Blogmas Day 23: Review – On a Night Like This

Author: Lindsey Kelk
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Digital
Release Date: November 11th, 2021

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Fran Cooper is stuck. She’s left behind a good career in London to move to Sheffield with her fiancé, Stew. Being a PA in Sheffield isn’t the same as being one in London, and when Fran finds herself out of work in the run up to Christmas, she does something she’d promised Stew she wouldn’t do: she agrees to an interview in London, with the prospect of being away from Sheffield for the next week. The interview comes with an NDA agreement, and Fran suddenly finds herself on The Songbird, a billionaire’s yacht, working for the singer Juliette and heading for The Crystal Ball.

It’s Fran’s job to make sure Juliette gets to the ball for her performance, but it proves more difficult than Fran anticipated. But her experiences with Juliette on The Songbird will change Fran’s life, if she allows it.

On a Night Like This is a contemporary Cinderella tale. The focus is less on the romance, and more on Fran’s personal journey, as she comes to realise what it is she actually wants from life. Right when things seem at their worst, Fran finds herself doing something she never thought she would have dared to – she sneaks into The Crystal Ball. The first part of the book is building up to this and laying the groundwork for Fran’s transformation. It really does read like a modern-day fairy tale, with Fran starting off not as a woman lacking self-confidence, but a woman who has lost that confidence.

It’s not really a ‘Christmas’ book, but towards the end it does feel more festive. And it does seem I’m not the only who thought it would be more Christmassy. But despite that, it does have that kind of heart-warming seasonal feel to it.

I did like how the romance plot was secondary, and the way community was weaved into the story, as Fran has to put her own needs first for once, and the people she meets nudge her in this direction. This includes Evan, the handsome man she spends the ball with. The pair gel well together, and their scenes were all really sweet. The book had a great flow to it, and made for a great leisurely read. It really was a lovely book, with characters who are realistic and down to earth, even when some of them fall more on the glamourous side.

Fran ends the book in a different place than she started, and she gets there very much with her own determination, knowing more at the end about what she wants and doesn’t want. I think the only thing I didn’t like was sort of how easy her boyfriend gets off, but it’s realistic. It feels almost like his behaviour and attitude are treated as kind of being general not-great-boyfriend, we’re-just-not-compatible type of stuff rather than being seen as how toxic he really was.

That was a really minor thing overall. Overall I really thought this book was lovely, and it’s an ideal one to curl up with. The major focus is on Fran, and the way her life transforms through the book, and the ending is truly satisfying.

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