and without any major surprises.
A GIFT TO REMEMBER isn't one of those loud and hilarious stories that you sometimes find in chick lit and romance books since Darcy's way of looking at things is more contemplative and unagitated, too. The ending was my favourite part of Darcy's story and that's where the story got into the romantic and flirtatious mood I wished the entire novel had possessed.

A large part of the book is dedicated to Darcy's hunt for clues about the stranger's identity. Aiden's appearance not only forces her into being a temporary dog sitter (the husky Bailey is so adorable!), but to come out of her book cave and play investigator. This one fateful crash gives her the opportunity to get to know her neighbour Grace better and open up to her reserved aunt, her last living relative. It's a different life that Darcy is facing every day now.

3,5/5 ***/*  A GIFT TO REMEMBER - A heart-warming holiday read with bookish Christmas spirit.  

A GIFT TO REMEMBER  was my first book by Melissa Hill and it was such a good pick to kick off the Christmas reading season. It's a wintry book of fateful crashes, clue hunts and has a light romance. Its hip New York setting and bookish theme are exactly what you need to pair with a cup of hot chocolate and some quiet reading hours curled up on the couch to enjoy Darcy and Aiden's story. 

"Anyone who says that money can't buy happiness has clearly never been inside a bookstore."
 ― p.1

A GIFT TO REMEMBER you might also enjoy three books I have on my Christmas reading list. Can't wait to read them! WINTER WONDERLAND by Belinda Jones, A WINTER FLAME by Milly Johnson and FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK by Miranda Dickinson.

* Can't get enough of Melissa Hill's writing? Then try her THE CHARM BRACELET!

* Click here to read an excerpt of A GIFT TO REMEMBER.

* Interested in Melissa's writing tips? Find them here.

* For more information about Melissa and her books visit

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of A GIFT TO REMEMBER for review!


  1. Enjoyed your review! Sounds like a warm and fuzzy Christmas book. ;)

  2. Sounds like a very good Christmas read :)

    Thanks for the lovely review :)